Nine months ago while Sheena and I were stranded in the Colombian mountains, we made a decision. If Nacho ever made it through South America, we would ship to Europe instead of our original plan of shipping to Asia. Things were getting difficult, and we needed a break. From Europe, if things got hard, we could always turn around and end up back in a familiar place. But then, after traveling in Chile and Argentina for five months, we were tired of things being easy. We wanted a challenge, so we switched our plan back to Asia.
We knew that once we got to Southeast Asia, we would basically be stuck, locked in place by impassible borders. We would need to get to India, but the Burmese border is closed, and it’s prohibitively expensive to drive through China. After India, we’d be locked down again. Our options would be to go through China (too expensive), or through Pakistan and Iran. As it turns out, getting a visa for Iran is virtually impossible for self-driving Americans, and we’d likely have to fly back home to apply for a Pakistani visa. We wanted a challenge, we got a challenge.
So far, the most likely route to get to Europe from here is to ship from Thailand to India, and then ship again from India to Turkey. This, unfortunately, would cut out almost all of Asia. So what’s the point? We had to look for other options. Where there’s a will there’s a way.
We asked ourselves, “all other things aside, what would be the most interesting and adventurous route possible?” We decided on the Silk Road. This would take us through China, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and the central Asian republics (AKA “the Stans”). We would cross the Himalayas twice, pass through Tibet from one end to the other, and explore the most remote regions of Central Asia imaginable. The one challenge, we found, was the cost to cross China (twice). After the tour company and guide fees, we’re talking $19,514 just for permission to cross China.
But where there’s a will there’s a way.
We’re determined to make this happen, so we’re making a big deal out of it. We’ve started a Kickstarter project, which will use crowd-sourced funding to raise money to fund the development of a book about driving the Silk Road, Nacho style.
We have 30 days to raise $25,602. We hope to accomplish this by letting ordinary people invest as little as $1 in our book project. Here’s a link to our Kickstarter project, where you can read our plan, watch our project video, and see the rewards we’ll provide to our helpers:
Still don’t understand what Kickstarter is? It’s basically a new way to fund creative projects. In essence, you’re basically pre-ordering a book that we haven’t written yet. Once we have the adventure and write the book, you’ll get a copy of it (along with other rewards depending on your funding level), and will know that you helped make it happen. Read all about Kickstarter here.
Help spread the word!
Just like high school, Kickstarter success is a bit of a popularity contest. The more people who know about our project, the more likely we will be to successfully raise our funds. And this is important, because if we don’t reach 100% of our funding goal in 30 days, we don’t get anything and we’re off to the shipping yard.
Funding must be met by Friday, May 17, 11:05pm EDT!
Besides investing in our project, the best way to help is to share our project through social media. Share the following link on your Facebook wall and Twitter feed, we can spread the word about our goal and have a much higher chance of success.
There are a lot of great stories out there waiting to happen. We just have to go find them. Thanks so much for your help.
And now behold the wonder of our low-budget Kickstarter film, created here in our dingy Thai hotel room!