This is My Global Pilgrimage
A Journey of Heart, Mind and Soul.
This is my journey across borders and boundaries, into deepest jungles, over vast deserts. Into the hearts and lives of many peoples and cultures… I am on this extraordinary voyage of colour, spirit and song. Life without a permanent address has become my art. To travel is in my blood. People often claim gypsy descent, yet my Romani grandparents lived in caravans for generations and never settled in one place, a lifestyle I have happily revived in my own sort of way…
I started this blog some years ago to record my journeys, in pictures, thoughts and words. I took some time out of my career to travel and ‘find myself’… Little did I know what awaited me along this long and winding road of discovery… how I would witness the evolution of a Global Pilgrimage; the revelations of a crazy, illuminated existence – the places I would find, the people I would meet along the way – the moments shared, the burden halved.
The immortal Song of the Life gifted to me through the wonders of the earth, its wildest nature, and its beautiful people…
On this journey people have called me many things – Gypsy Prince, Christopher Columbus, been compared to Byron and Dorian Gray, they said I was Born Free, Tuaregs in Sahara called me their brother, a fellow traveller hailed me as ‘Saint Sebastian’ as I travelled along the Appian Way, one lady even named me ‘Christ Carrier’ …
I have called myself An Aesthete… but I’m not really that either.
Whatever I am to others, I know for sure I am a man searching for his own Truth,
searching for a ‘God’ and the Blinding Light of Faith.
“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe” – Anatole France
I was born during a violent thunderstorm, in a blackout, came out making not a sound, facing upwards, wide violet-coloured eyes, an irregular heartbeat. Fascinations with the spiritual, the exotic and the arts started early. My eyes faded to amber with age. Singing has always been a healing-form. I wrote books and poems, eventually developed an interest in photography and began recording my findings on various mediums, including this ‘blog’.
Lived alone in Italy – first in Rome and then in Florence. Spent a lot of time in Venice, the ‘Invisible City’. I once lied my way into the Sistine Chapel, danced in Rome’s oldest fountain, woke up every morning to the bells of St. Mark’s and walked with true Venetians. In Florence I achieved a lifelong dream to sing Gospel music.
In Greece I acquired the nickname Lord Byron among Athenians, walked the ancient hills, touched the temple of Poseidon and lived in a fishing village on the Evian Gulf. In Spain I danced with the ‘Roma’ gypsies, a blind man gave me an Egyptian amulet for my journey, I danced in the most famous fountain in Seville before witnessing the passionate art of Flamenco and revitalising in an ancient Roman bathhouse.
In Avalon I danced with druids, slept on neo-pagan pilgrimage and holy site, the Glastonbury Tor, and woke up in the middle of a pagan ritual to sun worship. I rested for a while among the ancient trees of Avebury, known as the Womb of the Earth, and contemplated Stonehenge. I spent time in Paris’s ‘Sacred Heart’, became dazzled by the city lights of Brussels and wandered medieval Ghent like a poet of old… before I began exploring the Tropics.
India was a powerful land for me, crashed boldly into my soul. I felt alive and reborn. I saw a red sun rising over the Arabian Sea, spent time in a holy ashram, lived in the ‘mad city’ of Bangalore, in authentic neighbourhood Shanthi Nagar where I frequented the Jain Temple on my street corner. I was blessed in the Temple of the Bull by a Hindu priest before being invited to a Hindu Wedding where I was treated like royalty. Took public transport to Mysore where I climbed one of India’s most sacred hills and found a temple full of monkeys. I rode on top of trucks and learned how to tie a turban from locals. Caught a wild cobra on a farm in Karnataka, bathed with a herd of elephants in a river on a tiger reserve, before trekking through the deeps of the Jungle in the Northern Western Ghats where I swam alone and free…
I made multiple trips to Ghana. Ghana has become my ‘home’ in Africa and I have acquired a family there. I received a true Akwaaba in the capital Accra where I sung in a local church service, took tro-tros into the Volta Region where I lived on a slum in a house with a tin roof, an Ewe Chieftain helped me climb an untouched mountain, lived for two months in an orphanage in Kpando, where I cared for a young boy with malaria who wanted me to be his father. I paid a fisherman to take me across the vast lake Volta and then trekked deep into the Bush to search for wild elephants. Spent my 25th birthday swimming naked in West Africa’s highest waterfalls, got a tribal tattoo with blade and charcoal after camping in the jungle, fed sacred Mona monkeys by hand, met a fetish priest and danced with the Bagbor tribe around the village campfire.
I crossed the Gambian border with the help of a modern-day prophet, danced naked in a monsoon, kissed an adult crocodile and bathed in waters of a sacred fertility pool in a remote village. Lived in a fishing town at the edge of the ‘Old World’ in Senegal, played drums at a voodoo ritual, spent time on the Fathala Wildlife Reserve where I walked unchained and free with lions through untouched Senegalese Bush, tracked rare monkeys and hyenas and walked amongst a family of wild giraffe in sheer awe.
After making a journey across the Lompoul Desert in Senegal I travelled to Morocco, wandered the ancient medinas of Casablanca and Marrakech, crossed the Atlas Mountains and lived for a time on the edge of the Sahara ~ became honorary ‘brother’ to the Tuaregs, slept, ate, laughed and travelled with them into the highest dunes. Witnessed Sahara night sky, crazy sand storms and Fata Morgana. Spent time in the Holy Land, chiefly Jerusalem – prayed at the Western Wall, entered the Holy Sepulchre, and climbed the Temple Mount. Crossed the West Bank/Israel dividing wall, traversed Judaean desert and bathed in the Dead Sea, the Lowest Point on Earth, travelled deep into the Negev Desert and spent time with some of the last surviving true Bedouins…
“‘The Great’ in Great Britain…..Simply Excellent.
In this sojourn, the ‘ I ‘ will be cut and ‘The Cross’ will be born within.” – a prophecy about my Journey.
“I tell you to love this beautiful world, and it will love you back. I tell you to embrace this beautiful world, and it will embrace you back. I tell you to not run from who you are, who you were born to be, but run into your existence open and full and ready to rejoice in the light of the world… a light which has never been put out since the very creation itself.” – James Dee Clayton, Ghana, December ’15.
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