Saturday, April 13, 2024 | Shawwal 3, 1445 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Oman's incredible calm makes this world trekker feels at home

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His "walk" spans 19 states including Oman, India, and Pakistan with the full aim of covering the areas betwen Nepal and his hometown, the Czech Republic. It is not a mere physical endeavour but a soul-searching quest, culminating in his hometown.


In between, he wants to meet people, interact with different nationalities and ethnic background and raise awareness about disabilities.


Born to a Czech Republican mom and an Italian father, Nico Moro, a 25-year-old Czech-Italian artist, set out on this epic journey a year ago, wearing handmade shoes crafted by his father. Starting the adventure at 24, he covered a staggering 8,000 kilometers requiring over 2.8 million steps. It is an odyssey that speaks of Nico's unwavering determination and spirit.


Despite his demanding journey, Nico maintains a multifaceted life, balancing work in a restaurant in Bowling U Kmotra while pursuing his Russian Cultural Studies at Masarykova Univerzita.


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He reached Oman on Friday after completing Nepal, India, and Pakistan and walked over 2000 kilometers before reaching Oman. Wherever he visits, he makes it a point to get the iconic landmark of the country tattooed on his body. In Nepal, he got a tattoo of the Nepalese flag; in India, the Taj Mahal; in Pakistan, a snake with the inscription made in Pakistan, and in Oman, he got a tattoo of the celebrated Omani dagger Khanjar.


The whole 8000 km journey, other than Oman, has taken him from Nepal to the Indian subcontinent including Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia.


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For some of the countries he visited, Nico shared that he has already dreamt of them long before he even stepped on them. He has such love and admiration for the Taj Mahal that he already has it tattooed on his arm.


His quest started on September 26, 2023 in Kathmandu Nepal. Nepal's allure for soul-searching travelers lies in its stunning natural beauty, including the majestic Himalayas and serene lakes, providing a backdrop for introspection. Deeply rooted in spirituality, the country offers sacred sites like Pashupatinath Temple and Swayambhunath Stupa. From Nepal, he traversed nearly 1076km to explore places like Pokhara, Sonauli, Lucknow, Kanpur to reach Agra.


India had been enticing soul-searching travelers with its profound spiritual heritage, offering sacred sites like Varanasi and Rishikesh for introspection. As the birthplace of yoga and meditation, it hosts transformative retreats and ashrams. Its diverse culture, rich in traditions and festivals, invites exploration and learning.


For Nico, it is the historical marvel that is Taj Mahal that made him zoom in to India as a destination to explore. He spent six thousand rupees to get a tattoo of Taj Mahal on his hand and it became iconic for him to have the photo of his tattoo with the iconic building inthe background. While touring on foot, he also visited Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Akbar's Tomb, and Itmaddaula. From Agra, he reached Delhi via Mathura.


In a lot of these stops, Nico made sure not just to be an observer but an active participant in some cultural celebrations. In India, he celebrated Diwali, the biggest Hindu holiday, in the city of Firozabad near Agra. In Pakistan, he interacted with the locals and participated in some daily routinary events which got the interest of local newspapers earning a coverage in publications like Doniya, News 92, Jhang, and Mara Qalam.


Nico shared that doing a trip like he did comes with different risks and challenges. From getting sick while on the road to having his phone stolen in one of his stops to getting attacked by tribesmen, Nico learned that there were trips that had to be cut short for safety purposes.


Oman, among the countries that he visited is a surprise with its rich cultural heritage and warm hospitality.


"I have only been in Oman for a few days, but I have to say that I feel at home and I am comfortable here," he said.


Landing in Muscat, Nico automatically took note of the coastal beauty and the rugged mountains and how sustainable tourism ensures preservation of natural and cultural treasures.


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"There is an incredible calm here, which I value immensely and I firmly believe that Oman will stay under my skin until the end of my life," Nico shared.


To commemorate his visit to Oman, Nico was drawn by the strength and symbolism of the khanjar. As an important part of the national costume, Nico felt that his tattoo of this icon will always make him fondly recall of his stay here.


Reflecting on his journey, Nico emphasizes its altruistic motive, supporting a Czech organization aiding individuals with disabilities. From the UAE to Iran, Nico's path is marked by resilience and hope, resonating with readers worldwide.


"This journey is mainly to support Czech organizations supporting people on wheelchairs. Nico go for people who can't go. To raise awareness and generate support globally, that is something truly humanitarian," said Milan Papezik, a PR manager and a friend of Nico.


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From Oman, Nico is headed to the UAE next followed by his traverse of Abu Dhabi to Kuwait. From there, he will be off to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar. After completing the GCC, he plans to fly to Tehran in Iran and from there, head back to his hometown in the Czech Republic.


Overall, Nico said that like his journey from Paris to Santiago de Compostela, he is also planning to write a book about this new experience not just to guide other travellers but also help set expectations about the beauty and challenges of each destination.


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