Si vous ne la connaissez pas encore, voici un petit aperçu de cette aventurière d’exception :
Eleanor est une jeune américaine, photographe avant tout, partie il y a 2 ans et demi pour voyager à travers toute l’Asie, à vélo !
Elle a déjà parcouru à ce jour un peu plus de 26000 kilomètres depuis le début de son périple, à travers 7 pays !
Son aventure est rendue encore plus belle grâce aux magnifiques photos qu’elle nous offre, et son point de vue sur les pays qu’elle traverse, et les gens qu’elle rencontre sur sa route. Une aventurière étonnante, et riche de tout ce qu’elle a vu et vécu au cours de ce voyage, qui n’est pas encore achevé !
Voici donc pour vous l’auto-portrait de ce personnage haut en couleur, qui a connu des moments très forts durant cette expérience en solitaire, et qu’elle seule sait partager avec tant de sincérité, et d’humour :
Eleanor Moseman began cycling Asia in the Spring of 2010 and has just completed 26,000km through 7 countries. She incorporated her photography to document the communities and peoples of the Western borderlands of China, including Tibet, Xinjiang and Central Asia.
A noted Architecture and Interior Photographer, Eleanor has an impressive list of Chinese and International clients, and her work has been featured in countless publication across Asia and Australia.
Moseman could well boast of her exploits, such as illegal entry into Tibet, surviving rape attempts, crossing 5000m passes, braving sandstorms in the Gobi Desert, camping at -25°C in the Tianshan Mountains, weathering a blizzard in Kyrgyzstan, and being stuck in the Pamirs as a Civil War erupted. But if you were to meet her in person, she would blush, hide her face and insist, “it’s nothing”.
Being fluent in Mandarin, Moseman stands out from the hundreds of cyclists flooding Asia with their starry-eyed stereotypes of Eastern exoticism. She goes slow (23,000km in two years), avoids well-known routes, and takes time to get to know the locals she encounters. These are the people and stories she strives to show the world, sharing the love, compassion, and thoughts of those living in the far reaches of China and its borderlands.
Moseman’s unique experiences include building a mud house in Yunnan with the Yi minority, praying with Kham Tibetans, receiving a sponge bath from Tajik women, having her hands hennaed by Uyghurs, riding a horse during a Buzkashi match in Kyrgyzstan, helping prepare naan in Uzbekistan and witnessing a Shaman ritual in U-Tsang Tibet. This is what bicycle exploration should be like, and Eleanor Moseman is the woman to live and lead by example.
Her future plans include to cycle Africa solo, but after re-visiting Xinjiang on a motorcycle next summer for photography purposes and then conclude with a walk through Tibet into India or into northeast Pakistan along the Wakhan Corridor.
Comment t’es venue l’idée d’un tel challenge, et quelle était ta vie AVANT cette aventure ?
My life before…
I did this trip because I saw the bicycle as a way to get me deeper, and further, into the depths of China. Places a bus or train just can’t take me.
I can speak Mandarin.
Before this trip…I was very unsure of myself, lack of confidence, not knowing my strength. Now I love myself, confident in my abilities, and know the power I have in the world…but also seeing the insignificance of myself and what I have done. Really, there is nothing « special » about it.
I’ve learned to accept help from strangers, being at the mercy of people I don’t know…or can speak their language.
I chose this life to learn about myself, others, and to value freedom. As I’m still concluding this travel, I am a little fearful what it will be like to return to civilization.
My favorite areas have been deeply religious areas such as Tibet, East Turkistan (Xinjiang) and Tajikistan.
Although I consider myself an atheist, I find religious practices and cultures based on religion fascinating. I’ve spent the last year and half really concentrating on the religious minorities of Western China and the borderlands of the ‘Stan countries.
The west has such a preconceived ideas of Muslims but what I have found is that most of them are very welcoming and loving to Westerners. So often in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, households of women would invite me in for food and a place to sleep.
Most of my photo work has been focused on the Uyghurs, the Muslim minority of Western China, and some of the Tibetans. I’ve chosen Uyghurs because it’s much more difficult to get « in » as a foreigner with these people than the Tibetans. They are persecuted by the government as much, if not more, than the Tibetans.
Quelques petites anecdotes pour nous ?
In busy Chinese places I pretend I can’t speak/understand the language to over hear what they are going to say. Then I usually let them know I know what’s going on.
I listen to a lot of music. I dance A LOT! On the side of the road…by my campsite…on the bike. You can see me on my YouTube channel.
I sing sometimes on the bike too.
When I’m feeling like I would like some human interaction, I usually sit on a curb somewhere near a village and wait for locals to talk with me. Or I’ll go into a shop and talk with the owners. I like the dialogue and company for a short bit. Sometimes it also opens up a place to stay for free…and safe.
When locals, men…start messing with my bike, like trying to ride it are adjust it…AFTER I’ve told them to STOP!. If they have a car around, I will jump into the driver’s seat and prepare to drive it. Let them know if they are going to mess with mine, I’m going to do the same to them.
Un grand merci à Eleanor d’avoir bien voulu prendre de son temps pour nous, on lui souhaite de bons moments encore sur les routes du monde, et bon vent à elle !
Noted Awards and Recognitions:
A Jupiter’s Traveller: The Ted Simon Foundation 2012