11.21.2013

out of eden walk

On my drive into work today I was listening to NPR (that's the true sign you're becoming a grownup, you enjoy listening to the news and talk radio) and they were interviewing a National Geographic Fellow named Paul Salopek.  Paul is taking on the task of...
Retracing on foot the global migration of our ancestors in a 21,000-mile, seven-year odyssey that begins in Ethiopia and ends in Tierra del Fuego.
You can follow his journey here at Out Of Eden Walk, as well as in National Geographic. As I was listening to his interview I was taken back by his words and how he was describing his walk. He did not dwell on the pain he might have felt traveling 20 miles a day, day after day, in the dessert, often in war torn countries. In fact, it was the opposite, he kept describing it as something that felt right in his bones. He kept talking about the people and nomads he is meeting along the way. He described the walking as if his body knew 3 miles per hour was the perfect speed to travel, to take everything in, that his body knew humans were meant to be on the move, like it is what we were put on this earth to do. 
Each step we take is an arrested plunge, a collapse averted, a disaster braked. In this way, to walk becomes an act of faith. We perform it daily: a two-beat miracle—an iambic teetering, a holding on and letting go. For the next seven years I will plummet across the world. (via)
He says he is on a journey and that he is chasing ghosts, but not the past.
"I don't want this to be misperceived as a journey about the past," he says. "I'm using the past as a road map. I'm using what scientists are telling us are the closest approximations of how we dispersed out of the mother continent, Africa, about 50,000 to 70,000 years ago." 
But, he adds, "it's very much about the present day. It's about how we've changed the world, and how the world is being radically altered in our view by such things as the Internet. I'm starting out this walk with about 35 percent of the world wired. By the time I reach Patagonia in 2020, about 80 to 90 percent will be wired." (via)
I find Paul's trip fascinating, crazy, but fascinating and beautiful at the same time. I can't even begin to imagine being so alone and isolated, yet being so immersed with the world and its people at the same time. I have not had the opportunity to travel much yet, I always have excuses - lack of money and fear of trying something new being the top two... but this journey makes me want to experience life and the world in a new way. I am not saying I need to travel by foot on a global trek, but Paul's story does make me want to experience the world in a way I have never before, much like Cheryl Strayed's book Wild makes me want to appreciate  and experience nature, specifically my home in the Pacific Northwest on a deeper level. 


Both of these storytellers set out on their own personal journey for vastly different reasons, but I am so impressed, fascinated, and inspired by their determination and commitment, not to mention their ability to be on their own. I want to be strong and independent like this. I want to be in touch with myself in a way I think only experiencing the world can help us do. I want to be able to create my own story of travel. My good friend Caitlin and her boyfriend Andrew just quit their jobs and left for 3 months of travel and I envy them. I want that experience. I am on a mission to start one. 

Cheers to travel. 

<3 BB 

12 comments

Rachel Lloyd said...

WHAT! this is insane. That is a long walk. haha I also listen to NPR haha no judgements!

Kelli @She Crab Soup said...

I love the idea of it but I'm not that person. However, if you were to write a blog about your journey I would most definitely follow along as I find this sort of thing fascinating.

I read a blog called The Bauble Dept by a girl named Allison. Her and her husband bought and old sailboat and refurbished it. Now they are sailing down the East coast of the US. Her pictures are beautiful and their story is so interesting.

Kasey Lynne said...

super cool, but that fool is crazy.

Helene in Between said...

i wish i could be so cool. that is awesome. i will have to follow along with the journey!

Lauren said...

I love NPR for this kind of stuff. I love home and normalcy but there is so much to see in the world that I would love to experience more of it.

Rachel Sedaker said...

So... I'm reading this while listening to NPR. Nerd alert.

Travel has always been important to me, so I've always taken the opportunities that presented themselves. It has definitely shaped who I am and made me stronger and pushed me in ways that nothing else could. If it's something you really want to do- go for it! Look for a way to do it within your budget (I know, that's a hard one). It really is all it's chalked up to be.

Kalyn V said...

That is so awesome and terrifying at the same time! I will definitely have to follow along.

Melissa Suggitt said...

Thanks for showing us this. i will definitely start following his journey. it's such an interesting concept.

Life of Whimsy said...

Wow, that's incredible! I wish I could quit my job and go travel. One of my biggest regrets was not doing more traveling before going to college. Sigh...

Amanda - Voyage of the MeeMee said...

Wow. This is pretty amazing. It takes a special person to do something like this. I feel like a damn BUM now! haha :P

JumpingJE said...

Mkay let's go to Mexico??

MacKensie said...

This is wonderful. I'm down. Bring me with?