The Zen Nomad: World Pilgrimage
An enquiry into the wisdom of humanity.
• October 2021 • 5 years • 7 continents •
by Daniel Beaumont
Idea: A 5-year journey spanning 6 continents, travelling to document and share the stories, lessons and wisdom of everyday people encountered spontaneously along the way.
Route: North America > Central America > South America > Australasia > Asia > Middle East > Africa > Europe.
About The Project
We live in a society that celebrates and idolises a minority of individuals (gurus, famous people, authors, coaches, self-proclaimed experts) for all the answers and wisdom of life. However, I believe that wisdom is all around us, and that each and everyone of us has a valuable and meaningful story to share with the world.
Carrying the belief that we can learn something from everybody we meet, the idea of The World Pilgrimage is to travel all 7 continents, uncovering the stories and wisdom that unite humanity.
The aim of the journey is to travel unconventionally using a combination of walking, cycling & hitchhiking. The journey will be documented from the field using a mixture of journalistic mediums, predominantly writing and video, showcasing a raw and honest depiction of life on the road, alongside some of the most meaningful stories and lessons learned from spontaneous interactions with people met along the way. At the end of the journey, the best footage and stories will be used to create a 2-hour documentary and book, both planned to be released 1 year after the journey concludes.
The journey will commence in October 2021, and is estimated to take approximately 5 years to complete, taking base in a new place every 5 months to rest, write and keep on top of content production. The route is planned as follows, but is subject to change:
North America > Central America > South America > Australasia > Asia > Middle East > Africa > Europe.
From start to finish, the World Pilgrimage is estimated to take about 9 years to complete. That’s 3 years of pre-planning and organisation, the 5-year journey, and 1-year post-production of the documentary and book. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the timeline of events so far and the plan going forward:
2012 – 2017: The idea of the World Pilgrimage was formed out on the back of a series of successful smaller expeditions (e.g. Hitchhiking 30,000km’s across North America & Europe). 50 interviews have already been conducted, as well as a vast amount of experienced gained in planning long-term expeditions, journalism, marketing and media production.
2017 – 2020: Planning/logistics, pilot test of concept, formation of team, securing sponsorship, organising equipment, marketing, physical and mental preparation, improving production skills, finalising itinerary.
2021 – 2026: World Pilgrimage commences – real time documentation of the journey predominantly in video format, but also written.
2026 – 2027: Post production and editing of footage and content, followed by the release of completed deliverables: A documentary and book showcasing the journey.
This is a big journey that requires the assistance of a team of individuals with different skillsets who have prior experience with extended travel expeditions. The various roles needed for the journey are as follows:
Production: On the ground videographers, photographers & editors to help document the experience on the move.
Project Management/Logistics: A project manager to help remotely with the organisation and any logistical challenges the team will face.
Social Media/Marketing: Social media and marketing experts to manage social media channels and market the World Pilgrimage while the team is on the move.
Post Production: A team of editors to help create the final 2 hour documentary, as well as an editor to help bring the book to life.
If any of these positions excite you and you want to be part of the journey, please get in touch here.
Risks & Challenges
Traversing across 7 continents over 5 years is clearly a demanding journey which brings with it a lot of risks & challenges that must be appreciated and mitigated.
The journey bears a lot of similarities with many of the long unconventional travel expeditions that Daniel has carried out over the last 5 years. To that degree, we are confident that this experience, coupled with 3 years of proactive planning and assessments to anticipate and mitigate risks will put us in a strong position to tackle this journey in the best possible way.
The desired outcome of the journey is as follows:
- To document the journey as we go in the form of video series, live interviews, & written articles, as well as collaborative projects in local communities on route.
- A 2-hour documentary & book – showcasing a raw and honest depiction of life on the road, alongside the stories shared and lessons learned from the people we meet during the journey.