Andrew McCarthy was one of my ‘heroes’ in movies of the 90’s.
He was a quiet, unassuming young man in some of them, the
best friend in others, along with being the love interest
in “Pretty In Pink.” (My daughters grew up watching him and
I was always glad he kept his actions, for the most part,
clean cut and decent. There were several including “St. Elmo’s
Fire” where he was included in a group that was called the
“brat pack,” which was different by a generation from the
“Rat Pack” which included Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.
In both groups, carousing and drinking was an element, for
some, they were mostly going through a phase but Andrew
McCarthy admits to being an alcoholic and becoming sober in
Andrew made his ‘fortune’ in movies, then went on to become
a director, along with his new pursuit of being a travel
writer for “National Geographic Traveler.” It has been a
year since he had his book published, “The Longest Way
Home: One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down.”
In this book, he uses an unusual approach with his travel
writing, going through his anecdotal life’s journey up
until he took off to explore the world. He uses his varied
experiences as actor, director and writing production
scenes to look at the way nature, history, and landmark
places fit into his world view.
He likes more the idea of the journey, rather than the
outcome. He likes meeting varied peoples, like when he
rode along with hundreds of Brazilians in hammocks,
their scenery the length of the Amazon River.
He enjoyed a two month long trip through 7 countries
to see, from South Africa through to Tanzania. There
are photographs, for readers that like visuals, in his
gorgeous book. In 2005, he took his 8 year old son to
the Sahara Desert. The vastness of the sand, his seeing
the distinctive mountains of sand, had an impact on his
Another wonderful and life-changing trip was on the
“Camino de Santiago,” which begins in France and crosses
the Pyrenees Mountains, and ends in Santiago de Compostela.
He felt that trip ‘changed his life,’ probably the most.
(Read more about this, and other travels in his book or
in book reviews!) His discoveries in Laos, Cmabodia and
Viet Nam ‘thrilled him.’
In a quotation that reveals Andrew McCarthy’s world view
“People don’t travel because they’re afraid. I don’t think
it’s (about) time. I think it’s fear. If we traveled the
world, we’d be less fearful of people, and if we were less
fearful then, the world would react to us less fearfully.
My goal is to change the world, one trip at a time.”
Andrew’s “hero” and mentor for his trips goes back to Mark
Twain’s cross country, American journeys in his lifetime.
Here is one of McCarthy’s favorite Twain quotation:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.”
Andrew McCarthy, also a husband and father, sometimes feels
‘lonely’ at home. He tries to explain ‘loneliness’ to others
by saying it is like missing opportunities and adventures.
Compared to being on the road, where he never feels ‘alone.’
Because of seeking and finding others in places that he will
learn more about, loneliness is different during his travels.
There is an expectancy and excitement to being away from home,
in an unfamiliar place. Although I did not see the word ‘bliss’
anywhere in his reviews or interviews, I feel Andrew McCarthy
has found just that.
How will you find your ‘bliss’ in this new year of 2014?