How I Blew My Budget in Central Asia

Samarkand, Uzbekistan

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Central Asia was supposed to be cheap. I was supposed to stay in yurts and with local families and eat cheap street food. The money I saved in […]

7 Things I Love About the ‘Stans

Samarkand, Uzbekistan

By the time I boarded my flight out of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on September 16, I was ready to say goodbye to Central Asia. My three months in the region left me physically and mentally exhausted […]

It’s a Bazaar Life

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

In some ways, walking down the streets of Tashkent, Shymkent or Bishkek  doesn’t feel all that different from a stroll through the center of any city in the United States or Europe. You pass a […]

Crossing Kazakhstan by Train

Kazakhstan train

Melons. People just kept bringing more melons. They carried them in plaid plastic bags or under their arms and stuffed them wherever they could find room – in storage bins, under tables or on top […]

Serendipity Strikes in Aktau

Aktau, Kazakhstan

I was lounging comfortably in my air conditioned hotel room in Aktau, Kazakhstan, resting after a 24 hour train journey from Uzbekistan when it suddenly occurred to me to check the opening hours for the […]

The Sea That Almost Disappeared

Aral Sea, Kazakhstan

It didn’t hit me at first. As I rode down a bumpy, sandy road through the Kazakhstan steppe, I didn’t really realize where I was. I was riding over land that was once covered with […]

The Pilgrimage to Beket Ata

Beket Ata, Kazakhstan

I had almost completely drifted off to sleep, my eyes tightly shut, my head propped up against the side of the Soviet era minivan as it raced through the Kazakhstan desert in the dark of […]

Kazakhstan, You Better Be Worth It

While I collected my Tajikistan and Uzbekistan visas in Baku, Azerbaijan, I didn’t get my Kazakhstan visa there because I thought I could do it easily in Tashkent. And because I was in a hurry […]