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 […]

Crossing from Tajikistan to Uzbekistan

I resisted the urge to turn around and smile. But I couldn’t help smiling to myself as the Uzbek immigration officer moved a metal barrier aside and ushered me past the dozens of Tajik women […]

Teaching Myself How to Teach English

I panicked.   It was only my second day teaching English in Tajikistan and I panicked. I sat alone in my room flustered and close to tears because I had no clue how I was […]

Finding a Family in Shing

Shing, Tajikistan

A small tear formed in the corner of my eye as I stood in front of my host family, modeling the brightly colored traditional Tajik dress that Mavzuna and Ganjina spent much of the previous […]

Village Life in Tajikistan

Shing, Tajikistan

Growing up in middle class America, I take a lot of things for granted. I freak out if a thunderstorm knocks out power for even a few hours and heaven forbid I lose my internet […]

My First 16 Hours in Tajikistan

Dushanbe, Tajikistan

The first thing I noticed as I waited in the departure lounge in Istanbul to board my flight to Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, was the fact that I was surrounded by people speaking English. […]

My Unexpected Internet Hiatus (or, How I Spent 12 Days Totally Offline)

Lake Hazorchama, Tajikistan

No service. No signal. I stared at these words in the middle of my laptop screen in despair, hoping they were just temporary. But no, they stayed on the screen, a glaring indication that I […]