The Longest Way

04 Jun

Ever think about walking all the way around the planet?

Well this guy made it half way.

Over the course of a year, Christopher Rehage walked across the entire continent of Asia and almost all of Europe. Setting out from Beijing, Rehage walked west through all of China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Armenia, Turkey, and then up through Europe to his hometown of Bad Nenndorf in Germany.

Christopher Rehage's route from Beijing to Germany

Christopher Rehage's route from Beijing to Germany

Throughout his travels, Rehage paused to take pictures of himself in front of various backdrops and then stitched them all together; the time-lapse effect is much like watching Christian Bale go from completely clean-shaven to hairy & bearded. Rehage includes captions on the images so you can get an idea of whereabouts he is; I have to admit that I jumped a little bit in my seat when I recognized a few spots I’ve been to myself, like the Drum Tower and Forbidden City in Beijing.

When I first watched the video, my mind boggled that someone would attempt such a monumental trek, unless it was to raise money or awareness for a cause. Certainly the joy of the accomplishment would be incredibly fulfilling, and the bragging rights second-to-none; just think how many arguments you could end with, “Oh yeah ? Well I walked across Asia and Europe!” But in explaining why he named his site ‘the longest way’ despite the existence of longer alternative routes, Rehage had this to say:

“Some take walks and others do other things. Nevertheless, this goes for everyone – it is the longest way from a daydream to a dream.”

I can’t help but be reminded of the famous British mountaineer George Mallory’s response when he was asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest. “Because it’s there” he answered.

We all daydream of the great things we could do, if only we had the time or money or other limiting factors we put in our own way. Too few of us decide that daydreams aren’t good enough, that we want the dream itself. I think we’re probably intimidated by the size of the journey from daydream to dream and the dangers along the way. But to me, the journey is more important than the destination, which is only where you’re heading, the goal you’re working towards; it’s the journey that actually changes you.

And what a journey Christopher Rehage took!

Christopher Rehage’s website / blog:

1 Comment

Posted by on June 4, 2009 in Internet



One response to “The Longest Way

  1. Martin

    January 13, 2013 at 15:39

    Well done Christopher! I used your youtube clip with my classes of students – as an inspiration for them to say, yes, you can do something extreme if you want to! Loved the time-lapse photography as well.


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