Happy May everyone!
While this website is mostly going to be about anything related to the Songline and anything Lincoln Highway related, I do have other journeys that I will be taking soon that are not in the realm of hitting the open road. I feel that every journey we take, we must take it so that we are ready for the next one that lies ahead.
In eleven days, I will be embarking on a trip to a part of the world that has minimal roads, hundreds of miles of arid steppe, and horse is still used as the main form of transport in the countryside. I will be going to Mongolia for 20 days as a belated birthday present to myself (my birthday was last November).
Most people when they hear I’m undertaking a trip here either say “That’s awesome! I would love to go!” or I hear, “Why?” with a interesting tone of confusion in their voice. There’s no middle ground on people’s opinions of me taking this trip, either they love or hate the idea. I have many reasons for going, but for me this trip is all about getting out of my comfort zone and seeing a place that tourists don’t go. Seeing a place where the way of life is not “Westernized”. I will be on a tour with 7 other people, and we will have a guide who will interpret as needed (to see some photos people took on their trips with this company, click here).
I first learned more about the beauty of this place through the book and documentary called “Long Way Round”. In 2004, actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman rode their motorcycles from London to New York across Eurasia and North America and it changed their lives. One of the best quotes from the book came from Ewan while they were staying in Mongolia about seven weeks into their trip:
“Before we left London, I thought I was going to miss knowing what was going on in the world, but I realised that day, as I listened to the wind whistling round my ger (Cece’s note: this is like a yurt in American terms), that being completely out of touch was one of the glories of the trip. We’d travelled a third of the way around the world on the back of three bikes; people’s faces had changed, their homes had changed, the way they led their lives and what they believed in were different. But with everything that was going on in the world at that time, if we hadn’t been so isolated we might have easily have travelled through these countries without becoming aware that ultimately we are all the same: we all love our kids, we all need somewhere to sleep and some food. We all want the same things; the world isn’t that big a place.” –Ewan McGregor
My brain can’t still fully comprehend all of what lies ahead, but I know in my heart that this trip will shape the journey I will take across the US next year.
I leave you with this famous Mongolian saying, “While your father is alive, make as many friends as you can, and while your horse is alive, visit as many lands as you can.”
Bayartai! Sain yavaarai!