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 […]

The Coolest Art Museum That Almost No One Knows About

Karakalpak Museum, Nukus, Uzbekistan

Over a year before I left on my trip through the former Soviet Union, my brother sent me a link to a website about a movie – a documentary called the Desert of Forbidden Art. […]

Dear Khiva, I’m Sorry

Khiva, Uzbekistan

Dear Khiva, It wasn’t you, it was me. I swear. Another time, another place, things could have been different. Okay, I guess not another place since you have kind of been where you are for […]

The Never Ending Border Crossing: From Uzbekistan to Turkmenistan

Farab border, Turkmenistan

As the taxi pulled away from my Bukhara hotel at 7:15 a.m., I asked how far it was to Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan border at Farab.  To my surprise, he responded 120 kilometers – much further than I […]

Inside a 16th Century Madrassah

Bukhara, Uzbekistan

One of the things I hate about popular tourist sites is that access is often restricted. I understand this in the interest of historic preservation or safety or a combination of both, but it can […]

The One Where I Kind of Stalked a Mongol Rally Team in Bukhara

Bukhara, Uzbekistan

I did a double take when I first spotted it. Then I had to fight off touts pushing their taxi services on me as I took a closer look.   A Mongol Rally car in […]