TGAR Organization Committee has to declare about temporary stopping of our Transglobal Project.
Severe political situation, turning towards the war, takes plenty of our members out of the Race. Our recent check-point places become the battlefield now. It means we can’t continue our activity due to physical and ethical reasons – until the complete stabilization.
The worldwide peace and hospitality is made of billions of personal smiles. The new PASL project is pointed to one simple thing: to remind to anyone how small and undefended is our Planet.
The project description, the whole information about start and shifting will be located here.
500 HOURS: A very small planet
Our planet is frighteningly small. A traveller feels it especially acute: a tiny ball floating in infinite space, circumventable in a matter of weeks.
What is happening right now in Russia and throughout the world is frightening. Hatred rises to a critical level.
Arabs hate Jews, the faithful hate infidels, Hutu hate Tutsi, Russians hate anyone the television tells them to. Aggression begets fear, fears begets aggression in return. A chain reaction starts. Hatred poisons people faster and subtler than radioactivity.
Yet, aggressive people can not be asked to leave our planet, just like an unruly flight passenger. There’s nowhere to. There’s only one one planet for all of us.
Six decades past the nightmare of World War II, we seem to gave forgotten the value of human life once again. A person is easily killed, easily machine-buried in a nameless ditch, easily forgotten as an old news. Yet this person is gone, a whole world is gone with them, and we are all the less for it.
Something has to be done about it.
Bearing the world’s longest record in hitchhiking (close to 1.2 mln miles) and having travelled the roads of many countries, I know quite well that our world is mostly inhabited by nice and friendly people. I feel it vile and stupid to hate those with whom you shared long hours on the road, those whom you assisted to change the wheel, those who offered you their hospitality. Smile at the world, and it will smile back.
But what to do about those who can only see the world in distorting mirror of the TV screen?
I have no humanity-saving recipes to offer. Yet, there is something that one man can do. So…
2.Hand made peace.
It will all be laughably simple.
One fine September day I will leave my home with just a small backpack to go around the globe.
Without long stops, even without night rests, going only by hitch-hiking, that is, powered by free will of people offering me a ride. (What, the oceans? Oh, yes, to cross them, I will rely on conventional airlines. Let’s perceive the latter as just bridges connecting the continents).
My route will be simple. From St. Petersburg to Vladivostok, then a flight to Seattle. From there, across Continental US, to New York. Then another flight, from New York to Portugal. And from there, via Spain, France, Germany, Poland and the Baltic States, back to St. Petersburg.
Formally speaking, this may not quite qualify as circumnavigation: I am not going to cross the Equator into the Southern Hemisphere. But this is not the goal.
The point of the story is that I am going to complete the route in no more than 500 hours! That is, I am fully confident that the world will be friendly to me — and that those who will come to see me off will be welcome to have tea with me 500 hours later. And to listen to stories about some great people met by me on the way.
3. It’s like being launched into space
Of course, it would be nigh impossible for me to undertake all this alone. I am supported by my friend from St. Petersburg Autostop League and beyond. They will track my progress around the globe. They collect funds for purchase of air tickets, help to find media partners, to collect the equipment. Somebody is going to await me with a sandwich and a cup of coffee near Krasnoyarsk, St. Louis or Berlin, so that I could feel the warmth of their support.
So, 500 Hours is a project executed by a team of enthusiasts, and I am just the one who has the honour of doing all the actual movement.
A question naturally arises: why go all alone?
There is a number of reasons for this. First, it increases speed and efficiency of hitch-hiking: no all cars have two vacant seats, to say nothing of night-going long-distance trucks. Second, extra person means extra expenses for the project. And third, I am not really alone! In each and every car I enjoy the company of the person who stopped to pick me up.
I start right after I receive my US visa and the funds necessary for purchase of two open date air tickets are collected.
This being autumn, each day of delay worsens the conditions of my journey, as daylight hours get shorter and time of ice-slick draws nearer.
My progress will be tracked and recorded in several ways.
First, I am going to keep a hand-written log of the usual standard adopted in competitive hitch-hiking. It registers make of the vehicle, time of embarking, time and place of disembarking. It provides means to model the whole course of movement afterwards.
Second, I will daily text the project coordinator, informing about my location. This information will be hosted on website.
At the moment of my start, a timer will be set off on the website, with a countdown of 500 hours, for additional excitement. Well, I’ll do my best not to turn onto a pumpkin.
Third, I am planning to use a GPS tracking device to continuously show my location.
Fourth, we’ll try to find a TV-channel or radio station that would make periodic broadcasts about my progress. If things are organized well, I will be able to give interviews during short stops, like at gas stations or in roadside cafes.
I would like to stress, however, that to any TV channel known for manipulating facts an interview can only be given on air, with no editing.
And the fifth. Each day of my journey, I would like to write a story of someone I’ve met on my way. One day — one person: a crewman from Omsk, a truck driver from Oregon, a Spanish farmer. Twenty one persons all making a small portrait of the planet. I don’t think these short essays will be sent and published as they are written: racing tempo and tiredness will preclude that. So let it become a kind of End of Mission report after I return home.
6. Is it really possible, 21 days with no rest?
Well, we’ll see. :)
Actually, I am going to have two good night rests anyway: there will be two trans-oceanic flights.
7. Once again: what for? And why hurry so?
The answer is simple. This is a perfect opportunity to show, first, that our world is very small and, second, that it is in no way hostile.
500 hours, i.e. less than 3 weeks, is an overwhelming objective, especially taking into account that I do not start on a jet plane or sports car, but simply hit the road with a backpack.
And the less time it takes me to complete the route, the more the project will be talked about. And so the more people will stop and consider: perhaps, it is not all that bad? Perhaps, there is no reason to fear and dislike Germans-Swedes-Ukrainians-Americans-Zulus-Inuits?
For they are human beings just like ourselves. They feel joy and sadness, the fall ill and fall in love, just the same. Well,.. the language they speak is often unintelligible to us, but is it really a problem?..
And even if those who will give this a serious thought are only a few hundreds — though I would rather bet on a few thousands — the world will surely become a kinder place, just a bit.
Hand made peace.
Alexey Vorov, President of St. Petersburg Autostop League