Home by Seven – One woman’s solo journey to ride all seven continents on two wheels
by Steph Jeavons
As a great lover of all things running and cycling I decided to offer to review this book because I thought it was about a woman CYCLING around the world. When I found out it wasn’t I was initially rather disappointed.
I had assumed the two wheels referred to a bicycle, not a motorbike. A keen fan of Anna McNuff’s writing I was expecting to identify with the writer through a mutual love of long bicycle rides. However, putting my prejudice to one side and starting the first chapter, my disappointment went away in ten seconds flat.
The scene set by the first 4 chapters is such a sharp contrast to the rest of the book. I believe they are necessary to understand the writers background and personality. The way Steph describes how her journey across all 7 continents transforms her is incredibly inspiring.
For every chapter I read I thought I had come upon my favourite scene of the book. Until the next chapter blew me away. And then the next. And the next.
Despite other people pressing their fears onto her from the beginning of her journey, and all the way through (and I must include myself here as a reader too) Steph’s positive mindset prevails throughout.
She truly believes she will be ok travelling solo around the world and that answers to any issues that may crop up will appear by themselves eventually. Unlike her body, her spirit and positive mindset appear to be made of steel.
The book includes beautiful photographs but even without those Steph is able to paint a very vibrant picture in my head of the locations she visits on her journey. The language she uses to describe the areas she touches upon is concise and exciting.
Looking at the photographs only confirms the beauty and challenging nature of the terrain she travels through.
It is clear that Steph loves people fiercely. She sees the good in her fellow being where ever she goes, pointing out their generosity all over the globe.
The journey conveys a restlessness in Steph, a need to keep moving, a constant desire to explore and push boundaries to see what may be hiding around the next bend. As Steph points out “I always love the beginning of a trail. It’s a mixture of excitement and trepidation”.
I very much connect with this feeling.
It is clear through Steph’s writing that the journey is a therapeutic process for her.
It is amazing how our view of the world can be very much influenced by what we read in the press. Steph’s book is the antidote to this, taking away prejudice and exposing another view which is often beautiful and very worthy of our attention. Steph illustrates the local friendliness and beauty so well, I am now able to look at our world through different eyes. The world needs more books like this one to redress the balance and restore the lack of connection we have to other parts of our world.
Reading this book is an opportunity to reassess the world we live in and appreciate that no matter where in the world we live we can connect on a human level. This book will stay with me for a long time for all the right reasons and I am sure I will reread it often over the next years.
Reviewed by Marianne Mulder
From Mercenaries to Missionaries by Martin Murphy
Marathon runner’s will be familiar with the concept of “hitting the wall” which happens when all their energy stores have been completely emptied leaving both, mind and body wanting to quit. Martin Murphy uses this as a metaphor to describe business owners who reach a stage in their business lifecycle which seems impossible to move beyond, he calls this the “leader wall”.
If the leader wall sounds like something you would prefer to avoid then you need to treat building a business like running a marathon and I believe Mercenaries to Missionaries will become your trusted training guide through the process, one that will be reached for regularly.
Martin Murphy, is an international coach and trainer specialising in leadership, teamwork and personal development. Much of what Murphy has learnt about leadership has come from his experiences as a former Special Forces soldier.
Mercenaries to Missionaries is his latest publication and has clearly been written with business owners and senior leaders in mind. There is a clear focus on high performing teams, how to build them, how to develop them and how to lead them. The advantages of establishing high performing teams in business becomes clear through the book. For me, the key take home point is that high performing teams are agile, they can adapt quickly to change, and we need agility in business now more than ever.
Throughout the book Murphy presents his new methodology in a clear and convincing way. The content is easily digestible and thought provoking throughout. With practical strategies and exercises along the way, the reader will be personally challenged and I expect will make changes that create real impact in the way they run and grow their business as a result of reading this book.
If you are hungry to learn more about collaborative working, empowerment of both yourself as a leader and your workforce then this book should move to the top of your book pile.
Reviewed by Siobhan Watson
Siobhan Watson commissioned from the world renowned, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2010 and went on to spend six years serving in the Royal Logistic Corps including an operational tour of Afghanistan in 2012. Now she is the North Wales based Mortgage and Protection Adviser for Mainly Money Matters, an independent and whole of market mortgage advice firm specialising in residential, buy to let and holiday let mortgages.”