change of plans

Turkish Kurdistan, August 2017

A new road through Russia

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.

4 tiny thoughts on this page

  1. Hi Ben, we do not know each other, but I love following your adventures and discovering the world off the beaten path with your blog. Honestly, I am kind of relieved that you gave up the idea of crossing Afghanistan. But I am wondering why you chose to climb up the Himalayas and walk through Cachemire (I guess that’s the plan?) which is also a war zone. What are the reasons why you are not walking through Iran from North-West to South-East and then directly through Pakistan (thus avoiding Afghanistan)? Would it be too dangerous? Too desert? Or do you just prefer seeing more countries?
    I wish you best of luck and happiness. Take care!

  2. Hello friend! I’m glad you’re curious about my journey and thank you for your kind words. To answer your question, my very first plan was to go through southern Pakistan. But I hadn’t done much research, and now I know the truth: it is a region called Balochistan, and it is at war. Violence is comparable to that in Afghanistan, and plus, they wouldn’t let me cross it on foot: they would put me on a military escort as stated by their law regarding foreigners.

    So the question solved itself quite clearly. At least my choice now is easy!

Leave a Reply

(* Don't worry man, your email address won't be given to anyone)