A caravanserai (kævænsəri; Persian کاروانسر; Turkish; Kervansaray) was a roadside inn where travellers (caravaners) could rest and recover from the days journey. 

When I was a child reading stories of far away lands, I came across the word caravanserai in an old book of my Grandfather's. I had no idea what it meant. It wasn't until I began to travel that I understood it. 

The routes of The Silk Road were scattered with a network of caravanserai's. A place for merchants travelling the long journey with their goods to rest, eat and prepare for the onward days journey across the continent. A haven for their camel caravans and livestock to rest after a day in the harsh elements. But as time went on, caravanserai's became so much more than this. With The Silk Road connecting merchants, pilgrims, nomads and monks from China to the coastlines of Africa, Europe and beyond, caravanserai's provided a place for travellers to come together. A place to share stories, tales of travel, experiences and ultimately religion, ideas and beliefs. A place for an exchange of cultures, food, dress and intellect between the East and the West. 

It is the seemingly simple, yet profound concept of the caravanserai that is what I find so compelling about travel. Meeting people from across the world, witnessing life far from our shores, exchanging ideas and learning from every single person, place and experience that finds me. 

Travel has irrevocably changed me and it will continue to do so for as long as I am able to move about this world. 

Rachel Glasby | Founder of The Silk Road