People

This page is dedicated to the special people who have in some way or another given me inspiration along road. 

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          Gazi and his son Mohammad, Madaba, Jordan Spring 2014.                                                Gazi emigrated to the US and worked as a Dominoes Pizza delivery man for 2 years before becoming a taxi driver in New York City. After 5 years in America he moved back to his home town in Jordan and opened up a bakery. I met him while looking for the Israeli border, and was invited to a more than generous meal and lodging in his home.            Read more

Mohammad and his brother Juma. Bedouin locals living on the beach in Dahab, Egypt. These two brothers introduced me to nomadic Bedouin culture, and taught me to “always look to nature for a glimpse of the future”. I stayed with them for close to a week , and was taught how to; free dive for clams, sleep hidden from view under the sand and wear the traditional style headscarf. They were mentally the strongest people I ever met, and continue to think of them when things are difficult. Read more

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Michael Koo. A Christian, Malaysian local living in the Borneo jungles. I met Michael while searching for the main road to the Indonesian border. He had a warm smile and offered me his prayer room in his tiny house. He had 5 children and worked every day gathering fruit from the oil palms in the back of his pick up truck. He wants his children to learn English and have more opportunities in life. Read more
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Two local Albanian villagers, Kosovo border. After being denied entry to Kosovo at the Albanian border, these two brothers offered to show me a secret remote forest path into the country. They told of how they often smuggle hash into Kosovo on the same route and that the route had also been used by their Muslim ancestors to travel into the then Serbian territory. They were smooth talkers and told me that if they could just get to Mexico or Canada they could easily sneak in to the US. They walked with me in the rain for over 2 hours, and refused any payment when we parted. Read more
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Rinchen Jer Po, Sichuan, China summer 2016. Rinchen is from a small village in western Sichuan province. When he was 18, a group of Buddhist teachers came to his home and told his parents that he was the reincarnation of a famous Buddhist teacher. He then decided to make a pilgrimage to India. Departing on foot he walked for 18 month, from his village home in Sichuan all the way to East India via Tibet, Nepal and Sikkim. Following years of rigorous study, he became a Buddhist teacher and moved back to his home in the small village. I originally met Rinchen a few years ago with my father in Shengen, China. But was invited to his home in Sichuan when I randomly called him from the deserts of West China. He is a kind, generous person who has a disposition often reminds me of my father. Read more
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Kei and Yuki, 2 Japanese cyclists who taught me that “you can never bring too much stuff”. Song Kol Lake, Kyrgyzstan 2014.  I met Kei and Yuki while cycling the foot hills of Song Kol lake in Kyrgyzstan. They told me that they had been on the road for over two years so I asked them if they wanted to join me on a difficult route to Song Kol lake. We departed together the next day, but we got held up when it took them over 6 hours to ride a flat 25 km on a dirt road. That night Kei told me that Yuki had lost one of her gloves and that they had spent several hours looking for it before returning back to their campsite and finding it. We camped again just before the climb to the lake, and the next morning we set off. By noon I reached the top of the pass after having to push half the way through thick snow. I waited…..and waited…. By about 2 pm I noticed that the sun was beginning to cast shadows on the road and decided to walk down and see where they were. To my amazement they had only gone a few kilometers from where we started. No choice now but to push Kei bike up the mountain and have the two of them focus on Yuki’s. I again reached the top of the pass and returned down again to help them with Yuki’s bike. That night, camping at the lake, I learned that Kei and Yuki had a large collection of electronics and together had over 6 iphones, 3 computers, a movie projector, x-mas lights and all sorts of unnecessary junk. We did however have movie night in Kei’s Goretex tent, and the next morning he made me a bowl of hand pulled noodle soup which he forgot to bring to a boil. After our final departure I came down with a bad case of Giardia, and barely made it down the mountain due to a high fever and nausea. Read more
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Cristos and Eli, Batangas, Philippines Spring 2015. Cristos is a local fortune-teller, who  offered me a place to stay inside his bamboo home outside of Manila. While staying with him, I observed groups of locals stopping by and asking for his services. Women would ask about partners and babies and men would ask about jobs, money and work. He did not accept monetary payment and told me that if he accepted a cash payment for his services he would no longer have he gift of prescience. Before departing he read my future and swung the cross necklace he wears over my two hands. He told me that it would be unnecessarily dangerous for me to visit the Islamic part of the Philippines, and that I would have a better time if I did not travel too far. I departed the next day and met a diving instructor on the ferry.  I began Scuba diving, and had so much fun diving that I ended up not having enough time to cycle  much of the Philippines. Read more
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My friend Tse Rang, Da Re, Qinghai, China. Spring 2016. I met Tse Rang while looking for wi-fi in the small town of Da Re. After a while of asking locals and getting no response I bumped into Tse Rang who was the only person in the town who seemed to speak Chinese! (All the locals spoke Tibetan). He invited me to his apartment in the cities orphanage, and told me that he had been a volunteer for over 3 years teaching the orphaned children Chinese. He was exceptionally kind, and loved to eat Tsampa! He dreams of one day living in the United States. Read more
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My friend Utopli. Samarinda, Indonesia. I met Utopli at a busy intersection.  He was on a small moped with his wife and 2 children! I asked him for directions, and he invited me to lunch. We ate local stuffed intestines and afterwards he invited me to rest at his home. He lived in a small wooden house built on stilts overlooking the river.  While napping at house, it rained and he and his family brought my bike and gear inside to keep it dry. Before I left he gave me his prayer sarong(not pictured), which for Muslims is a very special gift. Read more
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Pusaka Crew, Derawan, Indonesia Summer 2015. I met these guys at a Papaya stand near the beach. I had just entered Indonesia and we could only exchange a few words. Regardless of verbal communication these guys took me out partying Indonesian style in their home city. The next day they drove me to the pier and bought me a round trip ticket to the famous diving site on Derawan island. Before departing my breast pocket was stuffed with spending cash, and the boss (man on my right) personally made sure that I had enough money for a hotel and food while on the island.  I later learned that Pusaka was a small government organization involving tribal cultures. Read more
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Chinese Roadside Restaurant couple. Xinjiang, China. This couple worked close to 24 hours a day at their small restaurant in the middle of the desert. The man would be cooking and his wife would be running back and forth delivering hot plates of food to hungry truck drivers. They had a daughter of about 12 and were working to save money for her education. Whatever the future they wanted their daughter to live in a city and speak proper Chinese. As tired and busy as they were they still invited me into the kitchen and taught me how to make hand pulled noodles and wrap dumplings. When I left they refused payment so I put the money on their shrine as an offering.



5 thoughts on “People

  1. This is a wonderful section for a homepage ! Don´t get me wrong, when I will copy this one for my future trips bro ! This move on your page, that you have this section here, just shows again what a lovely guy you are ! I am proud that I met you in Serbia last year. Seriously and all the best to you – if you need any support (also financial) from my side – don´t be afraid to ask! Peace and Out, Alexandros

      • Hi and long time no hear no see… you do not believe what I tell you know, but I found my peace. I got married and I am right now in Bolivia. I was thinking about you today and as it seems you are very close to your goal. I am proud of you ! Whenever you make it to Europe, be my guest. I would like to introduce you to my wife.

        (She is blogging about our honey.moon,trip under http://www.alealife.tumblr.com)

        We send you all the energy that we can.

        Peace and Out
        Alexandros

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