Wilfred Thesiger was in the midst of his second crossing of Arabia’s Empty Quarter in 1947 when he stopped and wrote of the Jilida area in the south-west corner of the country: “It was very still with the silence which we have driven from our world.”

Haunted by that line for decades, I think it is more important than ever to take the time to search for that same silence and stillness, and while it might seem an impossible task in this era of relentless noise, non-stop news, and creeping industrialisation, those places are still there. They just take some finding.

Please join me as I travel to some of the world’s most desolate and inhospitable places on foot and by bicycle, canoe, and four-wheel-drive in search of Thesiger’s spirit.

All lovingly documented in print. Just like Wilfred did, half a century ago.

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