Living and working in China, Eleanor Moseman naturally concentrated her photography on her specialties, which were architecture and interiors, but all the while something else was on her mind. "I've always been interested in photojournalism," she says. "It's really what I've always wanted to do. Here I was, learning the language, starting to talk with people and doing a bit of traveling, and I'd take trains or buses and would get so frustrated that I couldn't just drop off the train or bus and go through a village and talk to people and take photographs." She began to think about documenting aspects of ethnic cultures, especially the Tibetans and the Uighurs, whose lives were being changed by political pressure on their traditions and ceremonies.
The lure of a photojournalism project was irresistible, and the only question became, "How am I going to travel without having to be at the mercy of a taxi driver, a train or a bus?" But this was, after all, China, and the answer was in plain sight: the ubiquitous bicycle. "Chinese people have a very special relationship with their bicycles," Eleanor says, "and I thought it would make me more relatable to be traveling by bicycle. I decided it was the best and most affordable means."
Eleanor set out on her bike in the Spring of 2010 with a tent, a sleeping bag, her camera gear and minimal supplies. She ended her odyssey in October, 2012, after traveling 15,000 miles in seven countries, including China, Mongolia, Burma, Krygystan and Tajikistan.