Mongolia’s last reindeer riders don’t rely on their herd just for transportation.
It’s a sunny summer morning on the Mongolian taiga—a remote, high-altitude area bordering Siberia—but I’m wearing a winter coat. My host Otgontsetseg, though, doesn’t seem to mind the almost-freezing temperature. She’s wearing a winter deel, a traditional Mongolian garment that’s worn here year-round, and rises at 5:30 a.m. to do this every morning.
Bob Long has never been to Mongolia. But as soon as he heard about the Mongol Derby, he knew he had to travel to the country of the Great Khan and see what this race, and culture, was all about.
Because the Mongol Derby is hailed as the world’s longest and toughest horse race. It’s even recognized as that with its very own Guinness World Record. There’s absolutely nothing easy about this 1,000-kilometer (621-mile) race across Mongolia.
Riders – most of whom have only just arrived in Mongolia ...
Life on the taiga isn’t easy. There’s a constant threat of wolves. The temperatures (and weather in general) are unpredictable. And good luck with cell phone service – you’re much too far north, and remote, for that.
The ‘stans. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. They’re not on everyone’s radar. Hell, mention that you’re “going to the ‘stans” and the look of confusion on someone’s face is priceless. They’re located in Central Asia. Which isn’t always an easy place to get to.
It’s not everyday that you find yourself lost, missing your next trailhead, in the rolling mountains of southern Spain with no roads, people or villages in sight. But it certainly makes for a day that you won’t ever forget, I can tell you that. And that’s coming from someone who travels a lot. Like 335 days a year a lot.
I’ve just arrived in Finnish Lapland and the weather is a brutal -20 degrees Celsius (which I’d later learn is a “good day” out here). But that’s not about to stop me – or anyone else for that matter – from spending my days exploring the incredible forests and fells that make up the beautiful landscape out here, and the reason why locals out here refer to the forest as “the church.” Because it’s true – being out here is every bit the religious experience as promised.
This isn’t my first love letter to Georgia. Last year I called Tbilisi one of the most exciting cities in the world. And, after weeks of protests in the city center, Georgians have banned together not just IRL (in real life) but online as well, which is how the Facebook group Spend your Summer in Georgia became the region’s best travel campaign of the summer.
Hailed the “Middle East’s prime beach resort of independent travelers” by Lonely Planet, Dahab was once the center of a 1960’s Israeli occupation. For decades, everyone from backpackers to thrill-seeking tourists have turned to Dahab for adventure.
It wasn’t long ago that I got the idea that I wanted to start traveling by way of motorcycle. There was just something that seemed so cool, so free about it. Because when you’re on two wheels, just you and the open road (or steppe, in my case), you feel on top of the world. (Well, until you flip your bike, break your collarbone and give yourself a mild concussion – but that’s a small price to pay when you’re out on an adventure.)
Intrepid Travel has officially announced their second Uncharted Expedition, a “one off adventure,” which will begin in Tehran, Iran and end in Istanbul, Turkey. “You won’t know where you’re going, what you’ll see, where you’ll stay, or what you’ll be eating,” teases Intrepid Travel co-founder Darrell Wade.
Climbing aboard Barba, a beautiful Jeanneau Sun Fast 37 sailing yacht that has sailed extensively around the North Atlantic Ocean, I know that I’m not on your typical sail boat. Or even a typical research expedition vessel.
I’ll be brutally honest, Kyiv was never very high on my list. Between the recent revolutions, ongoing conflicts with Russia and – I’ll be honest – brutally cold weather, it was a place that, as intriguing as all of this was to me as a journalist, it just wasn’t a place I was sure that I wanted to visit, let alone promote that someone else visit. But I was wrong. And it didn’t take much research, or many conversations, to quickly figure that out.
I’m having a love affair with southern Spain at the moment. It excites me. The landscapes. The people. The food. The wine. The jamón. (Oh, the jamón.) There isn’t much to not love about this part of the country. (Except maybe that everyone except you is on Spanish time.)
River cruising. It’s been a hot topic in the travel world recently, especially with the average age demographic dropping as cruise brands start targeting younger travelers for their voyages around the world. (According to the Cruise Lines International Association’s 2018 Cruise Travel Report, millennials are choosing to river cruise at a higher rate than any other generation.)
Are you a Royal Tenenbaums fanatic? Or a sucker for the Darjeeling Limited? Do you fancy yourself as a Steve Zissou or a Max Fischer type-character? Did you lose your mind when you saw how cool and well executed Isle of Dogs was?