The plan

This blog is about an attempt to walk from China to Germany:

When I came up with the idea back in 2007, it seemed pretty simple to me: after all, was there anything but solid land between Beijing and Bad Nenndorf, my home village in Germany?

So I made a plan, and I figured there were a few places that I wanted to walk through on the way. I called them The Great 18:

The places were: Beijing ⟶ Pingyao ⟶ Xi’an ⟶ Pingliang ⟶ Lanzhou ⟶ Jiayuguan ⟶ Dunhuang ⟶ Ürümqi ⟶ Almaty ⟶ Bishkek ⟶ Tashkent ⟶ Samarkand ⟶ Bukhara ⟶ Mary ⟶ Mashhad ⟶ Tehran ⟶ Yerevan ⟶ Istanbul ⟶ Munich ⟶ Bad Nenndorf

I started walking in the fall of 2007 (on my 26th birthday actually), at which point I looked somewhat like this:

bald head

I walked and I walked. I saw tiny villages and sprawling cities, mountains and desert roads. It was cold sometimes. And at other times it was very, very hot. I did this for a year, and then I stopped.

I had realized that there was more than just solid land between me and my home. It was complicated.

Also, I had somehow ended up looking like this:


4,500 km were behind me, but Germany was still very far away.

I had managed to check off seven of The Great 18 from my list:

BeijingPingyao ✓ ⟶ Xi’an ✓ ⟶ Pingliang ✓ ⟶ Lanzhou ✓ ⟶ Jiayuguan ✓ ⟶ Dunhuang ✓ ⟶ Ürümqi

I went back and made a video about my walk (and about the weird beard that I had grown on the way):

I called it «The Longest Way 1.0», and it surprised me by going viral and even earning some accolades.

Why the name though: The Longest Way?

Well, here’s what I had to say about this back in 2007:

I’d like to call this one The Longest Way, even though I’m not attempting to set any sort of record. There are longer ways, and other people have walked them. Why did I choose the name then? Well, for one, the domain was available. But there’s another reason: some people take walks and others do other things. However, this goes for everyone – it is the longest way from a daydream to a dream.

Yes, a dream. And good dreams don’t die.