Among My Souvenirs

Stories of the road

Silent Stones

With tears in my eyes, with a sickening feeling in my soul, I watched the nightly news reporting that the magnificent Buddha statues of Bamiyan had been destroyed. The year 2001. And again we saw the looting of the Baghdad Museum in 2003 after the invasion of Iraq. Countless, priceless artifacts that tell the story of the human journey on this planet are gone. In some respects, it does not matter who or even why, my point is, those statues don’t belong to any one – they belong to us all.

It speaks to me of one of the reasons I feel travel is so important. We must stand in witness to these things, we must say, “Yes, with my own eyes, I saw them!” We must tell our community, our grandchildren, in case one day – they are no more.

On our adventures, we cross many different lands and cultures and oftentimes are in places where great structures were built: the Pyramids, Stonehenge, The Colosseum, Temple in Jerusalem, Crete and many others. It is sad enough that many of the great wonders of the ancient world are slowly disintegrating through the forces of nature, the lack of funds to maintain, the destruction by war, and the scope of their massive size, scale and age making even small repairs major governmental projects. One can only imagine their true luster and magnificent of 2000 years before, wonders of a world we cannot know and yet, the story of the genius, tenacity and determination generation to generation is something that now lives within the genes of the human species. We travel to find the story of our foundational roots etched in stones, of what makes us human, of the lineage of innovation and invention something that didn’t just happen in the 18th century but rode on the backs of all civilizations before us.