Welcome to the free version of The Thousand-Mile Journey by me, Adam J. Cheshier.
In this new intimate project, I send you an exclusive story every week like:
Unseen bits from my travels around the world.
Thought-provoking glimpses of my personal journey.
Honest discussions on everything from cultural differences to relationships.
Personal finances as a digital nomad.
Plus, lots more I don’t share on any other platforms!
Most stories are for paid subscribers only. You can subscribe to the paid version using debit and credit cards here.
Note: If you’re here for The Medium Run-Down, a separate monthly installment of the best stuff from Medium, don’t worry, those come free.
The Thousand-Mile Journey is a 100% reader-funded project. No ads, no affiliate partnerships, no SEO for Google. Only honest, meaningful stories, delivered to your inbox once a week. Thank you for supporting my work!
See you on the road,
This week, we interviewed Adam J. Cheshier, a six-year nomad and expeditioner who writes The Thousand-Mile Journey, a newsletter about contemporary exploration.
What’s your publication about in one sentence?
The Thousand-Mile Journey tells the epic, inspiring, and sometimes tragic stories of my ground expeditions in countries and regions all over the world.
You’ve said that travel changed your life. What makes it so special to you?
Before I started traveling, I never thought much about my purpose. I knew I loved to write, but there was nothing I was particularly passionate about. And we all know passion drives the best writing.
I never thought about leaving my hometown. It didn’t even cross my mind. Once I did, however, I grew unexpectedly — in ways I can’t even put to words. I was opened to the world. My perspective of humanity and my future changed simultaneously. I was finally stimulated.
Many of your pieces are narrative depictions of your expeditions, rather than sensational recaps. Why write about exploring in this way?
I’ve talked about this before, but it becomes more apparent every day. In our world, we are losing culture, traditions, and history to mass tourism; the ease of travel.
Almost suddenly, Instagram has taken over as our travel encyclopedia. While photos stir imagination, nothing proves the spirit of a traveler better than words. And, though Lonely Planet is great for saving money, time, and knowing where to go, we are still a society thirsty for stories and authenticity. Guides don’t tell stories.
The act of exploring, and the very definition as we know it, is changing in front of us. Nowadays, people take a day trip and slap the hashtag “explore” on it. This dishonors those great explorers who have done it before us.
Although exploration of the unknown is impossible in our world of information, deep-travel can and will give us a taste of old-fashioned exploration. That’s always my goal on expeditions.
As someone who has written about travel for 7 years, how have you changed as a traveler? How is it reflected in your writing?
In writing about travel, there are generally two ways to go about it. I used to write from a technical standpoint. I wanted to help as many people take the same leap into deep travel as I could. After a while, however, you just want to put some character in your words. You want to write about the people you meet and the stories you experience. There is no personality in the technicalities of travel.
Anyways, I started feeling this longing to write narratively around three or four years ago. It was a gradual transition from the Rick Steves-type to my own experiences in words.
I hope, as well, I’ve matured in my writing over the years. I’m more aware of my surroundings and it shows in my observations.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
One day, I'd like to circumvent Europe in its entirety. I’m also keen on traversing northern Africa. I’ve had a huge goal of being the last to document a few of the Pacific islands; the ones scientists have dubbed ‘first to go’ when the climate rises our sea levels.
Who’s another travel writer you’d recommend?
Not that anyone reading my newsletter knows me more than the next guy, but I’ve always been inspired by the likes of Levison Wood and Paul Theroux. Those two, in addition to all-time writers like Kerouac and Hemingway, are the ones on my shelves. I like writers for different reasons. Sometimes, it’s the writing style. Sometimes, it’s the stories. Sometimes, I find a lot in common with the writer him/herself.
In the meantime, tell your friends!