Joshua Matheson’s drive from Perth back to West Cork cemented his theory that the people of the planet are generally a wonderful bunch, he tells Jackie Keogh
HE had the idea in university but dismissed it as college talk. But the idea stuck and Joshua Matheson did indeed drive from Australia to Ireland.
‘I can’t tell you how many miles it was in total, because that’s the answer to a question I have posed as part of a raffle to raise money for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF),’ said Joshua, who returned home to West Cork on Sunday, November 6th.
It was lunchtime and his parents – Alastair and Francis of Raheen, Skibbereen – opened a magnum of champagne, which he shared with his sister, Siobhan, and friends.
The 33-year old set out nine months ago on March 10th in a Toyota Prado – ‘a good car’ – a Land Cruiser 4X4, which he bought in 2012 at a time when he was earning big bucks working for Kentz, an oil and gas construction company.
Joshua had been working for Kentz for 10 years, first as an engineer but latterly as a project manager.
A nine-month drive through 30 countries across three continents represented a break in his career. He said: ‘I knew it was time for a change.’
‘It was jammed with stuff,’ Joshua said of the Land Cruiser, which, surprisingly, is still in good condition. ‘It’s got a few dents but it has served me well – not just as a mode of transport, but also as a bedroom and a kitchen too. It even had a fridge.
‘The world is a big place,’ said Joshua. ‘I needed to make a move and I also wanted to make a point – that the world is a safe place and that people in the world are basically good.
‘Having done the trip, I can honestly say I only had luxury problems. So few things went wrong. All I experienced was the incredible generosity of people around the world.’
Joshua said: ‘I only made plans for logistics – such as making sure I was legal in a country. Everything after that was an exploration and that’s how you get to meet people.
‘It also gave me an opportunity to raise money – friends and colleagues in Australia gave donations and I kept them updated on Facebook.’
Meanwhile, Joshua has plans to write a book about his life-learning experiences entitled “Perth to Perth (and then Ireland)”, which will be published next year.
For more see: Joshua Black Matheson. See also: https://give.everydayhero.com/au/turn-left if you would like to make a direct donation to MSF.