My intial plan was the direct route through Asia, and it included Afghanistan. It would have been a real challenge. From accounts of the few people in history who have walked through the entire country, I’d estimate my chances of survival at 50%. This would also mean spending 2 months in war zones, and personally, I’ve had enough of getting shot at.
After months of painfully churning the question over in my mind and finding no alternative purely on foot, a simple discussion with a friend unlocked a whole new world for me: I learn there is a border crossing, open to foreigners, leading through the grey zones from China to Pakistan. This change of plans will add 4000 km to my route, 7 more countries, and a whole year on the road: besides the extra distance, this will add 5 months of working in Georgia to avoid being in Kazakhstan in the middle of winter, and a few months of working in China to give me the time necessary for my Pakistani visa. The road won’t be easy. It will include entire months crossing the deserts of Kazakhstan and 4500 meter high passes in the Himalayas. But I am now the happiest person on earth with a new solid plan allowing me to fulfill my dream.