Liftoff to Central Asia

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Backpacking in Central Asia

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Backpacking in Central Asia “Travel brings power and love back into your life.” Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi.   Hushed voices and muffled footsteps seemed to boom through Dulles Airport on Sunday night. Despite the late hour, I was wide awake. I was finally leaving on a Read More …

Fear and Foreboding in Tashkent

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Backpacking in Central Asia

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Backpacking in Central Asia“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” Soren Kierkegaard.   Scattered dim lights twinkled over the flat, unremarkable cityscape as we landed in Tashkent. My heart pounded.  At the end of my long crawl to the diving board’s edge, it was time to Read More …

A Lonely Fool and a Mirage in Tashkent

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Backpacking in Central Asia

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Backpacking in Central Asia“Our knowledge is a receding mirage in an expanding desert of ignorance.” Will Durant.   Blinding light and stifling heat pushed against the curtains of the tall French doors. I awoke with a start.  Dazed from jetlag, I headed to the courtyard Read More …

Spectres & Spectacles in Holy Bukhara

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Backpacking in Central Asia

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Backpacking in Central AsiaThe ghosts of history sometimes speak to us in spectacles and marvels, sometimes stay frustratingly silent, and the art of travel often lies more in the imagination than the destination itself. “Bukhara! For centuries it had glimmered remote in the Western consciousness: the most Read More …

Backpacker Befriends Bukhara, Part 1

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Backpacking in Central Asia

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Backpacking in Central Asia“The more I traveled the more I realized that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends.” Shirley MacLaine. My cell phone alarm rattled me awake just after dawn, interrupting dreams of Bukhara’s Silk Road glory. Yesterday I caught a glimpse of that Read More …