Archive by Author

Overland Travel in Central Asia: Tips and Review

Driving through the mountains of western Iran

Traveling Central Asia is the stuff of dreams, evoking images of golden sand dunes, vast steppes, yurts, and exotic ancient architecture. For centuries, this region has been closely tied to the Silk Road and has acted as a crossroad for the exchange of goods, people and knowledge between Europe and Asia. The first travelers came [...]

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Updates from Sri Lanka — A Week of Learning and Discovering

Sigiriya Rock from Wikipedia

Ayubowan from Sri Lanka! I’m currently writing to you from Colombo, the country’s biggest city. It’s exciting to be in this part of the world, with the tropical humid air greeting me upon landing and a subtle hint of chaos buzzing from the streets. I’ve only been here for a day, but Colombo has already surprised me [...]

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A Social Network for Travel Addicts: Trover

My trover profile

I have a confession to make: I spend WAY too much time on social media. I just love interacting with travelers online and geeking out on travel photos and stories. And now to make things worse, I just discovered Trover and it’s got me completely hooked. Trover is a travel app and website that acts as a social media [...]

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Donate to Charity and Win Travel Prizes!

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Yesterday we finally announced our plans to do the Rickshaw Run in January 2015! Now that we’ve shared the news with you, it just got real. This is going to be the craziest thing we’ve ever done and it sure is going to be one hell of a challenge, but we won’t be able to do it without you. [...]

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Our Biggest Adventure to Date — the India Rickshaw Run!

Over the past few years, our travel style and interest have slowly evolved as we started exploring deeper and further. Travel no longer seemed enough for us — we felt the urge to see the world but at the same time experience real adventures that would challenge us on every level. And with that, we [...]

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Traveling Iran — What it’s Like

Old world Persia

As a curious traveler, I believe visiting a place for myself is the best way to learn on-the-ground knowledge and to see a place beyond the headlines. My recent visit to Iran – just like my previous trips to troubled lands like North Korea and Palestine – further reaffirmed that what we see in the media isn’t always the real truth. As [...]

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Photo Highlights of Iran: from Persian Architecture to Outstanding Hospitality

The Zagros Mountain in western Iran

Mention Iran and many think of burkha-clad women, burning flags and war. But these stereotypes can’t be further from the truth. For those who are curious and open to new discoveries, Iran is packed full of surprises. It is a relatively safe country to visit and there’s so much to see and do in terms [...]

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Is Ashgabat the World’s Strangest City?

Turkmenistan Royal Palace

When it comes to peculiar sights, Turkmenistan is off the charts. First it’s the Darvaza gas craters, burning gas craters that resemble the gates to hell, that tops my list of the strangest sights I’ve seen; and as if it weren’t bizarre enough, Ashgabat brings it to a whole new level. After a month of [...]

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The Gates to Hell — Darvaza Gas Craters in Turkmenistan

Darvaza burning gas crater by day

In the middle of the Karakum Desert, a roaring fire burns from deep beneath us, its flames dancing in the darkness taunting and teasing us. The walls of the oval crater drop vertically down into the abyss of fire — one careless step and you may well be on your way to hell. They named [...]

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The Walled City of Khiva: A Place of Myths and Legend

Sunset from Konya Ark

The flaming orange yolk is quickly making its descent, taking with it the blanket of gold it has splashed on the sand-colored medressas and turquoise minarets of the city. By this time, all the other travelers around me have all gone and I’m all alone on the watch tower of Konya Ark, save for another traveler [...]

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Bukhara — Uzbekistan’s Holiest or Most Touristy City?

The dome of Mir-i-Arab medressa

With a history spanning a thousand years, Bukhara is dubbed Central Asia’s holiest city by many publications including Lonely Planet. As part of my Silk Road journey with Oasis Overland, we spent some time in Bukhara, learning about its history and much revered architectural marvels. The collection of medressas, minarets and mosques was outstanding and [...]

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Uncovering Silk Road History in Samarkand

Turquoise domes are omnipresent in Samarkand

We travel not for trafficking alone, by hotter winds our fiery hearts are fanned. For lust of knowing what should not be known. We take the Golden Road to Samarkand. — James Elroy Flecker, The Golden Journey to Samarkand Indeed, nowhere else is as evocative of the Silk Road as Samarkand. This ancient city was [...]

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Uzbekistan’s Architectural Marvels — Best in the Muslim World

A dome in Samarkand

Prior to this Silk Road trip, I had seen photos of Uzbekistan’s monuments and I knew they were beautiful — but I had no idea of the extent and the sheer scale of it all. As my trip unveiled, Uzbekistan is home to some of the Muslim world’s best display of architecture, featuring grandiose gates, intricate [...]

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From Everest Adventurer to Children’s Book Author: Interview with Sophie Helenek

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When I first got to know Sophie, I couldn’t stop reading her stories of adventure from around the world. As an accomplished adventurer, she is the fourth and youngest French woman to scale Mount Everest (29,000+ feet). Even when she was pregnant, she continued to climb mountains and kayak on smooth waters. When she was forty [...]

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Life on the Edge: The Most Extreme Places I’ve Been

Pyongyang subway

Travel to me is about getting out of my comfort zone and exploring places that make me hold on to the edge of my seat. But these days, with travel getting more affordable and easily accessible, it’s getting harder and harder to find untouched destinations – places that remain relatively raw and untainted. That’s why [...]

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