“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”
So wrote Robert Louis Stevenson in his 1879 memoir, Travels With a Donkey in the Cevennes. It’s true—as long as there has been a Point A and a Point B, humans have invented some pretty creative methods to move between them.
In the past few months our Instagram feed has illustrated the “great affair” of hitching a ride in a variety of ways—by wheels, water, and beast. Ahead, we have dispatches from Cory Richards in Myanmar, David Alan Harvey in North Carolina and Mexico, Pete Muller in Sierra Leone, Robbie Shone in Austria, Ed Kashi in Syria, Corey Rich in Yosemite, and Aaron Huey in South Dakota and Alaska.
Who hasn’t dreamed of joining a Burmese motorcycle gang? Drinking whiskey, smoking cigs, roaring through jungle villages raising hell. No matter that these adolescent easy riders, stick-thin boys in flip-flops and longyes not leathers, were riding tiny, battered 125cc Chinese mopeds. But it was either join the gang or walk 80 miles. Initiation was brutal, sitting behind a death-defying driver careening along a foot-wide cliff face, launching through knee-deep, wheel-sucking mud and smashing across rocky creeks. Our backs were wrecked and bodies covered in leeches after day one. By day three we thankfully reached trails end and bid farewell to our baby Hell’s Angels. —Cory Richards
Lake Pátzcuaro, Mexico. Butterfly net fishermen. Early morning fog shrouds Janitzio Island in Michoacan state. Tourism is no doubt the biggest business on little Janitzio, perhaps most famous for it’s Day of the Dead fiesta. —David Alan Harvey
Ebola survivors aboard a bus that will take them home after being discharged from the Hastings Ebola Treatment Center outside Freetown, Sierra Leone. Upon discharge, survivors are given new mattresses, basic hygiene supplies, food and other essential goods. Mattresses and clothing of Ebola patients are burned as part of the process of decontaminating their homes so such supplies are critical to ease their return. —Pete Muller
Rodelling (also known as traditional sledding, sledging or tobogganing) down the slopes of Patscherkofel, the Olympic and World Cup mountain situated on the southern side of Innsbruck, the Capital of the Alps, Austria. —Robbie Shone
Trying for a clean barrel ride, a surfer in Nags Head NC is forced to kick out of what became a closeout wave. The local crowd here often grumbles that the surf here in the Outer Banks is not Hawaii or Australia. It’s not. Yet with a shifting sandy bottom that is the organic nature of this barrier island, when the surf is good it’s really good. —David Alan Harvey
Peaceful moment in Syria, 1995. A boy sits atop his camel, listening to his Walkman, while waiting for tourists by the Monumental Arch at the ruins of Palmyra, an ancient desert city. Today there are no tourists at this incredible world heritage site, only armed militias. —Ed Kashi
Climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson rely on a network of rigged ropes to move up and down the Dawn Wall of El Capitan in order to access the hardest pitches. They leave their portaledge camp each afternoon as the sun dips around the corner, and use mechanical ascenders to climb the ropes and go to work on the day’s climbing adventure. Not a bad commute at all. —Corey Rich
Nupa White Plume racing down a hill at the Lakota War Pony Races at Kiza Park. Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota. The event commemorates the victory of over Custer at the Battle of The Greasy Grass (AKA: The Battle of the Little Big Horn). This image was the cover of our Aug 2012 issue, “In The Spirit of Crazy Horse.” —Aaron Huey
Miki Collins and her dog team on a subsistence trap line that runs deep into Denali National Park, Alaska. Miki and her sister Julie inherited the trap line (which existed long before the National Park) from a long line of trappers who also lived off the land in this remote land of kettle lakes, winding rivers, and winters that regularly dip down to -50 or below. —Aaron Huey