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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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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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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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Our Home Away from Home: Villa Rental in Costa Brava

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Just two weeks ago, we took a break from work and had a relaxing vacation in Costa Brava (i.e. no laptop, no concrete plans and no work). We wanted to get some unplugged time and also take the opportunity to visit our dear friends Dan and Esme who had moved to Barcelona recently; Costa Brava is [...]

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Splish Splash: Aqua Trekking in Costa Brava

Jumping off cliffs

With my hands across my chest, I take a leap into the shallow waters beneath me. It’s a 5m drop, nothing quite as intimidating as the heights I’d experienced while canyoning, but being the wimp that I am, I’m still slightly nervous. Carlos looks at me and gives me a reassuring nod. Within seconds, I emerge [...]

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Summer in Costa Brava: Exploring Secret Coves, Beaches and Trails

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Pardon me for a week of silence! We took last week off from work to treat ourselves to a holiday in Costa Brava. Many people think that I’m on a perpetual holiday since I’m constantly traveling — but few know how much work I put in and how exhausting it is to be on the road [...]

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My Packing List for the Camino in Summer

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So you’ve done all your research and you’re ready to hit the trail. Your Camino adventure is about to start — but wait, what should you pack? For the Camino, packing light is essential and it’ll make your life much more enjoyable and pain-free. As you’ll be carrying your pack for more than six hours/day, it’s important [...]

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A Quick Guide to Walking the Camino de Santiago

Trail markers on the Camino

As a well-known long-distance trek, the Camino de Santiago is a network of pilgrimage routes running across Europe, all leading to the city of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. Retracing its origins to the 9th century, Camino de Santiago, also known as “The Way of Saint James”, was an important pilgrimage route for the Christians. The Christian apostle Saint James [...]

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Exploring Tasmania’s Diversity at Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain

This is a guest post courtesy of our friends at Carsales.com.au. Often overlooked in favor of more famous parks in Australia, Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park is a treasure trove of crystalline lakes, evergreen forests, and unique wildlife. You can find wombats, wallabies, and Tasmanian devils in their natural habitat, before taking a [...]

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