50 years ago my parents set off on an epic adventure that took them across the globe. In two and half months they covered 19,000 miles and travelled through 16 countries; they flew from Vancouver to Hawaii, Japan, Hong Kong, Bangkok, and on to Calcutta. From there they took trains, buses, rickshaws and hitchhiked across India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey. Finally ending their travels in Europe, with stopovers in Greece and Italy, settling down in Switzerland, their final destination.
I grew up listening to stories of a broken down bus in the "Valley of Death", being attacked by monkeys in Kathmandu, and Bangkok's busy nightlife. These tales stoked my own desire to travel, experience adventure off the beaten path, and, unsurprisingly, as an adult I chose a career that allowed me to travel. Happily and gratefully I now have exciting stories of my own to tell my children.
My parents' journey took place in the winter and spring of 1971, exactly 50 years ago. I call this podcast "An Impossible Journey" because today it would be. Tourist buses no longer trundle through the Khyber Pass, airline tickets that cost $600 and are good for 10,000 miles do not exist, and you would be hard-pressed to get a hotel room in Wakiki for $12 a night.
As I get older, I feel time more acutely than I used to. I feel the prickles of its passing, and I worry that I haven't adequately sucked out all the marrow of life. I don't want to regret not doing something, and I realized I wanted to capture my parents' story - and them telling it - while I still can.
This is a labor of love. It's personal - a conversation between a woman and her parents, between parents and their daughter. But it's also history, travel, a snapshot in time, and hopefully interesting to some. That's why I'm sharing it with you.
Music credit: Bombay Summer by Shane Ivers - https://www.silvermansound.com