Born with the idea of promoting relations and culture between the West and the East
"Civilizations, like man, thrive on challenges and die out when they no longer seek them."- Robert Zubrin
What is the purpose of this journey?
We think that the future of the world is very much related to an understanding of the cultural differences between the West and the East. We have a lot to learn from each other and it seems that young people are starting to realize this. This trip is about bringing cultures together and actively trying to help bring about that understanding to make this world a more sustainable and peaceful place. We want to interview Russians, Mongolians and Japanese to find out how they live, what they would like to change, what their concerns are, what dreams they have, etc.
The answer to the big problems we are suffering today (economic crisis, hyper-consumerism and climate change) is not a technological change, but a great change of consciousness in humanity.
For this to happen, we need to transform some things. Examples: frivolity, superficiality, fear, indifference to all that is profound, to all that is mysterious, to all that is unknown.
Don't get carried away. Get out of your comfort zone. It is a necessary and sufficient condition to achieve transformation and growth.
Description of the route
The Samurai Route will last three months, in which we will travel by motorcycle from Spain to Japan. We will cross all of Europe, from the south to the north, then we will enter Russia from the northwest, passing through Moscow and St. Petersburg. We will continue through Siberia and when we get to Mongolia, we will enter through a route that goes through the Gobi desert and the Altai mountains. Finally, we will reach the easternmost tip of Russia, where we will take a ferry to South Korea and then on to Japan. (see the complete route here.
Projects during the trip
1. Blog with videos and photos: we will try to document the route as much as possible (with videos, photos, diaries, maps, GPS tracking, and statistics). The goal is to collect all the information that may be interesting for future travelers who want to do this route. It would also be very interesting in future editions to organize a route through Southern Europe, the Middle East and South-East Asia.
2. Recording of a documentary video: The objective of the trip is to explore and in a certain way to vindicate a rapprochement of the cultures between the West and the East. To do this, we want to record a video (Full HD quality) of a travel diary. The script will be 90% improvised and we will try to find interpreters to help us interview the people of the countries we pass through. We will carry small cameras (Full HD with wide angle) attached to the helmets (for the motorcycle scenes) and other cameras with manual focus and a tripod for the walking scenes. Later in the post-production phase and with the help of our collaborators, we will shape the documentary.
3. For a solidary cause: part of the funds raised from the activities of La Ruta del Samurái will be destined for several projects to help certain communities in need in the Philippines and Mongolia. We still have to work on this part of the project and at the moment we are trying to get the La Caixa Foundation to collaborate with us. Especially to try to help in Mongolia, where poverty is causing a lot of damage.
How are we going to do it?
We don't have many means, no doctors, no broom cars, no trucks following us with spare parts and motorcycles. We don't know where we will sleep, what we will eat if we will get lost... The only thing we know is that we will go as well prepared as we can. We don't have a lot of money (most of the project is self-financed), but we have a lot of passion for traveling and determination to get to Japan.
We are going to quit our jobs as civil servant and web designer while we are traveling, so the financial issue becomes a bit more traumatic, but no matter, it is an important trip for us and we are determined to do whatever it takes so that on June 5, 2010, we will leave from Coria del Rio on our way to Japan!
We both had the idea of traveling from Spain to Japan for a long time and there are many preparations to do. For example:
- Planning the route, distances, stages, necessary gasoline, revisions of the motorcycle, etc
- Search and buy the necessary accessories for the bike, camping, survival, etc
- Travel to Madrid and Barcelona to obtain the necessary visas and contact possible sponsors
- Create and update the website, print logos, stickers, t-shirts, etc
- Promote the project on social networks and internet forums, press, friends, family, companies, etc
- Obtain various cards: for hostels, international driving license, insurance, social security, photographs, medical certificate, vaccinations, etc
- Get maps, and GPS cartographies, here we have a complete list of everything we need
- And many more things!
Has anyone done it before?
We want to mark a "before and after" when it comes to great motorcycle adventure travel and we are going to do our best to make it happen. We believe this route is a first and we hope it won't be the last! Maybe, with all the information we publish on this website, other travelers will be encouraged to repeat it in the future.