All posts by Jenn

Cheers to you

Hello Dear Followers,

We think of you all the time and want to thank you for your good wishes and ongoing support.

It’s hard doing what we do every day, but your kind words in the form of blog and social media comments, emails, Whatsapp, Messenger and Telegram messages, voicemails and donations give us so much energy. It may take us a while to respond to each of you individually, but please know that we read everything you write and feel your love. Your hellos and notes make us smile and help us believe we have what it takes to keep going.

Cheers to all of you! We love you, and we always carry you in our hearts. We are so grateful you are in our lives and part of this walking journey!

Walking onwards,

Your two happy walkers

 

One Moment: Map Love

Fatima brings out her atlas. She wants to see our walking route.

Her initial shyness has melted. Her light blue eyes dance with wonder and travel lust.

She’s 10 years old, and has flipped the pages many times. She knows where places are, and the seeds of exploration are waiting to bloom.
She has spent the afternoon soaking up details about our trip. She listens to us in English, and asks her father to translate into Farsi what she missed.

After dinner, Fatima brings out her window to the world. She has the same look we do. It’s the look of possibility. She longs to know this sweet planet we live on more intimately.

“Oh…be careful. If you look at maps too much, you may end up doing crazy trips like we do,” I joke, as I trace lines over borders, trying to erase them.

It doesn’t matter that the countries and cities are spelled in the swirling letters I can’t read. Our route is part of me, for good or for bad.
Fatima and I sit together on the colorful carpet, and zigzag our way through continents. She wants to know about Thailand, and India, and Tajikistan, and everywhere.

“She would like you to sign her book,” her father tells us, reading the anticipation in Fatima’s eyes.

We are touched. We blush. What words could we share with this lovely girl and her younger sister who inspire us as much as we inspire them?

We start, as always, with gratitude. We thank this kind family for inviting us into their lives.

I pause, thinking of the next words to write. Fatima lives in a place rich with human history, and a place cautiously holding onto a system I hope won’t hold her back.

“Find your way forward in this beautiful world. The Earth belongs to you!” I have much more to say, but they are the only nuggets of wisdom I can dream up after a long day walking.

I put down the pen, and hug Fatima as tight as I can. I want some of my wanderlust, walker’s courage and backpacker spirit to seep into her blood.

I give Fatima an extra squeeze. I want her wide-eyed innocence, enthusiasm and optimism to power the next leg of our walk.

We are generations apart, but we share map love. We walk in each other’s footsteps.

 

One Moment: Those People

Ali waves to us from the top of the hill. We wave back, reluctantly.

It’s the end of our walking day, and we are scanning the desert landscape for a suitable campsite. We have our eye on an abandoned house on the flattened section of the hill not far from where Ali is standing. Continue reading One Moment: Those People

India’s done! What’s next?

We let our feet soak for a couple of seconds in the cool, shallow pool of water. We step onto the sticky plastic mats, doing our best to ignore the clinking sounds of metal plates being tossed into the wash buckets in the busy community kitchen. We cross the elaborate archway, and stand on the hard marble floor. Our eyes are fixed on our prize: the Golden Temple.

For Sikhs, the Amritsar temple is the equivalent of the Christian’s Rome and the Muslim’s Mecca. Devotees from around the world come to bask in its welcoming glow. For me, this special place marks my official finish line for our walk in India.

Continue reading India’s done! What’s next?