Born and raised in county Waterford, Ireland (where she still lives), Dervla Murphy is one of the most talented travel writers in the world. Now in her eighties, she’s been to numerous countries on most continents and has over twenty books filled with stories from the treks to show for it. Her preferred mode of locomotion is a bicycle, although she switches to other transports when the situation requires it (e.g. when she’s injured).
Dervla Murphy’s journeys are extremely budget-friendly: her first cycling trip, a six month journey from Ireland to India cost her 64 pounds. True, that was back in the 60′s, but even so – that is extra thrifty. When it comes to accommodation, she often stays with people met on the road or camps wild, usually there are no transport costs (cycling is free!) and her other needs are limited. She’s known for carrying few possessions, even on long journeys – an ability fast disappearing in modern world.
She doesn’t have much of ‘proper’ education, having left school at 14, but you would never guess it from her books. Her writing style is rich and engaging, with just the right balance between description and reflection. She appears to be quite a character, kind and cheerful, tough when she needs to be and politically incorrect to the utmost (which is one of her most endearing traits). Whatever else you can say about Murphy’s books, they are never dull.