Two stops down, 11,000 more kilometers to go.
Uneventful. That’s the way the ferry crossing went.
“An effortless overnight crossing from Hastings in Essex to Rotterdam Port. A brief taste of the established maritime trade routes before our journey along the overland networks to Yiwu in Eastern China.”
The Jeep on the ferry to Rotterdam.
The meeting with Michael Nijdam, the port’s Belt and Road specialist, also went well I’m told.
The New Silk Road Project in Rotterdam.
Now the expedition is at the Clingendael Institute at The Hague getting a crash course on the Belt and Road in Europe from my old friend Frans-Paul van der Putten.
The New Silk Road Project with Frans-Paul van der Putten at the Clingendael Institute in the Netherlands.
Three days in the project seems to be going well — nor problems to report on, no real adventures had, everything is going as planned. So far.
Adventure is a funny thing. We all say that we have this thirst for adventure, but adventure only happens when things go wrong, when bad shit happens, when you need to rapidly solve a series of unexpected problems with a lot on the line. You never hear anyone say, “I really, really hope things go wrong, that will be so much fun” but conflict is a key component of any narrative, and is ultimately a key part of what we envision when we dream about travel. Without shit going wrong you just don’t have much of a story.
I believe humans inherently know this and have clever little ways of subconsciously disrupting their own lives. Most of us could live happily and calmly in our little hovels, do what we have to do to get back, not take any risks, and act as good people. But we don’t. We are lured by the light at the end of the dark alley just to see what it is — we go out on expeditions to see things for ourselves instead of sitting in comfy offices reading about life on the internet.
What did Pascal say? Man’s biggest problem is that he can’t sit quietly in a room?
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