Here it is! My dream voyage finally in place. Seven years ago I said to a friend that I was too old to take this trip and I listened to myself list the many excuses as to why I should not and could not attempt such a trip. Then, early in 2016, things happened. Friends, my age, had heart attacks, strokes, cancer. Some survived, a few did not. My husband was critically ill and I had an accident requiring surgery. Then in October of that year, I had a sudden realization, maybe an epiphany, maybe not, but the clarity to know that this was my chance to travel the Silk Road. If I was going to go, it was now. So I began. And today, I am one month away from boarding Egypt Air plane to Beijing. The trip will take two months.
My plan is to traverse China mainly by train. In the ‘stans’ most transportation will be by road. My interests are many. Though I am well aware that this journey is late in the context of the ancient silk road still, I will see what has survived in the cultures and crafts and of course, experience the land that hundreds of thousands of people have travelled and have met their fate.
My plan is to share this experience through this blog. As many of you know, I have a strong dislike for social media but with the strict orders of some friends, I have added my name to Instagram. My goal is to write about subjects that interest me on my blog and post a picture or two on Instagram that connects to the blog. This seems rather cumbersome to me but I am told this is what I should do. If all fails, I will resort to keeping a diary, a scrapbook, and a picture album to be shared on this blog at a later date. (Update one week before travels: I have studied Instagram and have decided that it is not for me. It is not the platform that I seek to share my experiences so I have deleted my account.)
Much of my interest about the Silk Road stems from research, studying, photographing and writing about traditional crafts in Egypt and Nigeria. Indigo, silk, glassblowing, equestrian festivals, bread making are just a few of the subjects I will seek out. More over, I am fascinated with the movement of Islam through these countries and have many opportunities to visit Muslim communities throughout this trip. But too, I am well aware that while something is sought after another thing is found.
The original mission of this blog is to archive my work and share my deep connection to Egypt and Nigeria. Bear with me, as I change writings to a travelogue for the duration of this journey. It will be experimental, no doubt a challenge, and most definitely, an opportunity.