Towards the end of the Central Asian leg of my Vietnam to UK bike trip I met a wonderful young woman called Chloe. Sat in a homestay in Samarkand, the Uzbek capital, we were introduced and struck up a conversation. A few days later met again in Bukhara.
Cass (Chloe was difficult for locals to pronounce so Cassia, or Cass for short, was decided as an alternative moniker), is currently hitching to Australia. Alone. At 19.
There’s a lot in the Adventure Travel scene just now about solo female adventurers doing amazing things. I once traveled with the girl with the super niche. Independent travel is a popular thing to do just now. That said, Cass really inspired me. Her attitude, balance and wisdom were beyond her years.
Cass introduced me to Alan Watts, Robert Anton-Wilson and Terence McKenna. These philosophers, speakers and psychonauts caught my imagination and occupied many hours of the following weeks as I travelled the Caucasus.
We also shared stories of travel and the road to come. Cass was headed where I’d already passed through; Central Asia, South East Asia and India. We learned new yoga postures together – stretching our abilities and limbs in tandem.
There was also a great show at a large restaurant in the main square. Cass is a performer of fire poy. It was a joy to witness. The locals spellbound with every revolution of flame.