“I’m a traveling man. Made allot of stops all over the world” Rick Nelson’s Traveling Man. Oh yes! That does bring back so many precious memories of a rambunctious teenager. As I grew older and somewhat wiser the travels that I made only enhanced my appreciation of the glorious wonders of the world in which we live. Even though there are so many places with so much blight and woe, where man’s inhumanity to man and nature abounds an exhilaration of the soul engulfs my persona in the far away places that I have been.
From the frigid conditions in Puto Bay, Alaska to the sunny shores of the Caribbean no where can one experience the fullness of the world unless traveled. Across the Atlantic thousands of miles away is virtually another world that seems to stand still as if in another time. Where man and animal have formed a working partnership that has been carried on for thousands of years. Untouched by the marvels of modern technology over half the worlds population live as they have always lived. All one has to do is to travel to Turkmenistan where a culture and way of life are really a giant step back in time. As William Hazlitt once said “In traveling we visit names as well as places. Names that raise the pulse and race the brain.” The eye catching vista’s of Islamic Architecture and culture with so much history is the next best thing to actual time travel.
It is too bad and really sad that today with all this wondrous technology readily available somehow is lost the personable side of human communication. Where different cultures continue to clash instead of co-exist. Where differences of race, creed, nationalities, and religions continue to manifest distrust, discord, and distention that keeps igniting the fuel that feeds fear, hate, and loathing against their fellow man. The understanding of different cultures or religions begins with the old fashioned way down roads that should be traveled.
In visiting the new and old countries of Central Asia, the geographical pivot of history itself, where the Islamic architecture stands out as the back drop of world history one can not help becoming attuned to a culture that seemed so foreign before. A journey through time itself down the “Silk Road” is an epic adventure that ties together whole passels of civilizations epochs, and sceneries. The caves of the Thousand Buddhas, visiting Urumchi, Tashkent and crossing the Turugart Pass puts anyone who experiences this trek to come away with a humility and compassion toward a people that were once perceived so foreign. An understanding of a culture and a way of life untouched by time unfolded before this traveler.
The love of history is what prompts me onward to St .Petersburg and Moscow. From the artistry of Faberge` to the drama of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 intensifies my thirst for knowledge of a people and way of life I had only read about. From Moscow through eight time zones across over 6,600 miles experiencing along the way the harsh realities of Siberia and the beauty of the stunning architecture of some of the worlds most beautiful buildings in Vladimir is like I too was experiencing the life of Dr. Zhivago.
When one actually travels they come away with a better realization that all life is precious and tied together by a fellowship of humanity. Only with this realization can nations begin to live in peace and harmony. By being able to actually put yourself in the environment of different cultures can man actually be able to acknowledge this realization. The hope for mankind lies in the roads that are traveled.