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Monday, September 6, 2021

'Tested . . . Then Coming Back'


Thank God for being a writer, because you do sort of find out what you think by the process of writing.  I'm not one of those true writers who can't bear not to be writing. Yet it's one of the most important things in my life.” – Robyn Davidson

While her career of traveling and writing about her travels has spanned 35 years, this Australian anthropologist and writer is best known for her book Tracks, about her 1,700-mile trek across the deserts of west Australia using camels.

Born this date at Stanley Park, a cattle station in Miles, Queensland, she is the second of two girls. Her mother died by suicide when Davidson was 11.  After going to boarding school in Brisbane, she earned a music scholarship to college but decided she was more interested in biology and zoology.  After moving to Alice Springs, she started working with camels and developed the idea that would become her best selling book (and eventually movie).   For two years she trained camels, learned how to survive while trekking the desert, and developed a deep interest in the nomadic lifestyle.

The majority of Davidson's work since then has been traveling with and studying nomadic peoples. She has studied different forms of the nomad lifestyle—including those in Australia, India, and Tibet – and either written about them or is planning to do so in the near future.

“If you think of all the enduring stories in the world, they're of journeys,” she said. “Whether it's 'Don Quixote' or 'Ulysses,' there's always this sense of a quest - of a person going away to be tested, and coming back.”



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