From ‘Humanity’s Cradle’ to Antarctic Sea, Paul Salopek Taking a Seven-Year Walk

vincent globeJournalist Paul Salopek is a real go-getter, a true why-stop-there? kinda guy. Most long-distance hikers might set their sights on, say, the Pacific Crest Trail or, I don’t know, the Camino de Santiago. But not Paul! Nope. Not Paul.

Around 108 days (and 300 miles) ago, Salopek set off on a 7-year trek tracing human migration. National Geographic is funding the project, known as Out of Eden. He’ll be keeping up the Out of Eden Walk blog via NG’s website. A companion educational/interactive portal supported by the Knight Foundation is up and running here.

The Knight Foundation website’s “digital campfire” explains:

“From 2013 to 2020, writer Paul Salopek is recreating that epic journey on foot, starting at humankind’s birthplace in Ethiopia and ending at the southern tip of South America, where our forebears ran out of horizon. Along the way he is engaging with the major stories of our time — from climate change to technological innovation, from mass migration to cultural survival — by walking alongside the people who inhabit these headlines every day. Moving at the slow beat of his footsteps, Paul is also seeking the quieter, hidden stories of people who rarely make the news.”

So, basically, Paul Salopek is living my dream, turned up to 11. Mr. Salopek, I salute you — and I am so excited to watch the journey unfold.

Also, setting aside the advances in footwear that are bound to change his game between now and 2020, can you even begin to imagine the ways technology will have changed by the time he clocks out of this gig? When he reaches Antarctica, he’ll be sending dispatches via holograms that materialize inside our souls, for sure.

Just watch.

** (Special thanks to Vincent M. who gave me the paper globe pictured above when he redistributed his worldly goods before moving to Rwanda. I know you’ve been back for a minute now, VM, but I’m still taking good care of it, promise. Let me know if you need it back. Kthxbai.)

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