Backpacker’s guide writer finds kindred spirits here

Travelling author Gaylyn Morgan breezed into town last week to promote her backpacker’s guide and knew instantly why people up north – where she’s based at the moment – advised her to come to Raglan.

“Everyone’s real positive here,” she enthused, a copy of her colourful Backpacker’s Practical and Spiritual Guide to the Universe in hand. “It’s what an indie (self-published) author needs.”

The 52 year old reckons she literally couldn’t give her book away in Auckland after approaching the “too mainstream” Paper Plus en route from Whangarei to Raglan.

But within minutes of her arrival downtown the local bookshop had agreed to put the 206-page guide on their shelves.

A night staying at Solscape – where she did some tarot card readings – and a quick drop-off of her “little backpacker’s bible” at the local library the next morning completed Gaylyn’s brief visit before driving south to promote the guide there.

“I’ve had a lovely time,” she told the Chronicle on leaving Raglan. “I could live here … I think I’ll be back.”

Gaylyn says she was a late starter to backpacking and entrusting her life to the universe. Just six years ago, after decades as a mother and English teacher, she went travelling “to see how the world unfolds … and attracted beautiful people into my life”.

That included the German captain – now her husband – she met while crewing on a yacht between Spain and Malta.

The couple’s yacht ‘Qi’ is now moored up in Russell, halfway through a circumnavigation of the globe. Next it’s across to Australia where the Whangarei-born author has lived most of her life.

Gaylyn decided a year or two ago to write the how-to book, which wraps up her experiences with practical tips, tricks, advice and anecdotes for young travellers.

These are offset by the spiritual side of things, she adds, like taking responsibility for your own life and doing the things you love.

“I just want to motivate people, help them realise their dreams,” she says.

Edith Symes