Latest Blog Posts

The Golden Road to Samarkand: Uncovering Silk Road History

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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The Sunday Animal Market in Taraz, Kazakhstan

Selling their sheeps

Sunday animal farms (mal bazari) are a big thing in Central Asia. Because They are loud, smelly and chaotic; but they also give a glimpse of Central Asian life and culture — which is exactly why I love them. Our first stop on the Central Asia overlanding trip was Taraz, a town in Kazakhstan just [...]

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Exploring Kazakhstan’s Wilderness: Hiking in Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve

Gorgeous, accessible mountains in Aksu Zhabagly

Kazakhstan may be known for its oil and the antics of the pseudo-Kazakh Borat, but few people are aware of the wilderness that covers a large part of the country. Last week, as part of my overlanding trip through Central Asia with Oasis Overland, we spent two nights camping out in the Aksu-Zhabagly nature reserve [...]

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Market Fever at Osh Bazaar in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Locals selling bread

The fragrance of freshly baked Kyrgyz nan (bread) and red hot spices fills the air as I wander through the labyrinth of Osh Bazaar, the most famous market in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. I snake my way between the mountains of bread and heaps of fresh vegetables, smiling and greeting friendly vendors with a soft “salaam”. Women with floral scarves wrapped around their heads [...]

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Celebrating Kyrgyzstan’s Independence Day in Bishkek

Horse races

Last week I arrived in Bishkek just in time to celebrate Kyrgyzstan’s Independence Day, the day the country declared freedom from the Soviet Union. The entire city seemed to be pulsating with energy with carnivals and street parties taking place all over the city. Of all the events that was happening, the exciting one of all was the horse races, Central Asia’s favorite sport. [...]

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Traveling Central Asia: The Mind-Boggling Visa Application Process

Central Asia map

Amongst the nuances of travel, applying for visas is one of the things we hate about traveling. Sadly this is probably the most annoying part of planning a trip to Central Asia. Almost every country in Central Asia requires a visa to enter (for most nationalities). The ever-changing rules for visa applications in Central Asian nations [...]

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A Glimpse into the Smoggy Mongolian Capital of Ulaanbaatar

Flowers at Sukhbaatar square

At first glance, Ulaanbaatar seems nothing more than a dusty concrete city with smoky industrial plants lining the fringe of the city. It’s dusty, gritty and enormous, resembling one of those developing cities in China. The air is polluted, new buildings are being erected next to old buildings, while Russian military vans rattle on the pot-holed boulevards. Needless to say, [...]

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A Photo Essay from Mongolia — The Land of the Blue Sky

An outstanding sunset on the grasslands

Traditional gers dot the vast steppes while sand dunes rise from empty deserts and snowcapped mountains loom over lush green grasslands: Mongolia is packed with so much pristine natural beauty that few other countries can rival. Every turn on the road reveals a different landscape, be it a hill of colors after emerging from parched [...]

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Death-Defying Extreme Adventures: Are You Brave Enough?

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Skydiving, bungee jumping, canyon swings. Been there, done that. But what about rock-climbing or sleeping in a tent a few thousand meters above ground? Or white-water kayaking off a ferocious waterfall? Or abseiling into a deep crater? We’ve found some death-defying adventures that will test even the most hardened traveler out there. These extreme adventures [...]

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Finding a Life of Adventure: How to Overcome Your Fears

Fear quote

For many people, fear is the biggest obstacle to achieving personal goals. We give fear so much power that we sacrifice our dreams to avoid anxiety or the possibility of rejection or failure. The first step towards dealing with fear is to recognize that it is inevitable. We all experience fear, whether first-time travelers or [...]

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Up Next: Two Months in Central Asia Traveling the Silk Road!

Mongolia map

My next trip is something of a dream journey, something that I’ve been planning for years! As you’re reading this, I’m making my way down to Mongolia and starting an epic journey through Central Asia. For a long time I’ve been dreaming of exploring this region that just seems so enigmatic with its golden sand dunes, vast steppes, [...]

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Traveling with Tep Wireless Device —The Good and the Bad

Working on the beach

Because of the nature of my work (and partly because of my internet addiction), I need internet access wherever I go. It’s easy to get constant WiFi at home with a mobile data plan, but what happens when you’re traveling? And as you know, I’m a full-time traveler who’s always on the road. Using my [...]

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