An update since my last post
Early in January, in my last post I described myself as being uneasy about the upcoming trip, and I was very concerned about my safety as I would be traveling through Russia and China, two countries where an American might find himself or herself in an unexpected, high-risk situation, simply because I am a US Citizen. Well, over these past 8 weeks, I’ve done enough research to settle the issue, and as a result, I’ve decided that I’ll be going forward with the trip, as it was previously laid out.
A tough decision
I did not come to this decision lightly, and some of you, those that I care about, and who care about me have expressed an uneasiness about my decision. Nevertheless, I hope that you can appreciate that I’ve done the work, researched the situation, and assessed the risk to be acceptable. To be clear, both Russia and China were already classified as a Level 3 risk by the US Department of State, and as a result of the kidnapping in Russia, or China’s proclivity to limit the travel of US ExPats, the risk rating for both of these countries has remained the same. So, if there is an elevated risk, the State Department (A generally pessimistic organization if ever there was one) has not seen fit to make it any more difficult to travel to these places.
Time to get my mind right…
And so, now it’s time to work in earnest to complete the planning for the trip, and get my mind right. You may recognize that expression from the movie Cool Hand Luke, where Strother Martin regularly told Luke that he needed to Get his Mind Right.
Now, I don’t want to be overly dramatic, but this idea, this concept of getting your mind right is a critical way of thinking about traveling in foreign countries. As a foreigner, who wishes to enjoy my visit, and to leave without causing or being part of an international incident, it’s important to get my mind right. And so I will. I’ll take a relaxed but respectful posture, especially when in Russia and China. Combining this relaxed approach, with all of the other work that I’ll do to learn what type of things to avoid, should prove to keep me safe. But, while I’m on the trip, I encourage all of you to keep an eye on my travels, especially as I travel through Russia and China.
Putting it all in perspective
Who would have thought that I would issue these words… “Boy, I’ll be Kyrgyzstan is going to be a breeze”.
From now on, you can expect to see more posts, and it’s likely that the next post will be a report on the health of my bike, as my first shakedown ride of 2019 was a failure, due to a dead battery, and an incorrectly adjusted clutch. But, more on that in my next post.