74-Year Old Traveler from Kazakhstan Embarks on Journey Around Globe

ASTANA — In the heart of Kazakhstan, the indomitable spirit of adventure beats in 74-year-old Sarsenbay Kotyrashov, whose remarkable journey has already captured the imagination of many. Having traversed the vast landscapes of Kazakhstan, Russia, Georgia and Türkiye, Kotyrashov’s journey continues with ambitious plans for the future. 

A 74-year-old Kazakh traveler Sarsenbay Kotyrashov. Photo credit: Akzhigit Chukubayev/Kazinform.

Kotyrashov’s initial feat involved a staggering 8,000-kilometer journey across Kazakhstan in just 181 days, showcasing not only his physical endurance but also his unwavering commitment to exploring diverse cultures. His new journey, covering Russia, Georgia and Türkiye, aimed at fostering friendship and cultural exchange. 

From Astrakhan to Istanbul, Sarsenbay Kotyrashev has covered a distance of 3,000 kilometers. In total, he aims to cover 16,000 kilometers to travel around the globe. Taking into account the route connecting the west and east of Kazakhstan, he has covered an additional 3,000 kilometers. 

Now, Kotyrashov plans to explore Europe. In April of 2024, he intends to embark on a new phase of his journey that will commence in Istanbul. He will get there by plane and then walk through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Austria, Germany and France. From France, the traveler plans to fly to the United States, where he aims to visit eight states. Afterward, in the spring of 2025, Kotyrashev will fly to China and traverse northern China, Mongolia and Altai, concluding his journey in the East Kazakhstan Region. 

Beyond the physical challenges, Kotyrashov’s journey is imbued with a higher purpose. He aspires to revive the long-forgotten celebration of kumys, a traditional Kazakh drink, which is a fermented dairy product, compile a list of crafts persons from various regions of Kazakhstan and submit it to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). His travels are not just about personal achievement, they serve as a global call for peace and friendship. Along the way, he takes every opportunity to share insights about Kazakhstan, its language, people and rich cultural heritage.

However, such an ambitious journey comes with its share of challenges. Financial constraints, expensive accommodations and the need for visas are among the challenges that Kotyrashov faces. Despite these obstacles, he remains resilient, engaging with ambassadors and foreign ministries to navigate bureaucratic requirements. Support from sponsors, including his workplace and public funds, has been instrumental in covering some of the expenses.

Kotyrashov has valuable advice for aspiring adventurers, emphasizing the importance of setting goals. He encourages walking at least seven kilometers daily, not just for physical well-being but also for shaping one’s worldview. According to him, dreams can only be realized when accompanied by a clear sense of purpose.

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