After nearly thirty years in the publishing world, Jennifer Kavanagh became a Quaker and changed her life. At 54, she packed a few belongings and set off with her partner Stephen on a year’s journey in the tradition of travelling Quakers, to connect with old and new spiritual influences and “to gain a new perspective, seeing how life is in developing countries, away from the spoiled affluence of this insular part of the world.” Why would two people a few years from retirement give up a comfortable life in exchange for discomfort and uncertainty? How do you reconcile yearnings to be in the world and out of it, everywhere and nowhere? The author gives a frank and humorous account of their experiences, stormy relationship, and spiritual journey.
As they travel through the Americas, the Pacific, Thailand, India, Mongolia, and Russia – meeting others of like mind and heart, helping with social projects where they can – Jennifer is very much aware of how she is changed, and of how people are changed for better or worse by rich outsiders. She sees how corruption and economic obstacles impede poor communities, and reflects on the world before and after 9/11, when they were in Canada. The book is full of encounters with the most remarkable people of all faiths and none.