Hit The Road, Jac! is an unusual travel memoir.
Jacqui Furneaux was fifty when she took off travelling for seven years on a motorbike. Not just any motorbike, but an Enfield. For anyone (like me) who is not aware, the Enfield (or Royal Enfield) is the longest-lived motorcycle design in history, though sadly no longer built in England; they are now manufactured in India, where Jacqui proudly bought her own bike at the start of her journey.
A little back-story: needing to get away from a post-marriage break-up, Jacqui met up with Hendrikus, a Dutchman with a motorbike who she’d met backpacking in Asia. Having kept in touch, Hendikus asked Jacqui to buy her own motorbike and go travelling with him. She’d previously owned motorbikes, so was open to this suggestion.
What follows is a wonderful journey through some amazing places, encountering generous and kind humans of this world. Jacqui’s route took her through Asia, Australasia, South and Central America. There were hardships, difficult times and painful partings, but these were balanced with the beauty and wonder of the natural and manmade world. Jacqui learnt to fix her own bike or accept help when it was offered. She survived a broken leg, numerous border crossings, dealt with complex documents for both herself and her bike, slept out in the open and went where the flow of life took her. She may have felt she was running away from one life, but she created another one which most women in their fifties would never dream of.
The narrative is written from Jacqui’s memory and diary entries, sometimes snippets, other times as longer passages. There are a few delightful pictures, but I found myself easily picturing much of Jacqui’s journey from the words on the page. I like unusual travel memoirs and this was an enjoyable read. Yes it could do with another proofread, but I was happy to overlook the errors to enjoy the ride.
Recommended to anyone who enjoys a travel memoir. This would make a great gift, perhaps for friends celebrating a significant birthday.
View all my reviews On Goodreads
“Read this and you’ll want to go on an adventure. Jacqui’s tale is not just obviously inspiring, but her story makes you think about the pleasures of nature and simplicity; about taking the time to just stand and breathe life in, something we all quite wrongly think we don’t have the time for. Her words reminded me of myself as a child, being inventive, imaginative and at times pretty cheeky to get what I wanted. Though clearly tough and dangerous at times, her journey seemed to create joy, a self made joy. Nothing better. I’m a huge fan of her trip, it’s made me think…… I bet it will make you think too….!” SUZI PERRY
7 years, 20 countries, no plan.