I am currently studying Geography in my online high school. After the unit on Central and Southwest Asia, I wrote an essay documenting a 10 day trek through Asia.
“Ashish, my boy, how would you like to accompany me on a little journey?”
I looked at my boss, Mr. Ali, with suspicion.
“Don’t worry,” he interjected, “it’s for business. I have trades to make in Samarkand, Dubai, Damascus, and Tel Aviv. If we finish early, I’ll take you somewhere special.”
“Yes, absolutely.” I stammered, trying to contain my excitement. I was excited to experience the geography, cultures, and cities along this journey.
Day One: We left Kabul at dawn. Once we drove outside the mountains, we were surrounded by grassy, bare steppes. As we drove into Uzbekistan, the terrain became rocky. This was the Kyzyl Kum desert. We spent the night with a nomadic tribe. Mr. Ali was able to speak their native Turkic language.
Day Two: We left the camp early and continued through the Kyzyl Kum. Eventually, we saw the signs for Samarkand. In the marketplace, Mr. Ali traded some of our goods for some beautiful silk carpets. His business associates fed us a delicious lamb and rice dinner. I loved Samarkand’s old and historic nature.
Day Three: The rocky terrain turned to sand as we drove into Turkmenistan. This was the Kara Kum desert. Eventually, I felt a cool breeze and saw water: the Caspian Sea. The climate was very pleasant. Mr. Ali said the rest of Iran was mountains and deserts.
Day Four: We traveled through the winding roads in the Zagros and Elburz mountains. Iran’s largest peak is somewhere around here! There were lots of trees, and the air was cool and moist. I even saw some snow!
Day Five: After driving past the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, we approached the Persian Gulf coast. The coastline was hot and desert-like. Mr. Ali said it’s nowhere as hot and arid as the Rub’ al Khali, or the “Empty Quarter.” The temperature difference there ranged from scorching days to chilly nights.
Day Six: As we drove through the coastal cities, I noticed the British influence from their colonial architecture.
Dubai was unlike any other city I’d seen: a sprawling blend of traditional and modern cultures. We visited several huge bazaars. As Mr. Ali made his trades, I wandered through the stalls, amazed at the variety of goods.
Day Seven: We drove up the Persian Gulf coast and into Iraq. To avoid the harsh desert conditions, Mr. Ali drove through Mesopotamia, the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The land was grassy and hilly, and the weather was pleasant. We spent the night in Baghdad, an old and historic city.
Day Eight: We followed the Euphrates river all the way to Syria. We crossed through the Syrian Desert to get to Damascus, and it was blisteringly hot. Damascus is near the mountains. Damascus is a large city and has a lot of people. We visited several souks to made trades.
Day Nine: From Damascus, we drove into Israel. The landscape was very diverse. We drove through mountains, and as we approached the Mediterranean coast, the land became coastal plains. Tel Aviv is a modern urban center, and contrasted some of the older cities I’d seen.
“Well, Ashish, we finished early.” said Mr. Ali as he finished his last trade. “Tomorrow, I’m taking you to Jerusalem.”
Day Ten: Jerusalem was beautiful! It is thousands of years old, and holds much religious significance. I explored each of the four quarters. Today, many cultures blend together in each quarter.
I had an amazing journey through Asia! I experienced diverse geography and unique cultures. I hope Mr. Ali will take me along on another business trip soon!