Sleeping in an Igloo under the dancing Aurora in Greenland in March 2020 was just another travel experience for Biku Ghosh, who has literally been around the world many, many times. In fact, for over six decades.
It was to be his last trip, as the Covid-19 pandemic crashed down on travel and halted what has been a truly amazing life. Refusing to sit still, Biku decided it was the perfect time to put his experiences on paper.
And so ‘Around the World in 65 Years’ was born – a unique travel memoir that looks at the world, humanity and everything in between.
It all started as eight-year-old learning to ride running trains to see the world.
My quest then continued for the next six decades.
This travel memoir documents early adventures – travelling the Golden triangle without a ticket; training as a mountaineer and climbing lofty peaks in the Himalayas; working with Red Cross during the Bangladesh war; hitchhiking across Europe and almost thrown off a Bulgarian train mistaken as an American, and volunteering after a super cyclone in Andhra, burying rotten animals.
The journey then continues over seventy-five countries in all seven continents – taking a plunge in Antarctic waters and giving away a proxy daughter in a North Pole wedding; scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef and skydiving in New Zealand; climbing Kilimanjaro, Stok Kangri and trekking to Everest Base camps in Nepal and in Tibet; voyage in the Galapagos. And of having close encounters with wild animals, such as Galapagos seals, Antarctic penguins and minke whales, tigers in India, grizzlies in Alaska, gorillas in the mist, all the big five in Africa and swimming with the giant whale shark.
This book also narrates an account of the human spirit and its warmth, even in despair, witnessed and shared during volunteering in twelve countries on five continents including Ethiopia, Bolivia, Guatemala, Mongolia and Sierra Leone.
After sleeping in an Igloo under the dancing Aurora in Greenland in March 2020, my world stopped temporarily.
During my recent community volunteering, I have been spending time with an 83-year-old engineer with severe dementia who used to travel abroad a lot. He loved looking at the world maps and pictures of places. He could remember nothing but only had glimpses of memory hearing the names of places or seeing them on the map or the picture would say, ‘I think I have been there.’
‘Memory is like a fiction’ wrote Haruki Murakami.
Soon as I began writing this book, memories flooded back with astonishing detail. I want to hold on to them and share it with the future generation.
“Travel is probably the most beautiful gift we all have,” explains the author. “Our world is so varied and unique – and I’m proud I’ve been blessed to see so much of it. In this book, I want to share those experiences with people, especially during a time when we’re all forced to stay put. It’s a great way to escape and see the world, without having to leave home.”
Continuing, “However, this is about so much more than travel. The book also homes in on the people I’ve met; the amazing mavericks and ordinary folks who pepper our world with so much warmth, love, friendship and kindness. In that respect, it’s sort of an ode to humanity – and it’s absolutely beautiful.”
‘Around the World in 65 Years’ is available now:
Paperback – https://amzn.to/36kT49G
eBook – https://amzn.to/39t8haE.
About the Author:
Born in a village in West Bengal, India, Biku Ghosh has been living and working in the UK as a specialist surgeon for over forty years. Apart from travelling to over seventy-five countries in all seven continents, he has worked as a volunteer in twelve countries in five continents. In 2011, he was awarded an OBE for his contribution to healthcare in developing countries. The author published his first historical fiction ‘Indian Immigrant’ in 2018. His new book ‘Around the world in 65 years’, an account of travelling in over 75 countries in all seven continents and volunteering in five continents, was published in December 2020.