Before internet, before automobiles, before photography, before the printing press, and before the discovery of America, the world was only known by stories and firsthand accounts. Ideas were only exchanged in person and written by hand. Discovery and exploration meant sacrificing your life and many years away from friends and family with no return date. Goods were exchanged by camel caravans and traders walked for miles through the mountains and deserts to facilitate trade. The world was still flat and many mysteries lay beyond the horizon. Venice ruled the west and Peking (Beijing) ruled the east. Few made the perilous journey between the two, but the few that did were rewarded with insurmountable gold, marvelous sights, and knowledge beyond their riches. Welcome to the Silk Road.
Planes allow us to traverse the world in a day, photographs allow us to see the beyond in a few clicks, and Google Maps allows us to navigate without even thinking. The route that was once only traversed by the bravest of souls and took years can now be accomplished by anyone with a disposable income and a few spare weeks. The journey is no longer rewarded by gold and fine clothing, but with life changing memories and beautiful views. The modern day Silk Road doesn't serve the function it once had of transporting goods and ideas, but it holds some of the world's long forgotten secrets and some of the richest remaining culture.
Starting in Beijing, China I wanted to follow the footsteps of Marco Polo and Zhang Qian retracing the routes that established the world as we know it. Taking only buses, trains, taxis, and ferries I traversed the thousands of miles across Asia and Europe, going beyond the Silk Road to rediscover the remaining landscapes that once oriented ancient travelers. Cities have expanded, cultures have been developed, technology has increased, but the deserts, mountains, lakes, and canyons are the same landforms that dictated the travels of explorers of old. As I traveled overland I saw the people, the culture, the religion, and the foods slowly transform and merge into each other. I saw architectural and cultural similarities across the continent as ideas were evidently exchanged and enhanced from society to society. Above all, I again witnessed the common humanity that we all share on this planet. We were all created in the same image and all share this moment in time. We may speak different languages, eat different food, and wear different clothing, but we can all relate to a friendly smile, a sturdy hand shake, and a warm embrace. Faces of Places brings the world together and celebrates the humanity we all share.
Join the Journey and support my project by preordering Faces of Places: Beyond the Silk Road! The book will take you across Asia and Europe covering the people and places of China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.
Risks and challenges
This is my second book publishing project. Last time there were a few printing delays that delayed the project and the estimated shipping time. This time I hope to get the proofs in before printing to expedite the printing process. All of the photographs are taken and all that needs to be done is the layout. So as long as technology cooperates, the book should be delivered in time for Christmas.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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