A Long Journey Home with @nashker

To view more photos and videos from Nathan’s travel across the globe, follow @nashker on Instagram.

After living and working in Hong Kong for a couple of years, United States Instagrammer Nathan Ashker (@nashker) decided to head back to his parents’ home in Tennessee, but with one caveat: he’d travel home without taking a single plane. “I wanted to combine my long-term travel desires with my journey back to America by traveling overland from South East Asia to the USA,” he says. Nathan is now at the beginning of his trip that started in March. He has planned an extensive backpacking journey by land and by sea that takes him across South East Asia, China, Russia, parts of Europe and finally through a long stretch of America from the East coast westward. Though the trip is largely on his own time, he has set a few deadlines to meet: a reunion with friends from Hong Kong in Cambodia later this month, the train ride from Beijing to Moscow in mid May and boarding the cargo ship in August that will take him from Northern France to New York. When all is said and done, he hopes to reach his final destination in roughly eight months time.

In addition to reunions with old friends, Nathan has plans to meet up with local Instagrammers as he travels: “When I started mapping my route I realized that I knew Instagrammers in many of the cities I’m going to visit, and so I hope to meet many of those people along the way.”

Nathan says he has met some of his closest friends through Instagram, and sharing this epic journey with them helps him persevere through any difficulties he meets on his travels. “It’s so wonderful to know that once I reconnect to the internet, I have a community of people to engage with and even meet when I arrive to their city,” he says. “This trip is very much a personal journey, but knowing that other people find it inspiring motivates me on the tough days (and there are many) and also humbles me to the scope of what I’m doing.”