first I want to tell you that I like your website very much. Therefore I visit it frequently and find it very informative and entertaining too!
Right now I have some questions and would be happy to get answers from you.
For your recent trip to eastern europe I ask myself if you are hiking there too? For me it is hard to imagine, that somebody who hiked so many miles during the last years and obviously enjoyed it, simply can give it up, to start something new, like it seems for me with your travelling to europe and your upcoming african voyages.
It seems like you do what you want to do in your life, free of economic pressure. Surely I understand your message that everybody should live his own life. But I think most people are trapped in their obligations to family etc, and of cause also the need to earn money to make a living.
What do you think, can you live the life you live because you were lucky to sell your company interests which gives you financial independence or are you sure that you always would find a way to do what you want even without that luck?
I am surprised with how light your gear for the long trails was, even compared with other long distance hikers. I understand the philosophy behind it, and am sure that there are many advantages when traveling that ligtht, but ask myself how often you had situations when you wished to have other gear, for example warmer clothes or a real tent in the storm?
Lastly a practical question: I consider hiking the Hayduke trail in the Canyon country of Arizona and Utah next year. It is recommended to use the 7,5 Minute maps there, which would lead to a mountain of paper and quite an expense, too. How did you deal with the map problem on your hikes?
I frequently already hiked in wilderness ares with large scale maps for example this year in northern Yukon with 1:200.000 or in Mongolia 2006 with russian military maps at 1:500.000 but I am aware that the canyon country is not easy in topographic terms.
Do you have any suggestions for me?
Looking forward to hear from you and wishing you luck in your east european travels
P.S: If you come to germany drop me a line!