7+ years of Solo Travel ~ My Journey

Writer, Photographer, Global Pilgrim + Aesthete
James Dee Clayton

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I came into this life with humble beginnings – and I seek a humble ending. But what I look for along the way is to acquire a life worth living, a day worth getting out of bed for, a smile worth sharing, a hand worth holding. A place worth finding. I just want to look back at my time and regret only things I did do
never something I didn’t.”

– 2014

The voice of God can be found amongst the highest mountains, and between the smallest grains of sand… if you only have the ears to hear it. The essence of a pilgrimage is to move, yet, at some point along the way, you realise you do not move at all ~ the pilgrimage moves you.”

– 2016

The world has many ways, and the eyes have many ways to see… to illuminate, and to blind. But once the eyes of the soul are opened, nothing remains covered. All things become clear as living water.”

– 2020

Mostly I have travelled solo, lived in different parts of our wide and wonderful world… yet I am never alone for long. I learn about the world by living with its People ~ ‘the jewel of Creation…’

I will be forever thankful to all those who have been a part of this journey, both on the Road, and here, on this site… to me all the comments and emails I received are the real treasures of this world. This is my Global Pilgrimage ~ the story of my life, and the people and places which become a part of my story along the way. I, myself… I am in awe. I am in awe. This is my expression of awe. One of a deep love, for humanity, our potential, and the truth left in the world; the truth of our deepest hearts. This is my ‘art’, my ‘little creation’, my devotion to the works of a Higher Creator.

“The Truth shall make you free…” – Jesus, the Christ

Ever looked at the night sky and seen the milky way with your bare eyes, heard the sounds of the deep jungle with your own ears, or left your shoes far behind as you ran through the hot desert barefoot? If you have, then you know that there is more to this life than we are lead to believe, that there is a deeper Truth to uncover… that there is more to this human race and the forces of our nature than the forces of man will ever want you to realise. Some of us realise this. Some of us take this gift of life and run with it. Deep down, in our soul, all of us were Born Free.

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Do not let the Devil feast on your freedom. Seek, and truly you will find…

This has been a journey both within and without. I have searched the world, I have search my soul. It hasn’t always been easy or comforting. I have found many things, tested my waters with oil ~ looked hard within for Truth of my making, through all its pain, smoke and mirrors. Artists are witnesses to Creation, not the makers. I have learnt that knowing thyself is key to being a pure vessel, to being as open and forgiving as possible… Let the Light reveals the shadows.

LOVE and self-mastery free the soul from ‘passions’; reading and contemplation deliver the mind from ignorance; the state of prayer places it with God Himself.” – Saint Maximus the Confessor

This walk with God, this pilgrimage in the outer world, has taught me many things, about the ‘kosmos’ and myself. It has taught me to love more, to let go… To seek, to forgive. To move more… and how to be still. This journey has taught me that we are surrounded by both Truth and Lie at all times, and that the Lie is much easier to believe.

“Know the world in yourself. Never look for yourself in the world, for this would be to project your illusion…”
– Ancient Egyptian Proverb

I am not these deeds or these illusions. This journey is my past and I do not belong to it, nor its beautiful shackles… This part of my life has been a voyage of healing and a seeking of Truth. I am merely a man of faith, who believes and sees the goodness in all he can, who is grateful for this gift of life granted by the Father. I am someone with an intense passion for Humanity, and Creation… for voyage, and the metamorphosis of travel. Yet more than I am, I am not. For everyday I am learning… and everyday I am changing. Forever the Novice. Just a ‘Witness’ to the wonders of Creation…

“I have looked in all places, behind every door and into the eyes of many worldly men. The only lasting thing I have found, of any value and perpetual comfort to my soul, is undoubted belief in God. I owe my life, and all its deeds, to He…” – 2019

Thank you for joining me!
I love to read and respond to your comments. Keep the flame of faith sheltered in your heart… Shine Your Light. Always explore. Always seek. Always forgive. Trust me, you can travel the whole world and learn nothing… the greatest voyage is the one taken through infinite realms of the soul. This website, and all the quotes and pictures, have been recorded at different points in my life and journey. If you do not agree with some parts, good! This journey, like my life, is quite imperfect, quite incomplete, and, ultimately, one great lesson of man. My intention is only to show what I have seen, some of what I have learnt, in the hope that others may connect and gain something for their own voyage. I am not a teacher, just a student 🙂

Follow the Journey

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“He who loves little, gives little. He who loves more, gives more. and he who loves beyond measure, what has he to give?
He gives himself!”

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  1. Your profile just jumps off the page at me! And so does your freedom. I share your lust for life, and I appreciate your openness/honesty. Keep sharing. Best, Maisie 🙂

  2. Wonderful inspiring read (and high five for shooting film!) Makes me want to take the train anywhere at this very moment! But I just came back from Venice’s splendid carnevale this weekend and now I’m back to school in Prato…I’ll leave the traveling for next weekend.
    This feels like my imaginary bucket list, things I’d love to do, but school and societal expectations prevent me from. Normalities of an average life getting in the way of how I see myself.
    I’ve been in Europe since September studying and doing my fair amount of solo travel, finding more of myself and of other living, other ways of being and thinking. Now I’m my own favourite travel companion.
    My worst fear is being trapped in a place, life passing me by sort of thing. I’m addicted to going, to motion. I studied in Spain, and am now studying in Italy, and I’m looking towards studying in Thailand next year.
    But I fear what will happen when all my semesters are over? I don’t want social conformity to catch up to me as I’ve spent all this time to avoid it.
    Can I ask you, how did you begin? Is this travel interspersed with a different life, or is this your life as it is?

    1. WOW, thank you Patricia – it seems we are similar souls indeed. I’m so glad we can connect this way. I’ll start by saying that how you see yourself is how you TRULY ARE, how you were ‘born to be’. If society and her MANY expectations are getting in the way of you just simply being you, then why are you doing it? What’s it all for?! It’s a hard thing to hear, I know. I’ve struggled for many years trying to shake-off the confinements of social expectation, community ideals – what I ‘should or shouldn’t be’ – but don’t be fooled: It’ll never get you anywhere trying to be somebody else’s vision – it’s a flawed existence, and someday it will catch you up, bite you in the bum, and shattered everything you thought you were – the fortress we build up around ourselves throughout our lives – our ‘personal concept’. It’s all to protect the ego – that doesn’t like to feel vulnerable, open, exposed. A defense mechanism, so to speak. I began the slow destruction of my personal concept when, at the age of seventeen, I decided not to go to university, full stop, and spent a lot of time alone, away from all my friends, teachers – people that no longer served my personal progress – as a soul, a spirit, a person – not just a number, another student, another tick in a box… I couldn’t do it. People all around me went a bit crazy – couldn’t believe I’d just ‘give it all up’ – especially my school – I was Head Boy! But giving up a life that I didn’t want to lead in the first place didn’t seem like a loss to me at the time… still doesn’t. I spent a lot of time alone, exploring my ‘inner voice’, letting time work its magic, and eventually I worked out what was calling me – travel. And that was that. I know not everyone’s the same as me – I am a bit of a rebel. I cringe and shy away at the first sign of conformity… it’s one of my complexes… But moving to Europe, studying in Spain, Italy (my first love) and Thailand (haven’t been yet…)?? Sounds amazing! And if you’re happy doing what you’re doing then by all means carry on! …of course, as you say, your courses will end… then what? Well, there are many things you could do – my first bit of advice is NOT TO TAKE A CRAPPY JOB in haste, and fear that life might, just… STOP… …Let it stop. What’s the worry? Clear you head and let your heart speak to you. Your spirit knows what excites you – and what excites you is what you’re MEANT to do – your head has all the doubts, the rationale – but the heart is not foolish – it KNOWS you can do whatever you want… with determination, of course! If you want it bad enough – get it! The world is there – seize it! Everyday is another chance. Just keep that logical mind quiet – the heart beat may be fainter, but it is consistent – it beats for a cause – YOUR cause. Connect, make a change, take a leap – and NEVER LOOK BACK.

      J xx

      1. Thank you for your response!! 🙂 I do indeed know one thing- haste isn’t for me, and neither are crappy jobs! I always tell myself my backup life plan is a flight attendant….. well, once I figure out my actual life plan..or once I let things fall into place 🙂

        1. You’re truly welcome. In some ways, haste isn’t for me either – when the right opportunities come my way I grab them with both hands… but when they’re not there, the timing isn’t right. Give it up, and like you say, things fall into place. Just never give up on your dreams. You can have anything you want. Trust yourself. J x.

  3. How fortunate to have learned so much so early in life. Enjoyed the reading. Glad you’ve stopped by Travels of Bogie. Look forward to your future discoveries. Donna

  4. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I loved this James. I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re
    going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  5. Hello! Wow I love your Italian post! Venice! How lovely really is so nice to read! I never really get in to blogs but yours yes! I enjoy reading it on my phone . Each one is like a nice new thing I can look at instead of Facebook and watts app!
    But you are naughty I am late for my coffee with the girls now!
    Thank you , mucho gracias

  6. Travel is a very exciting thought. Maybe not possible for me right now – but I’ll definitely travel along with you!

    Thanks, Lindsey Heart.

  7. Wow. James! What a wonderful biography. I’ve been looking round your site. Such a lovely read. Good luck on all your future journeys and travels. When will we have another installment?

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