(all pictures are from my archive)
I salute the representatives of GoUNESCO Internship Program. My name is Zhoomart and I’m from Kyrgyzstan. By this article I’d like to express my affiliation with natural, historical and cultural sites.
How I started traveling
Kyrgyzstan is mountainous country and it was only a matter of time for me to start doing hiking. Eventually, it became my passion. It was ignited by the hunger for investigation and exploration through self-discovery. Of course, later I started to devote more time to swimming, skiing, rock climbing and camping. During my Bachelor, I have travelled all over my country. And I never expected I would discover such different faces of nature in every corner of it.
Due to its mountainous relief, Kyrgyzstan has different climatic zones – from half-deserts to icy tundra. There was huge enough space for my explorations.
Now I run a touristic company with my friend and we promote the lifestyle of outdoor sports and travelling to remote and pristine places (gorges and some cultural sites) in Kyrgyzstan. By doing so, we intend to get people to like nature more, which would change their way of treating it.
My travels abroad
In 2012 I was granted a spot in a student exchange program, which took place in Bø, Telemark county, Norway.
Norway’s nature has a lot in common with nature of my country of origin. There are a lot of mountains, slopes for freeride-skiing and a huge potential for biological and geological researches. I, kind of, fell in love with Scandinavian nature and its whole ambience. And, as soon as I arrived, I dived into travelling around southern Norway with great pleasure in my heart. I have visited mountain farms like Bjåen Fjellstove and Evju Bygdetun. Together, with groups of international students I have visited some natural areas like Haukeliseter and Lifjell with cabins in the woods. Spending numerous nights in those cabins in front of fire and witnessing scandinavian nights only strenghtened my passion of outdoor activities and cultural exploration.
Through travels abroad I have found a very important joy of getting closer with world’s cultures, knowing them better and by doing it, refreshing my vision about the whole world. It is really a beautiful process, which is definitely a complete joy to experience.
In summer 2013 before leaving back home, I did a 2-day trip across Northern Jutland, Denmark all the way to Grenen cape, where two seas collide with each other but never mix. I did it alone because I intended to do many stops while en route. Going by ferry, by hitchhiking, by bus and by train left me many valuable memories of meeting new people, getting invited to different parties in Skagen and catching a moment of peace on the northern tip of Grenen cape.
Before starting a company, I have worked in many touristic firms, being a city guide, cultural guide and botanical guide. My particular interest in botany was gained in Norway in one of the alpine tours. Once coming back to Kyrgyzstan I have continued to develop it by studying local alpine plants.
Being a cultural and historical guide gave me an opportunity to meet new people from Europe, Japan, USA, UAE and South Korea. Together we have visited a following ancient sites of Kyrgyzstan, which have a certain cultural and historical value:
- Tash-Rabat – an ancient «hotel» on the Great Silk Route;
- Burana tower – a remnant of Karahanid dynasty from XI century;
- Ozgen tower;
- Arslan-Bob – a huge relict walnut forest with soft and warm climate;
- A large Buddha stone in Ysyk-Ata gorge nearby Bishkek;
- Drowned cities from different centuries along shoreline of Ysyk-Kul lake (the biggest lake in Kyrgyzstan);
- Osh – ancient city, which is approxiamtely 3000 years old and sacred Sulaiman mountain;
- Sak (Scythian) graveyards in different parts of Kyrgyzstan;
- Kyrgyz and Uzbek fortresses dated starting from XVII century;
- Mines in remote gorges remained from Soviet Inner Oppression.
Visiting these historical sites, seeing the material remnants gave me more profound insight on cultural and historical pages. At the same time an aspiration for touching and feeling the historical events of those sites filled me with constant mystical alike thrill. This thrill I now use as a fuel for further investigations.
I like learning different languages. And it is not because my professional activity requires to do so. For me its like learning new mentality, new culture, new way of life perception.
I know some basic Norwegian. Now, I learn French in Alliance Française.
My another hobby is systemizing alpine plants in my archive, playing guitar, skiing and collecting national folklore of different cultures.
Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor – Kyrgyzstan