June 03, 2008

'The unvoiced question'

A hundred reasons clamour for your going. You go to touch on human identities, to people an empty map. You have a notion that this is the world's heart. You go to encounter the protean shapes of faith. You go because you are still young and crave excitement, the crunch of your boots in the dust; you go because you are old and need to understand something before it's too late. You go to see what will happen.

The above is from the introduction of Colin Thubron's Shadow of the Silk Road. Possibly pretentious but I do recognize a lot in it - why do I travel?

The book started off in Xian, and the first 80 pages detailed the 2,5 weeks that I travelled two years ago to Dunhuang in Gansu province in China. But he continues on, and at the moment he has just arrived in Kyrgyzstan....

I wonder when I will be able to continue that journey out of Dunhuang. I would love to know what is beyond those dunes.

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