Journey is one of those books that begins fast and furious and gets better. I can't really comment on the aikido lessons, I don't practice it, but the book is full of amazing life lessons that anyone remotely interested in living should want to learn. It is also a lot of fun, although nothing at all like his first book, On Mastering Aikido.
The premise is that a graduating student wants to take a journey to the high mountains of Nepal and his parents aren't able to accompany him. They are willing to pay for his journey as long as he finds someone to lead the trek. His Sensei, an experienced trekker in Nepal, agrees to lead and once word gets out a group of students from his school all want to go.
These are not your average students, nor would they be. They include a pair of Turkish women, a genuine rocket scientist from NASA, and a race car driver. It sounds weird, but it works in a fine fashion. The touching scene when Linden and his wife embrace before the trek left my heartstrings aching. His storytelling is superb, and his literary sense finely honed.
I don't want to reveal much more except to say I could not put this book down and highly recommend it to anyone, Aikido person or not. Let me leave you with just a small teaser, a line from somewhere in the book.
'"The mind bending, unbelievable mass of Cho Oyo dominated the entire northern view, it's whiteness blinding against the sapphire. I felt myself slipping into a higher place and pulled back focusing on Christian. I waited and saw his realization,his wonder, his becoming... And so I left him there alone, standing on the backbone of the Earth and reaching out to touch the face of God.'.
As Mr. Linden says, "Good trekking."