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Village Voice Article

Village Voice ALIVE – BOOKS                                                                                            March 09


An adventure in the footsteps of Marco Polo


By Hannah Parks



Breakfast Point resident Brian Lawrenson is used to giving out free travel advice.


Having visited more than 70 countries, he has spent the past twenty five years fulfilling his teen dream, travelling Marco Polo’s historic Silk Road.


Previously available only to close friends and family, Brian’s transfixing travel tales have finally been collated in his new book Following Marco Polo’s Silk Road.


“Friends loved receiving our emails of our travels, they said I should record our journey into a book,” Brian said.


His journey has taken him and his wife, Jill, through some of the most intriguing destinations in the world including Turkey, Syria, Iran, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, China and Tibet.


“People thought we were slightly crazy. In 1986 when we set out it was a very adventurous thing to do, maps of some of the places were impossible to get,” he said.


They trekked through deserts, flirted with war zones and visited villages centred on the weapons trade.


“Many of the places we visited were some of the most inhospitable and dangerous places one could visit,” he said. “But the levels of warmth and the friendship that exists in these places are rarely found in our society. It is this warmth that makes up for the hardships.”


Brian’s book is not a travel guide but rather an adventure tale filled with personal anecdotes, culinary descriptions, historic accounts and geography.


As more people jump on tour buses and stay in air-conditioned hotels, Brian tries to travel on the bare necessities. “In this way, you learn more about yourself, you question some of your own values and beliefs,” he said. “The more difficult the journey you make the better you are for it.”


Following Marco Polo’s Silk Road is out now.


To order a copy head to or email Brian at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .





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