The Longest Way: walking from China to Germany

A friend of mine has confessed her dream to me: to motorcycle around the world. I tell her ‘go for it’ but that’s an easy thing to do, in comparison to the life changes and research that she faces. It makes me think about the leap from dream to reality—unfortunately it’s not always as easy as you’d hope.

I’ve come across someone who’s in the middle of his own leap of sorts—Christoph Rehage is walking from Beijing, China to Bad Nenndorf, Germany. He’s named his website, not because the walking trip is setting any record, but to honor big ideas like my friend’s. As Christoph says, “it’s the longest way from a daydream to a dream.”

Currently making his way across China, he’s about 4322 km into a route that will hit Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Armenia, and Turkey before reaching Europe. The first anniversary of his departure is coming up—he started on his birthday (November 9th) last year.

You can track his progress along a route that intentionally bypasses “mountain ranges, politically unstable regions, and cold regions.” And check out his cool time-lapsed YouTube video.

Christoph was able to write me recently from the desert in NW China. Sounds as though it’s so-far-so-good, despite a few visa and illness set-backs.

He’s learned how to make the adjustments he needs while on the road. He writes: “After months and months and a couple of 1000 km, I decided to get a pulling-cart to haul my stuff around in. It comes in handy in the desert, when one has to transport lots of food and water. It has also given me a significant speed increase. I call the thing ‘the caboose.'”

His advice for anyone attempting something similar? “The same piece of advice that I got from Philippe Valéry, a Frenchman who has walked Marseille-Kashgar in 1998 before: You can spend two days or two years doing preparations, but still you’ll have to walk eventually.”

Go Christoph!

Posted by | Comments (2)  | October 15, 2008
Category: General, Notes from the collective travel mind

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