Visit from Barnaby Rogerson and Rose Baring

Recently, we were lucky enough to welcome leading travel writer and publisher Barnaby Rogerson and writer and co-owner of Eland Publishing, Rose Baring. They talked to a small group of Bedalians about travel writing and their experiences of travel.

A series of anecdotes, all highlighting certain aspects of travel, were related and Rose talked of the effects of losing her car keys in Morocco, and the adventure she was able to have as a consequence. She then spoke of her experiences in China, where she was forced to fully realise the distinction between her life and theirs, as she watched a group of men desperately capturing some goslings and their joy at the prospect of a simple thing such a food.

Barnaby made the succinct and evocative statement: ‘we are sitting on the iceberg of privilege’, and expressed the importance of remembering this as we go about our lives, and particularly as we travel. Moreover, they emphasised the importance of making genuine connections with people – the value of eye contact and a smile – as well as learning to just live in the moment and appreciate it for what it is, rather than attempting to capture it.

On the topic of photography and media, it was remarked that we are so often manipulated into being fed the same images over and over, and these images do not necessarily reflect the reality of the countries they are portraying. Their passion and care was contagious and the fondness of which they spoke of their memories was wonderful and filled everyone present with wanderlust.

By Godelieve De Bree, 6.1