Argentina Independence Day

Dear Argentina! You were my first love on the trip through the Americas, but like any true love, you hurt me so much. Right from the beginning, your fierce Patagonian winds tested my commitment to the long paths. But I know that you wanted to strengthen me. Those roads of ups and downs, those endless … Read more

Wandering Thoughts at Agua Azul Waterfalls

Thousands of waterfalls tumble at the Agua Azul in the Chiapas rainforest in southern Mexico. The cascading water glistens in the soft light, and a gentle breeze sprays tiny drops of water on my face. Despite all the action and noise of the waterfalls, it all seems still and silent. I could have been anywhere … Read more

Bicycle Touring in Pakistan With Kamran On Bike

Sometimes I get questions like, “don’t you feel lonely on such a long bicycle journey?” Or, “why don’t you cycle with a companion or a group?” Or, “can I join you on your next bicycle tour?” To answer the first question, I don’t feel lonely on the road. I am always absorbed by something—the landscape, … Read more

End of the World in Canada

Have you ever wondered how the end of the world looks and feels like? Just imagine cycling for over three years from the southernmost city in the world while fantasising about the north. Imagine the struggle of pedalling over a million times, covering a distance of over 32,000 km, climbing hundreds of thousands of meters, … Read more

Summit Push

Yesterday, Sirbaz and Joshi left the basecamp for the summit push on Mt Annapurna. Today, they reached Camp 3 (6,420m) late in the afternoon. By pushing their physical limits on icy slopes under overhanging sercas for an entire day, now they are resting up in a tent. While they are up there, I wonder why … Read more

From A Tricycle To A Bicycle Tour Around The World

One crisp winter morning, mom bathed me and applied Surma (kohl) to my eyes. She tried to dress me up in brown pyjamas with long yellow stripes. As a kid, I was only used to wearing Shalwar Kameez. So, I resisted every bit. “If you wear this, I will ask your dad to buy you … Read more

3 Lessons From Peru

It was mid-September. The sky was deep blue, and the landscape had turned into dry grassland. I cycled across the border of Bolivia and entered Peru. My first city in Peru was Puno. Earlier, someone had recommended to me that I should visit the nearby floating islands in Lake Titicaca. So in Puno, I went … Read more

No Cure For The Death

I pick up the shovel and sink it into the ground. After digging a hole, I bury myself. Now I stand at my grave shedding tears at my own death. All my dreams, quests, and achievements rest beneath the dirt with me. I look around, but there is not even a single soul in the … Read more

The Dad, The Son, And The Stars

Once upon a time, a child from a remote city of Layyah in Pakistan was afraid of the dark. Waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to spot a speck of light in the room terrified him. He couldn’t go back to sleep. The darkness choked him. He felt disoriented … Read more

Lal Pari – First Lady Health Worker of Shimshal

A young girl sets out to become the first qualified midwife in a remote village with no ambulance and labour room. She has a tough job to deliver babies at people’s homes at night while carrying her kids on the back. Shimshal is a village of 250 or so houses built with stones and mud. … Read more

Hussn Bibi—First Graduate of Shimshal

After a schoolgirl is married off at the age of nine, she leaves behind her life in pastures and sets out on a long journey to become the first graduate woman of her remote village. Tucked away in the mighty Karakoram mountains of Gilgit Baltistan–Pakistan, there is a village called Shimshal which people know as … Read more

Daulat Amin — First Teacher From Shimshal

“My name is Daulat Amin. Perhaps God wanted me to become the guardian (Amin) of a treasure (Daulat) and what bigger treasure than the knowledge (Ilm)?” Born in 1945, Daulat Amin was the first matriculate teacher from Shimshal. When Daulat was young, his family suffered an economic shock after their 300 goats and sheep, and … Read more

Fazal Ali — The K2 King

“It is unfortunate that mountaineering has no value in our country. Everywhere I go, I have to tell who I am and narrate my achievements. In other countries, mountaineers are considered as heroes and don’t have to introduce themselves.” Fazal Ali is a veteran high altitude porter (HAP) from Shimshal, Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan. He has … Read more