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I’m Chasing the Magic… What Keeps You Traveling?

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I am drawn to places that seem magical — magic lands of the past that are still mildly unknown today.

manas

Kyrgyzstan's hero Manas in the smoke of Victory Day fireworks.

Central Asia, the lands of the ancient Silk Road, and the route of much trade, war, and magic (I guess you could just replace magic with mystery), has been my obsession for a long time — only I haven’t explored that much of it beyond my beloved Kyrgyzstan.

magic carpets

The lands of magic carpets.

That’s why I’m excited. Tomorrow, Pat and I journey down through the heart of Kyrgyzstan, with stops in Kochkor and Naryn, to the Torugart Pass. Once we cross, we will be driven to Kashgar in far western China.

It’s a part of China that not too many people get to see. I mean, why would they travel across the great expanse of land to touch foot to this somewhat tiny city (in Chinese terms)?

After a couple of days there, we will then head up to Urumqi for a few more days before flying to Beijing.

In Beijing, we’ll meet up with Tony and Paula and hopefully get our final details settled for the big Trans-Mongolian train trip.

Now, if I can just stay healthy, I think this journey is going to be unforgettable.

I’m chasing the magic… what keeps you traveling?

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16 Responses to I’m Chasing the Magic… What Keeps You Traveling?

  1. Solo Female Nomad May 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    Central Asia is one area that I have not thought about visiting. I am now changing that! It seems fascinating and look forward to more posts about the area.

    • Brooke May 24, 2012 at 12:13 am #

      Great! I’m so happy I could inspire you to think about Central Asia πŸ™‚

  2. Micah Bates May 17, 2012 at 3:14 am #

    Kyrgyzstan is really interesting. I hope you’ll have a great time out there and please share with us your adventures!

    • Brooke May 21, 2012 at 2:39 am #

      Kyrgyzstan is really cool — have you ever been?

  3. Sal May 17, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    I am super excited for you! Wish I was experiencing it as well, especially Kashgar. As always, can’t wait for future posts.

    • Brooke May 21, 2012 at 2:39 am #

      Cheers, Sal! I’ll be sure to share once I get the time πŸ™‚ I’m so behind!

  4. Megan Jones May 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    I agree with Solo Female Nomad, I have never really considered Central Asia as a destination. Your description of and images of Kyrgyzstan and very intriguing and it is definitely on my travel radar now. I am inspired to travel by experience and growth. I haven’t traveled much, but when I have I have enjoyed it the most when I did it by myself. I enjoy being able to be fully present in my own experience and not worrying about someone else.

    • Brooke May 21, 2012 at 2:37 am #

      Hi Megan — so glad I could inspire the thoughts of Central Asia as a destination. It’s a really unique place, and if you want to do it solo, be sure to check out CBT (Community Based Tourism). They’ll hook you up with guest houses and transport.

  5. Brock - Backpack With Brock May 20, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    The place you’re headed to seems fascinating – very magical!

    • Brooke May 21, 2012 at 2:24 am #

      Agreed! Currently in Kashgar and it is a VERY unique place… very untouched by Western world IMO. Few tourists, no English — makes Bishkek look like a Western dream. Hope to share more in the near future πŸ™‚

  6. Stephen May 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    I guess I was chasing magic..but recently I’ve been disappointed. When you have high expectations…you set yourself up for disappointment. That’s why China was so unmagical for me…such a huge disappointment (with a few exceptions). Kashgar…one place I haven’t been yet, is a place I hope will still be magical because Central Asian cultures are so interesting for me.

    Hope China doesn’t disappoint you…

    • Brooke May 23, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

      Well so far I’ve only seen Kashgar and Urumqi, but to be honest I’ve never really thought that China — overall — would be a magical place for me. While the culture is ancient, the nowadays culture is probably not something that will make me actually “dream” of coming back. However, Kashgar didn’t even feel like China. It’s a predominantly Uyghur place… even the people didn’t look Chinese… so Kashgar definitely lived up to a magical place with ancient ties to the Silk Road and a good continuation of the vibe we’ve had in Kyrgyzstan. Urumqi is about as different as it comes to Kashgar. I’m enjoying the nice big, clean city vibe. We’ll see how I feel after Beijing.

  7. Charlie May 23, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    China is somewhere I am looking forward to visiting when I retire, good luck!

    • Brooke May 24, 2012 at 12:12 am #

      Hi Charlie! Sounds exciting… when do you retire?

  8. Elizabeth June 5, 2012 at 5:18 am #

    Just found your website and am enjoying poking around. I live in Thailand and am exploring as much of Asia as I can, I would LOVE to go to central Asia, can’t wait to read more of your blog and become even more inspired to make it actually happen! Be well!

    • Brooke June 9, 2012 at 10:22 am #

      Thanks for stopping by Elizabeth! I hope you can make it there someday. Keep reading; I have so much to share in the coming months πŸ™‚

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