(For those of you just joining us, my name is Forrest Watkins and I’m cycling the world to collect stories of humans and climate change. I’m interested in climate change’s impacts on people, but also in the work of those searching for solutions. In the summer and fall of 2015, I biked 4,535 km across southwestern China and Vietnam and collected upwards of ten climate stories.)
Two weeks was not enough time in the Philippines. I was booked almost the entire time, either traveling or meeting with people to talk about Haiyan, the government’s response, and community-scale recovery efforts, and the people I met were consistently among the smartest and most committed that I’ve seen working on these issues. Keep an eye out for those stories–I’ll be publishing over the next few weeks.
I also visited some pretty cool places while I was in the Philippines. Pictured is the old customs office, which has gone through 3 separate cycles of destruction and rebirth. It was destroyed in an earthquake, WWII, and a fire, and though it’s been abandoned for years now, the records office has taken control of it and plans to rebuilt it again to house the national archives.
If you want to keep up with the trip in (sort of) real time and see more travel-oriented photos like that one, feel free to follow on:
(Thanks Maia for helping with social media)
I’ve been back in China for a few days now, writing and packing. Hester, my bike, is looking good and ready to get out on the road. So that’s what we’re doing, tomorrow. I’ll take it easy the first few weeks while I get back in shape and finish writing up pieces from the Philippines and from my home state.
Then I’ll get into the more desert-y Central Asian region of the country, and I’ll have to kick my pace up a notch to get between the sparser towns. Pretty soon it’ll be on to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia and Turkey.
At the end of this segment of the tour, I’ll dip into Greece for a moment for visa reasons and then post up in Istanbul for 2-3 weeks to plan for Europe.
Interested in the project? Want to help?
If you know of any people or places that have been affected by climate change, any compelling climate- or clean energy-related projects, any couches or floors where I could crash, or any places I simply can’t pass by, please comment below, contact me at fqwatkins[at]gmail[dot]com, or use the contact form here. I’ll be grateful for any information you can give–tips for where to go, names of compelling projects, whatever it may be. The route is tentative and deviations of 100 miles or more are just fine.
Please share this with your friends and family and anyone who might be interested in the project!