Veering from the well-tread path is not for the weak-kneed, wary tourist. Especially when venturing across the wild islands of Indonesia’s eastern archipelago; where travel demands iron-willed initiative and a mighty sense of humor as your inevitable misfortunes rack up.
American expatriate, Adam Cheshier, is no stranger to the challenging terrain of unfortunate travel circumstances. He’s been around the world on a shoestring budget for the last ten years. Of which, he’s come upon his fair share of uncanny misadventures.
The Papua Expedition, however, is his tallest task yet. A journey of over 2,000 kilometers, passing by some of the world’s most explosive volcanoes, dangerous wildlife, and walled-off ancient tribes. Oh, yeah – and he’s doing it all on his own two feet.
Treecard has partnered with Cheshier to plant a tree for every 10,000 steps. Each step is being tracked and counted towards his target of 2.5 million steps (or 250 trees).
His end-goal, as you may have guessed, is to reach the territory of Papua and New Guinea, which many agree is one of the wildest places remaining on Earth.
At the time of publishing this, Adam is more than 500-kilometers into his journey, on the island of Flores.
What led you to choose this expedition?
“Besides the idea of being able to so seamlessly contribute to a healing Earth with Treecard, there’s no individual factor that motivated me to choose this particular region. I like the idea of showing up in places so rural and unexpected that a foreigner being there becomes the talk of the community, even if only for a few hours. It usually lends itself to some pretty rare opportunities and allows you to experience the culture at its rawest.”
Which island are you most looking forward to seeing?
“There are a few places I’m particularly excited for – Sumba because of its ancient traditions, the Alor islands for the prospect of hitching rides on small dugout canoes, the Aru islands for their remoteness. . . But I would be lying if I said Papua New Guinea didn’t top the list.”
What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you already?
“In Bali, I was invited to take part in the ancient procession of Melasti, where thousands of locals hoist spiritual offerings onto their shoulders using bamboo poles. They proceed to walk 70 kilometers to the ocean in order to purify their offerings and souls. I walked from the Mother Temple on the tallest volcano of the island down to the coast – with upwards of ten-thousand Hindus. I was so fortunate to get the opportunity. The scene was unreal.”
What’s your favorite thing about Treecard’s walk-to-plant feature?
“It makes it so effortless to do something good for the planet. Even if I wasn’t walking to far-off islands, I would still be using Treecard to plant a tree every day. Whether you’re walking the aisles of Wal-Mart or walking through campus on your way to class, everybody has the opportunity to make an impact with zero inconvenience on your day-to-day life.”
Have you downloaded the Treecard app? If not, get started on your own walk-to-plant tree journey today! Get the free app HERE.
You can follow Adam, and his travel partner, Lola, on their expedition at the following: