The Logic of Slow Travel
A journey invites discovery: of the world around us, of our engagement with that world and of ourselves. It is this discovery of our world and who we are that creates the adventure we seek.
Travelling slowly is not essential – there is virtue in speed too – but flowing slowly through space and time can support an understanding of our world and ourselves that is not readily achieved when in a hurry.
I do fly for business and pleasure often but when I have the choice – when I have the time – I prefer public modes of travel such as trains, buses, ferries and cargo ships. I prefer over-land or over-water to air travel because of the rich social engagement it brings, and the reflective opportunities it provides. All these modes can offer a slow-flowing adventure if we are open to exploring our world and ourselves. If this sounds like you then you may benefit from exploring this website further.
SlowFlowAdventure.com – the Internet platform supporting the travel narrative that follows – promises to introduce the reader to the on-the-ground experience of a complex slow-flowing adventure, which provides each reader with perspective on planning and then managing their own adventure.
It's about EurAsia
This website explores and describes my journey from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, in 2019, by high-speed trains across China, Soviet-era trains through Central Asia, and a cargo ship across the Caspian Sea from Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan. I travelled by public bus through the Caucasus, along the southern coast of the Black Sea in Turkey, and through the Balkans, followed by an overnight ferry from Albania to Italy, and European trains to the Atlantic Ocean.
This site includes 32 journal entries - as I make my way from the Pacific coast, near Shanghai China, to Pointe de Kermorvan France and the Atlantic coast. Each journal entry has 1 - 3 pages of text that describe the people and places visited, and around 10 of my favourite photos per entry.
My EurAsia Adventure includes five regions:
2) Central Asia,
3) Caspian Sea to the Black Sea,
4) Turkey and the Balkans, and
Regional information is located at the start of each section along with a list of clickable journal entries.
You can begin by reading about My EurAsia below, or start with the eight entries under China - at the beginning of the journey - or shift to a region that holds special interest for you. Links to these journal entries are found within the website menu, at the top and bottom of each page, but there are also 32 thumbnail picture with links at the bottom of the home page, plus an interaction map that includes links across the entire EurAsia continent.
Travel narratives presented on a website are actually quite rare. What we find, in great abundance, are travel blogs where travel writers tell their story -- while using their website commercially to make money. SlowFlowAdventure has no advertisements and no click-backs as I have not established any commercial links with the sites I visited. This website seeks none of your funds and offers no membership.
Please note SlowFlowAdventure.com is formatted for both computer and smartphone, but the images and the background appear stunning on a computer and/or monitor.
SlowFlowAdventure exists with one simple wish: to share a grand global experiences with relevant pictures BUT with just one limitation. Do not use and/or publish these pictures and text without the express written approval of the creator of SlowFlowAdventure (See: Contact), as all material on this site is under copyright protection © 2023.
My EurAsia: A Brief Introduction
Samarkand, Uzbekistan – one of the oldest Central Asian cities (seventh century BCE) – was successively occupied by Greek, Iranian and then Turkic rulers prior to the arrival of Genghis Khan in 1220 CE and Marco Polo shortly thereafter. This mix of empires and civilizations created a city pleading to be photographed – and I was not alone in responding. Local Uzbek children and adults repeatedly asked me to join them in their pictures at ancient sites (see but one example, above this text). I don’t know why, as I was not the only foreigner in Samarkand that week.
But now the time had come to travel on, as I was about to catch my night train to Nukus – said to be a tribute to Soviet urban planning. I was uneasy. Not only about traveling into the desolate Western quarter of Uzbekistan – and wondering what might await me – but also because this was the first time on my EurAsia journey that I was seated in a second-class car. No first-class cabins in the Uzbek outback, I had learned.
Most passengers were sleeping when I boarded at 11.00 p.m. on a Tuesday night. I was directed to Berth 53 – one of 60 beds in my car. Most curtains were drawn and hiding the sounds of slumber. I slept too, as the repetitive rocking of a night train is almost hypnotic – but not well – and awoke to a glorious sunrise and a rather harsh desert. I seemed to be the only foreign passenger in my car and perhaps on the entire train.
As the morning wore on, the four passengers across the aisle became interested in me and I in them. A couple of my new friends had just enough English to allow us to learn about each other. The fellow on my left was a Customs official in Western Uzbekistan’s only urban centre (see picture) and the two ladies in the centre were medical doctors. The woman on the right was introduced as being rather famous, as she had once been a free-style wrestling champion – representing Uzbekistan at the Olympics and at other international tournaments – and now worked as a wrestling coach in Nukus. These four seemed to enjoy learning about my EurAsia adventure, as much as I enjoyed learning about their lives – making for a leisurely morning that was both intellectually and emotionally stimulating. We parted at the Nukus train station about noon, never to meet again, and I made my way to my internet-booked hotel: the very pleasant Jipek Joli Inn.
If this kind of experience interests you then click on the button below and join me at the start of my journey. Or click on any region within EurAsia that is of special interest and share a portion of my adventure with me...