Worldwalk

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Buy Worldwalk or check it out FREE from your Kindle . (Check out requires Amazon Prime membership) At age 28, freelance journalist and former roustabout Steven Newman set out from his home in Bethel, Ohio, to backpack alone the back roads and pathways of the world--unsponsored,...

Steven Newman

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Letters from China – Snow Mountain

Darci, Even though Snow Mountain and the other monstrous peaks that keep it in eternal company are behind me now, its memory can never fade. With a touch of sadness, I must admit that I will likely never again find such a overwhelming sight in my remaining years here on this planet. The moment in our trek that we crested the pass that had been our goal for two days, and stood in the full presence of Snow Mountain,we actually …

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Letters from China – Dispatch from Lijiang

Darci, I am writing this from a beautiful and delightful little city called Lijiang. You might think of it as the Jackson Hole of China. It is far, far removed from the grimy and crowded dens of noise and unwashed masses I am used to seeing in most cities here in the “wild west.” At this moment I am reclining in the open and airy front lobby of the Oak Garden Inn just inside the original ancient market area. The …

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Letters From China — “Little Things from a Big Country”

Darci, My travels throughout the eastern half of China these past five weeks have found me going in a huge circle that took me as far west as Tibet, as far south as Hong Kong, as far north as Beijing, and as far east as the Yellow Sea. I’ve traveled probably well over six thousand miles in total via private cars, a filthy sleeper bus, more than half a dozen domestic airliners, a couple of boats, too many taxis, and …

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Letters From China — “Peasant Hospitality”

Darci, Former China premier Chairman Mao once said that it was the “responsibility” of the Chinese people to “Love the Great Wall.” To him, the 4,000-mile-long Great Wall symbolized not only the tremendous potential of collective Chinese spirit and thought but also the grandeur of a national history unmatched in length and riches and achievements. To Mao, the Wall was a highly visible example of what China was capable of when it took command of its millions of individual talents …

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Letters From China — “Into the Wilds”

Darci, Surely the guide must be mistaken, I had thought. How could it take seven hours to climb back down the mountain? But he was not mistaken. In fact, it would be more than eight hours before we reached the village we would spend the night at.

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Letters From China — “From a Tiger’s Lair”

Darci, On the fifth day of my trek along the ruins of the original Great Wall located between the coastal city of Qinhuangdoa and China’s capital, Beijing, I was greeted by a fresh team of climbing guides. Each was loaded down with an ungainly backpack half the length of me. I greeted the ruddy-faced gents and invited them politely into the courtyard of the simple village home I’d spent the night at. Knowing that their job was to protect me …

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Letters From China — “Where Scholars are Heroes”

Darci, Today after a speech at a college, I experienced something I’ve never faced at an American college–a mad crush for my autograph by more than half the audience. It was an absolute zoo. More than half the 500+ students jostling and pushing and shouting at me to sign their papers, their textbooks, their clothes, even their arms and hands. I thought the craziness would never end. And it might not have, if after about twenty minutes several professors hadn’t …

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Letters From China — “Scorpions and Snakes on a Stick”

Darci, I never thought I could feel sorry for a scorpion, but last night I came across dozens that I couldn’t help but do so. They were at an outdoor food kiosk in an open-air market in the center of Beijing, skewered by the threes on foot-long wooden sticks the width of toothpicks. A part of my heart actually did constrict, and I even gasped at the sight of their little claw-tipped legs flailing about so helplessly and confusedly. How …

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Letters From China — “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”

Darci, To be standing on a train station platform when a bullet train roars past at nearly 400 miles an hour is an unforgettable experience. It’s almost as if what you just experienced was all in your imagination; as if for a few seconds you were suddenly in a dream, and some long, shiny, white dragon swooped past in a mad rush to reach some place where warlocks and witches live. If you blink, you’ll miss the dragon entirely. Nearly …

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Letters From China — “Children of Confucius”

Darci, Thirty years ago, when I was walking around the world, I wrote that the friendliest people in the United States were those who lived in the southeast corner of Nebraska. Well I now know where the friendliest people in the WORLD may be living: in little Tai’an, about a two-hour bullet train ride southeast of Beijing. Rural and small by China standards, this city the size of Denver has a range of massive mountain peaks standing guard over it …

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