The journey is the reward, the reason, the lesson

Charyn Canyon, Kazakhstan 2012 (c) Adam Hughes

My friends Valérie and Gérard recently posted a great quote in a comment on this blog:

A journey does not need reasons. Before long, it proves to be reason enough in itself. One thinks that one is going to make a journey, yet soon it is the journey that makes or unmakes you.

- Nicolas Bouvier (Translated from L’Usage du monde)

I want to write more about environmental issues in the places I'm visiting. I want to have time to find local conservationists and interview them and share their stories with you. It would be fun to be your eyes around the world, showing you what the planet is like and what people are doing to protect our natural world. It's not that easy.

Language is a far bigger barrier than I expected. There are times when we meet someone who speaks a few words of English and we realize, usually with surprise and relief, that they are the first person we've spoken to besides each other in over a week. Fatigue and the logistics of arranging six date-specific visas for consecutive countries are also more preoccupying than I would have thought.

Faced with a growing list of conservation questions for which I can find no one to answer, I  find myself turning inwards to the space where I am learning about myself and the psychology of journeys - geographical, physical, emotional and intellectual journeys.

Every time I've left my home bubble, half-thinking I will go out and learn something about the world, I actually learn more about myself and uncover more questions about our world.

"Where we thought to travel outward we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with the world."

- Joseph Campbell, in The Hero With A Thousand Faces (1949)

  • Ermanno says:

    Wow. Short post this time (Julie, i wanted to read more !), but to the point, and what a breathtaking photograph. looks like a beautiful place to camp.

    • Julie says:

      Thanks Ermanno, that’s great to hear as I figured most people don’t want to read long posts. In any case, during all those hours biking I feel like I’m coming up with pages and pages of poetic prose and genius ideas…and then I get in front of a computer and it seems to evaporate. But yes, I’m also experimenting with “mini-blogs” to get myself to break the writer’s block. Adam’s photo is great, isn’t it!

  • Andrew Bray says:

    Wow, what an amazing photo! Thanks for allowing us to get glimpses of your adventure. That’s a shame to hear about genius ideas evaporating – write them down!

  • Dheiu Mading says:

    Thanks Julie, it’s good to hear and see someone write something that resonate with you! The bit about going out to learn more about the world we live in, only to learn more about ourselves is where I’m at now……The picture is EPIC Adam!!!!

    Keep up the good work Julie…. Enjoy The Pamirs!

    Remember ‘The brave may not live for ever, but the cautious do not live at all.

    ~Ashly L.

    Safe journey and always smile lots!

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