CHENNAI : Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Paul Salopek started his 35,000 km journey on foot from Ethiopia in 2013 to not set a Guinness world record or to become a celebrity. But, it was to break the invisible boundary present around each news story which limits the storytelling power of the original anecdote, he said during an interactive session at the US Consulate-General on Monday.
“I wanted to literally walk away from the accelerating world of digital news and that’s what I did,” said 56-year-old Paul, who will complete his trek around the globe, ‘Out of the Eden Walk’ in 2023.Retracing the ancient migration pattern of our human ancestors, he started his journey five years ago from the world’s oldest human fossil site in Ethiopia and since then he had travelled across Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Turkey, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan.
Currently, he has stopped at Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh and will head east to finally reach South America in the next five years. Paul, a National Geographic Fellow has documented stories, videos, pictures and audio clips and shared it on the Nat Geo website and magazine. With the help of ‘walking partners’, he has written extensively about climate change, culture, religion, environment, migration through stories by interacting with people.