When romancing about America's Wild West, some see themselves as a bakky-chewing sheriff with a tin star, a poker-playing Jude, or the fastest gunslinger this side of Cincinnati.
But I'd like to be the saddlebum - drifting off on Trigger into the setting sun, with the sky for my roof, the soil for a bed and an ample supply of baked beans.
As the timber wolves howl at a fluorescent moon, and sparks spit from the brightly burning embers of a campfire, the coffee pot gurgles and the beans sizzle in a black sooty saucepan.
And as my grubby hand scrapes up a sizeable heap of those saucy orange globes with the back of my knife, I glance up at the stars and feel as free as a sprat in the Atlantic Ocean.
One usually associates an adventure like this with the Rocky Mountains or the plains of America, but if you're in northern Thailand, just make for Phrao, where the Thai Horse Farm is waiting to saddle up and move out.
This four-year-old operation gets things off to a comfortable start by offering motorised road transport between Chiang Mai and Phrao, or a private aircraft can even be arranged on request to fly from the northern capital or Bangkok.
The Thai Horse Farm has about 12 Asian mountain horses to choose from. They may be small, but they're also strong, reliable and friendly. And when trekking in the saddle, all the necessary equipment is supplied, such as fishing tackle, hunting rifles, cooking utensils, sleeping bags, tents, thermal mats and even baked beans if you ask nicely.
Two treks are named "Goodbye Civilisation", the first of which comprises three nights and four days - an ideal canter for beginners (or saddlebums on a tight schedule).
The journey winds through small habitations with surrounding orange groves and terraced rice fields before sinking deeper into jungle, to the 200-metre Mae Vaen Noi waterfall, where it's time to bathe in the pond below it and set up camp for the night.
The trek continues along the banks of the Mae Vaen Noi River and into deeper jungle. On occasion machetes are needed to clear a path before the trees thin out and lunch is enjoyed in a Lisu hilltribe village.
In the afternoon the ride is uphill to the Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai border, and then undulating as it passes through a Lahu village and down to the "jungle farm" with a bamboo hut that will be home for the night.
Sleep should come easily after a campfire dinner overlooking forest-clad valleys and the sun setting behind distant mountains.
With two days left, there's time for more jungle challenges and a chance to splash around in another waterfall before one night back at the jungle farm and the homeward ride in the morning.
The second "Goodbye Civilisation" trip is much the same on days one to three, but the fourth leads into dense jungle and ends with a night on a floating raft. After two more days of tropical forest, steep climbs and magnificent views, it's time to turn the horses and head back towards our so-called development.
The area around Phrao is largely unspoiled - its natural beauty spreads deep across valleys and mountain peaks that rise 2,000 metres above sea level. There are few sealed roads, and many of the forest tracks lead to remote hilltribe villages, while others disappear into nothing.
The joy of the Thai Horse Farm expeditions is entering the region for 12 days without any set plan. Every step of the horse's hoof is a new adventure. Perhaps a cave is round the corner and a waterfall can be heard in the distance. And as night falls, it's time to search for a suitable place to camp.
There is no need to panic. The expedition team is very experienced and knows what direction to head in when it comes to finding food and essentials. And when stocking up in a hilltribe village so far from the nearest town or city, it's a first-class opportunity for testing the quality of the villagers' primitive lifestyle.
There are no traffic jams because there are no roads, no mobile phones because there are no radio signals. And all you can hear is the flow of a stream as it breaks over the rocks, the chirping of crickets and birds, and the breeze as it rustles gently through the trees.
So, if you want to escape from the pressures of civilisation, recharge your batteries, or just be a saddlebum like me, there's no need to visit the prairies or the Rockies. Simply drive up to Phrao, or log on to ThaiHorseFarm.com for more information.