I’d already heard about some Jacqui Furneaux’s adventures with her globe-dawdling 500cc Enfield. There have been a couple of magazine articles, not least in Overland Magazine, and some guest appearances at bike shows.
Now, having read the full story of her personal odyssey in ‘Hit The Road Jac’, I find myself drawn further in to her outlook on life, ideas that have been quietly inspiring me for a while now.
There’s something very attractive about her style of travel; unhurried, optimistic, spontaneous.
This is the often surprising story of an already highly capable person, whose typically conventional life is upended in an equally conventional manner but who responds to her change in circumstances in ways that many find surprising in someone of her age and background.
By remaining open to what the world can be like, Jacqui Furneaux has developed a capacity for self-reliance, based on a kind of soft-strength rather than the sort of mobile siege-mentality that some travellers feel they need to adopt.
An independent spirit responding to the people she meets with a happy-go-lucky openness to the kindness of strangers, based on her growing self-awareness rather than simple naivety.
Told with understated, matter-of-fact candour, Jacqui’s heart-warming story is one of self-discovery at a time when the world is in flux just as much as she is.
Through her account of romance on the road, fending-off amorous sea-dogs, dodging pirate attacks, facing adversity with courage, we begin to see how Jacqui’s upbringing prepared her to grow in confidence when faced with the unexpected.
I’m trying to avoid using the word ‘memoirs’; it seems such an outdated term to use, suggesting the reader can expect the rambling reminiscences of past-glory and dry facts gone musty with age. But the best of memoirs are anything but that and, if it seems a somehow inappropriate word to use when reviewing a motorcycle travel book, just consider how many great memories we all have as the result of a willingness to go places on two-wheels.
Published by Shuvvy Press, September 2017
Review by Nich Brown