Wednesday December 16, 2015

Paul Salopek discusses his 7-year-long conversation with strangers

In eastern Turkey, Paul Salopek leads his mule past the Karakuş royal tomb, built in the first century B.C. by one of the area’s many ruling states. When Syrians began to pour over the border 70 miles to the south, he and photographer John Stanmeyer drove down separately to report on the situation.

In eastern Turkey, Paul Salopek leads his mule past the Karakuş royal tomb, built in the first century B.C. by one of the area’s many ruling states. When Syrians began to pour over the border 70 miles to the south, he and photographer John Stanmeyer drove down separately to report on the situation. (John Stanmeyer/National Geographic)

Listen 23:29

"I am engaged, not just in a walk for the next seven, eight, nine years. I'm engaged in a seven, eight, nine year long conversation with total strangers." - Paul Salopek on epic walking journey
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Striding toward Bethlehem, in the West Bank, Salopek is detoured by a herder’s tattered fence, one of the first human-made barriers—other than checkpoints and border gates—he’s faced in some 2,300 miles since he started out in Ethiopia. (John Stanmeyer/National Geographic)

 Paul Salopek is a Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist and a fellow with National Geographic. Today, he's walking through Azerbaijan with his guide Rufat. He's on an epic walking journey to trace our ancestors' migration out of Africa and across the globe.

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Surrounded by the ghosts of travelers who came before him, author Salopek camps amid 2,000-year-old Nabataean tombs at Madain Salih. (John Stanmeyer/National Geographic)

Out of Eden Walk: Dispatches from the field from Paul Salopek

It began three years ago in Ethiopia. It's set to end four years from now at the southern tip of South America. So far, Paul Salopek has walked nearly 6,000 kilometres.

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Paul Salopek wanders through the ancient Nabataean ruins of Madain Salih, carved into sandstone outcrops some 2,000 years ago. These structures were used as tombs for the wealthy during the Nabataean era. The kingdom stretched from its capital Petra in Jordan south to Madain Salih in the Hejaz region of present-day Saudi Arabia. Photo shows a tomb façade in the Al Khuraymat area of Madain Salih. (John Stanmeyer/National Geographic)

We've been checking in with him each year around this time, as part of our occasional series Eye on the Media.

Today, Paul Salopek joined Anna Maria from Baku, Azerbaijan. 

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Paul Salopek's Out of Eden walking route. (National Geographic)

This segment was produced by The Current's Liz Hoath.