Solo Hitchhiking, Cycling, and Couchsurfing through the Middle East and Central Asia with Marsha Jean
Marsh Jean (@themarshajean) has been solo traveling the world since she was 18. In the past five years, she’s done things many would consider nuts — she’s hitchhiked alone from Iran through France, cycled solo through Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Pakistan, and couchsurfed in places like Kandahar (former “capital” of the Taliban) and Iranian Baluchistan (one of the most dangerous places in the world, according to some Western governments).
In this episode, Marsha speaks openly about how she ran away from an abusive home at 18, and how the beautiful places she’s traveled to and the people she’s met ultimately changed her mind about taking her life. She sees travel as a pilgrimage, involving hardship and self-discovery, and intentionally chooses to take the roads less traveled. We talk about how she manages to stay safe and support herself financially and how her photography helps break stereotypes about “dangerous” places and solo traveling as a young Asian woman.
***Trigger Warning*** This episode touches on topics of depression and suicide. If you or someone you care about is suffering, please tread carefully. Some resources are linked for you below <3
>> Mental Health Resources
If you or someone you know is in crisis and experiencing serious thoughts of suicide, call the suicide prevention hotline in your country. for the United States, call 911 immediately or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (open 24/7).
Here are some other U.S.-based resources:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline chat (24/7): https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
- Crisis Text Line (24/7): Text HOME to 741741
- Trevor Project (24/7 Crisis intervention for LGBTQ+ Youth): 866-488-7386
- Veterans Crisis Line (24/7): 800-273-8255 and press 1 or Text 838255
If you’re not in crisis but looking for support in finding a clinician for consistent therapy, search engines on HelpPro or Psychology Today can help, and you can filter by insurance type. Or get connected with a therapist immediately for a low, flat fee at BetterHelp.
**Many insurance companies are waiving co-pay fees for mental health services during the COVID-19 crisis, contact your provider to see if this applies