East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Money, or courage (maybe recklessness, imagination for sure)

Looks like I might need 15.000 euro, at least according to yesterday’s local newspaper, that did a short piece about a railway travel company that’s offering an Around the World by Rail package, covering 20 cities in 14 countries over a period of 56 days.
And really, to travel around the world by train?
That would be a great way to spend my final days (because really, putting together that kind of money by saving on books and movie tickets might require a few decades).

The trip as presented touches London, Geneva, Rome, Venice, Vienna, Prague, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Moscow, Ulaanbaatar, Beijing, Xian, Hong Kong, Perth, Sydney, Los Angeles, Grand Canyon, Grand Junction, Zion National Park, Chicago and New York City. It is not clear if once in New York you’re on your own, or if they’ll pack you back to London, this being hypothetically a round trip.

The 15 grands ticket is the most basic – if you want all the perks, the Museum passes and the guided tours, a private room and various whistles and bells you’ve got to double that figure.

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Looking for traveling companions (a guest post and want ad)

guestpostfeatToday, something different.
Carlos, one of the regular readers here on Karavansara, is looking for companions for a trip along the Silk Road.

Check out his plan, and if you’re interested, use this blog’s contact form (up in the right corner of this page), and I’ll get you in touch with Carlos.
Now, I leave the stage to him, so he will illustrate his plan…

I had a dream

When I was working in China, back in the nineties, when China was somehow opening to Western Industry, I often told my agent that I would like to travel through the Takla Makan.

Of course, being Chinese, my agent told me that he would be glad to organize the trip for me, and that we could go together, “when the right moment came”. And, of course, right moment never came. Either it was winter (too cold) or summer (too hot), or autumn (this autumn the moon is red, and we cannot travel under these circumstances), and of course, spring is the peak time for business.

So, I never fulfilled my dream.

Now I wonder if the moment has not arrived. I love deserts, I love to travel, I love adventure (but not too much), and I seek people with same interests. Continue reading


Three on the Silk Road

51DHEESMHZL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_OK, so I decided to complicate my life some more.
And this time I’m complicating my life for you, dear Karavansara readers.
I hope you are moved by  this.

As I mentioned, one of the “minor” (but not minor at all) gifts I got for Christmas is Stuart StevensNight Train to Turkestan.
That is an attempt at retracing the road followed by Peter Fleming and Ella Maillart in their famous China-to-India (by way of Afghanistan) journey, in 1935.

Now, the interesting bit is – both Fleming and Maillart wrote about their experiences on the road.

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vagabonding - rolf pottsThe other book I suggested to my friend Lucy as she’s planning her trip is Vagabonding, by Rolf Potts.

The book is about what the cover calls “Long Term World Travel”, but Potts’ book is also an excellent book about traveling as opposed to vacationing.
The idea is – instead of saying “one day I will go to far away lands”, just get your ass in gear and go.
Which means planning – and the book has lots of great ideas about planning and designing a travel to some far-off place – but also leaving behind a certain amount of cultural baggage.

And the book is very much about recovering the old idea of travel as discovery – of other places, of other people, but also of ourselves.
And of a different approach to, well, everyday matters.

Which is cool. Continue reading

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Traveling without money

cover38852-mediumA mixed post today – both book review and media-rich.
Now, How to Travel the World for Free has nothing to do with the Silk Road or with pulp fiction, or fantasy – but it has a lot to do with travel.
That, and it being a good, fun read, are enough for me to point it out.

In a nutshell: German journalist Michael Wigge wanted to visit Antarctica, but did not feel like spending 15.000 dollars in tickets.
So he planned for one full year a long trip – through Europe, North and South America.
A trip he would make without money.

The book details his adventures on the road, and despite the title this is not a how-to book.
It does provide a lot of information, but it is still a travelogue at heart.
It’s a fast read, and highly entertaining.

For more details, let’s hear from the author himself (don’t be distracted by gorgeous Katy Perry)