Travel Treasures: Brian Kachinsky

Few people get to travel the world as extensively as your average professional BMXer, and Brian Kachinsky is well-beyond your average pro. The culmination of his travels can be found on two unassuming, but packed shelves in his place, and while there one night for a visit, I just had to snap a couple photos and let Brian explain some of the better bits and spout some knowledge…

“It still blows me away that I've traveled to 32 countries with more to come in the future. All the laughs, fun times, amazing scenery, knowledge, wild scenarios, air miles, photos, and memories I've racked up is great, but doesn't compare to all the friends I've made along the way. Being able to experience other cultures, values, architecture and lifestyles is something I carry with me wherever I go. Since I can't keep all my friends on a shelf I had to settle for various nic-nacs, souvenirs and gifts I've gained abroad. This collection of things is probably my most valuable possession even though most of them were free or inexpensive. Each one of these things brings back memories of the best experiences of my life.

Brians top shelf with bits of China, France, Poland, Estonia, and lots more...Click to see it larger.

The top shelf includes a wide variety of things from the Berlin Wall, Eiffel Tower, Great Wall of China, Shipyards of Poland, Streets of Moscow, Markets of Nicaragua, Panama Canal, Winters of Latvia, Charm of Estonia, Fjords of New Zealand and even a Coca-Cola bottle from Iraq. That bottle is incredibly ironic to me considering our role we've played over there and how iconic American things have made their way into a culture which seems at times Anti-American. Good or bad it has been an incredible experience which leads me to the next shelf…

Brian's true treasures from Iraq, Qatar, and Kuwait...Click to see it larger.

The second shelf is almost entirely things I have to remember my experiences over in Iraq, Qatar and Kuwait. From relics from Saddam's Palaces to US military certificates of excellence, it's an honor to have experienced what many rarely get to see outside of their biased/censored television set. Perhaps the best gift, however, are the patches and coins given to me off the sleeve of soldiers or out of the pocket of US Army Generals. Soldiers are often presented with these coins after an entire lifetime of service, which gives you an idea of how coveted these are. One of them is from a 4-star General, which, if you're not familiar with the US military, are the guys at the top. Basically, these guys have President Obama on speed dial and we've been able to have lunch with them and shake their hand.

This patch is a keeper. One of many souvenirs from the Bikes Over Baghdad trips. Photo: Mulligan

All of these things allow me to remember the good times, bad times, one of a kind experiences, and my best friends around the globe. It also leaves me thirsty for the next adventure. I might need to look into buying another shelf first...” --Brian Kachinsky

Sometimes you bring something back, and sometimes you leave some marks behind. Gap-to-Smith at Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait. Photo: Mulligan