Around The World In Seven Years

A recent NPR article recounts a meeting between Steve Inskeep and Paul Salopek in Turkey  just last week.

Paul Salopek, who just a year ago began a seven-year journey out of man’s cradle in Ethiopia, sat down with NPR’s Steve Inskeep in Tbilisi, Georgia and discussed the journey and it’s hardships. Salopek is traveling the world on foot, for the most part, following the steps of early hominids for National Geographic. The war in Syria was a big problem for Salopek, as it forced him to reroute, taking a boat to Turkey. Since that detour, he’s walked hundreds of miles across Turkey.

Salopek recounts a thrilling journey through the Caucasus, in which he and his team of three were travelling through a mountain pass of 9,000 feet, and they began to fall through. Salopek ended up with a twisted knee, and they descended down to a valley in which Murat, Salopek’s Turkish guide started a fire with his gloves.

Salopek describes Georgia as an oasis, even with the Russian conflict a few years back.

Salopek also describes what he saw when one of the largest forced migrations of people occurred at the Syrian-Turkish border in a statement to NPR, “About 80,000 to 100,000 Kurdish Syrians came stampeding over the wire in 72 hours. I mean, that is probably the biggest mass movement of people in this part of the world since the fall of the Ottoman Empire. It was a jaw-dropping and heart-wrenching sight.”

Salopek closes with his thoughts on the walk, saying that he feels as if every step is refreshing, giving him a new, experienced outlook, but also setting him back, unprepared for the surrealness of more ‘civilized’ living.

Salpoek posts his dispatches every-so-often, when he gets the chance.