The above map is what my route of travel during bout four of my New Silk Road research travels actually looked like, while below is what I thought these travels were going to look like before going into them:
A big difference.
I have no idea where to start summing up this most recent bout of research travels for my upcoming book on the New Silk Road. I criss-crossed the region from Western Europe to the Caucasus multiple times, leaving a path of travel that has more of the attributes of a knot than a nice smooth line.
I flew into Amsterdam, and then went to The Hague, Rotterdam, Brussels, Duisburg, Berlin, Lodz, Warsaw, Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki, Vilnius, Kiev, Tbilisi, Anaklia, Kutaisi, Berlin, Warsaw, Terespol, Sosnowiec, Krakow, Prague, Belgrade, Pristina, Skopje, Nicosia, Girne, Larnaca, Poli, Paphos, Larnaca, Athens, Tbilis, Baku, Naftalan, Baku, Tbilisi, Yerevan, Dusseldorf, Boston — 19 countries in 5 months — in that order.
Most of the time I was working on my book about the New Silk Road, sometimes I just jumped on a bus, train, or boat to go somewhere just for kicks, sometimes I was traveling with my wife and two daughters. Taken altogether I’ve accumulated a massive amount of data, observations, and interviews to spend the next month or so processing.
New Silk Road research travels bout five are set to begin in December or January. It will more than likely be the most challenging so far, going down the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, hopefully Turkmenistan, and then back to Kazakhstan.
It’s going to be cold.