The Project

What is it?

This is an adventure by two young journalists who think they can find the perfect story.

Our names are Morgan Hartley and Chris Walker, and we are cycling from Paris to Shanghai.  Our goal is to learn to learn to become great feature journalists, and to write a story a month that will wow and inspire.  The project is set to go from March, 2012 to late 2013.

We write about Underworlds.  These are small communities doing wacky, amazing, or inspirational things, and are driven by groups of people who identify with a vision or love of a hobby.  We’ve written about mountain climbers in Georgia, environmental activists in Turkey, and gamers in Istanbul.  Visit our full database of feature stories.

We also write about creative entrepreneurs.  Once a week, we post a new story to our blog on Forbes, called Freewheelers, about the stragest ways to make a living.  Read the blog here.

The end goal is to write a feature story that will blow you out of the water.  To do it, we have to learn the perfect mix of News, emotion, surprise, cold facts, and our own voice.  We get closer everytime, and that’s the chase that keeps us motivated and focused.

What makes Postulate One different?

We’re committed to finding stories you don’t know a lot about, in places that are under the radar. To accomplish that, we’re traveling by bicycle to get a true lay of the land. We sleep under the stars or as guests in strangers houses, talking to locals along the way. There is no better way to find out what people are really struggling with, what they fear, or who the real heroes on the ground are.

Not only do you get read great stories on this website, you get to come along on a pretty intense adventure.

What is with the name Postulate One?

It’s a math term that describes the most fundamental assumption from which to derive a solution. To solve any problem, you first have to find its roots and understand the basic motivations of the characters involved. Everyone has their own Postulate One, the thing they’re working towards or fighting for. Finding that thing, somebody’s Postulate One, is a key part of our technique.

Plus, we think it sounds cool.

FAQs

Where do we sleep?
As much as we can, we couchsurf.  When that’s not available, we carry a full suite of camping equipment, and do a fair bit of sleeping under the stars.  From time to time we stay in a hotel, such as when we arrive in a city with no couchsurfers or when travelling during the monsoon season in India.

Why this route?
We chose this route because it is one of the longest possible trajectories across a landmass. It also comprises the greatest variety of cultures and languages that we could find, accounting for over half the world’s population and some of the most important developing economies.

How can I help?
Check out our help out page

Why are you biking?  Why don’t you just fly or take a car?
Biking allows us to get on the ground in a way we never would otherwise.  It forces us into small communities well off the beaten path that let us understand a country from many different angles.  It is the best way to travel we have found, because it forces interactions with locals, and puts us deep into the hearts of the countries we are visiting.

Isn’t this a little dangerous?
Bike touring is pretty common, and happens all over the world.  There are very few reported cases of any bicycle tourists getting attacked or hurt.  We, and our important benefactors, are absolutely committed to our safety.  We are constantly on the watch for any meteorogical or political situations that might endanger our safety, and will adjust the route accordingly.  We also have a support team that will help us get whatever we need to get out of any danger zones quickly.

How do you plan on getting past the language barriers?
It’s amazing how wide spread english is.  We can generally find a translator of some sort, if the person we want to speak too had no english.

Come on, ask us another question.

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