top of page
About the GSR

More and more people around the world are choosing to travel without flying. If we are serious about the climate emergency we need to find an alternative to air travel. Till 30 years ago most people travelled overland, even between India and Europe. Why can we not do so again?

  • Yes, it takes more time, but then again maybe we would connect more with people if we meet them instead of flying over their heads. Just like the response to fast food and fast fashion is slow food and slow fashion, why not slow down our travelling?

  • Yes, it costs more money, but then again: what is included in cost calculations and what not? Is environmental impact included in the price of a flight ticket?

Besides, the plan is not just to fly less and do less damage. The plan is to do more good. Hundreds of years ago there was a forest connecting Europe to India, stretching all the way through Turkey and Iran. What if we could re-plant that magic forest?

Making travel part of your program

What if the process of going to that workshop or conference becomes part of the reason we attend the event in the first place? VIP's flying to a climate meeting in private jets is absurd. Can we model the opposite? On the way to an event we can visit people and projects involved in the topic (whether it's education / health / energy / food / governance/..).

How is this road being built?

The Green Silk Road is built by conversations. We ask people in every country we visit how they see the future of the land around them. What does their dream environment look like? How do they imagine a Green Silk Road? What images and stories come to mind? What is happening already that they would like to see more of?

Then we keep adding examples of steps taken towards more regenerative cultures on an interactive map, inviting all travellers to keep sharing these stories on their journeys.

How it all started

The Green Silk Road first took shape in 2018 with a trip from Auroville in South India to Amsterdam in Western Europe and back. It took 5 weeks each way, and while travelling through 14 countries we have met the most amazing people, projects and landscapes. We stayed with artists in Iran, and learned about the rich Persian heritage of herbal medicine, as well as the popular trend of Forest Schools. In Turkey we discovered a very inspiring network of school teachers convinced that Another School Is Possible. In Hungary we found out about Auroville Hungary. And all along the route we enjoyed making art with school kids, culminating into a collective exhibition in a gallery in Tehran.

See our BLOG for more detailed stories and our YouTube channel for a series of short films.​

The second version in 2019 was actually not one trip but three. While one group of 11 travelled from Auroville to the Himalayas (the second most common summer destination for Auroville residents escaping the sweltering heat), two solo travellers went overland to Europe, visiting many friends we had made during the first trip.

​The Himalaya group went from Chennai to Hyderabad, where they had an exchange with youth organisations, then Bhopal, where we connected with sister project Jai Jagat and learned a lot about adivasi culture. From Bhopal we continued to Delhi, where we had a great time with the Creativity Adda and the Youth Alliance. Finally we arrived in Dharamshala where we stayed for a week at the Tibetan Children's Village near McLeod Ganj and then another week with NavGurukul.

The third version happened in 2023 with another group from Auroville going West, this time passing via Georgia and Romania. Read more about the 2023 crew HERE.

The Future

We're excited to weave together more projects and regions. Every year our questions dig a little deeper into the systems and ways that need to change to make space for the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.

In 2024 two new activities are born: a systematic education program and an ethical commerce collaboration.

​We foresee groups travelling up and down this route every year. Each subsequent group is expected to share insights with the next, and so build a collective pool of experience, contacts and knowledge. So far it's going in that direction. We hope you will join us in developing this alternative way of moving, living and learning!

bottom of page