Why do we travel? Why do we leave the familiar? Why do we leave friends, family, and routine?
There are so many reasons to travel to foreign lands and everyone goes for their own reason. I am on a flight to Beijing, China right now to meet the people of the world. There are over 200 nations, 16,000 people groups, and 7 billion people out there. I want to get to know these people, see how they live, experience their culture, and learn from them.
Have you ever thought of the person living a completely normal life in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan or Sheki, Azerbaijan? Have you ever even heard of these places? Just because you never knew these places existed doesn’t mean there aren’t people just like you and I living and breathing normal lives. They have eyes and ears. They have jobs and families. They have thoughts and emotions. They have national pride and the will to survive another day.
Sometimes it can be hard to relate to these people. The tradition of our cultures lead us to different languages, foods, and styles of clothing. Our geography and climate affect our jobs and how we build our shelters. On my journey, I want to celebrate these differences, but also find those similarities that make these people real and relatable. That moment when a site breaks the language barrier and when a handshake delivers a message of friendship and when an embrace destroys all prejudice. We are all human and sharing our humanity goes a long way. People want to feel significant and loved.
That is why I travel: to make these people known and important, and then to share their stories with you.
This is a 6 month, overland journey, meaning it will be seamless. On the long, winding path of the silk road, I will see civilizations merge and transition. I will see gradual changes in culture, yet a cohesion between them all. My quest to meet the people of the world will take me through China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Italy, France, Andorra, Spain, and Portugal. Make sure you follow along as I share these peoples stories!