The book is in the final production stage as we speak. I am funding final editing, design, and publishing with a Kickstarter campaign. If you haven't, please consider my plea and join me in this creative venture!
In 2005, my wife, Sutay, and I got married, quit everything, and flew to Pakistan to begin an open-ended trip together.
We didn't need wedding gifts, we needed shared experiences, preferably toilsome, scary, and rewarding ones in strange, faraway places.
A short version of our honeymoon story was featured in National Geographic Traveler in 2007. Some more stories and excerpts:
We began our trip in Pakistan to explore the legacy of Sutay's great grandfather, Dr. Ralph Stewart, a botanist from New York who spent half his life exploring the flora of Kashmir and the Himalayas. Our quest for his legacy was the subject of my TEDxBoulder talk in September, 2013:
photo by kit chalbert
After Pakistan, we went trekking in the Karakorum (the highest I've ever been), then continued east to India where we found glass in the rice, a cockroach in my wife's mouth, and a silence beneath the tree of enlightenment.
We spent three months working among tea pickers in Birpara, conducting a malnutrition survey and getting our palms read. In West Africa, village chiefs blessed our unborn children and offered fertility rites of slaughtered goats, Arabic prayers, and sacred crocodiles. It was a hell of a trip.
For nearly half our trip, during scattered multi-month assignments, we worked with American Jewish World Service, a phenomenal New York–based international development organization. Their Volunteer Corps program places professionals with grassroots organizations around the world.