What I Learned Watching the Olympics in Turkmenistan

Ashgabat statue

I have never missed watching the Olympics. When I was a kid, I was glued to the TV during the opening ceremonies, trying to count every single country that walked into the stadium. I cheered […]

The Pros & Cons of Booking a Private Tour in Turkmenistan

Merv, Turkmenistan

Over the last month, I’ve read quite a few lists of the so-called best places to visit in 2013. These lists come out every year and every year there seem to be a couple destinations […]

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 […]

The Most Touristy Place in Turkmenistan

Darvaza Gas Crater, Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan isn’t exactly what you would call touristy. Okay, that might the understatement of the century. Turkmenistan is not touristy at all. I went nine days without seeing another tourist anywhere – at least not […]

The Yangykala Canyon: As Far Off the Beaten Path as it Gets

Yangykala Canyon, Turkmenistan

I lay on my back, gazing up at a sky full of stars, watching the full moon rising in the distance. A light breeze swirled around me, occasionally breaking the silence as it rustled the […]

Discovering Turkmenistan’s Silk Road Legacy

Misrian, Dekhistan, Turkmenistan

I stepped carefully over the faded yellow, green and red bricks, pausing whenever a spot of turquoise or royal blue caught my eye –fragments of ceramic mixed in with the city ruins.  I tried to […]

Ashgabat: The New Emerald City

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

  Arriving in the capital city of Ashgabat, I wondered if I was still in Turkmenistan.   Or had I been transported somewhere over the rainbow to the Land of Oz? All I needed was […]