Samarkand: Not So Golden Anymore?

Samarkand, Uzbekistan

We travel not for trafficking alone, By hotter winds our fiery hearts are fanned. For lust of knowing what should not be known, We take the Golden Road to Samarkand. Ah, the Golden Road to […]

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 […]

Why Traveling Through Central Asia is Like Running a Marathon

Karakum Desert, Turkmenistan

The last time I ran the Chicago Marathon, I passed the halfway point and angrily ripped off my timing band and turned off my Garmin watch. I slowed to a fast walk, my knees wobbling […]

Thoughts on 10 Days in Tashkent

Tashkent, Uzbekistan

I was nearly giddy as my taxi pulled up in front of the Hotel Uzbekistan in Tashkent. After a month of homestays and shabby hotels in Tajikistan, I was staring at a real hotel again. […]

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 […]

Chasing Down Visas in Baku

Upon arriving in Baku, Azerbaijan, my first mission was seemingly simple: head to the embassies of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to apply for my visas to both countries. Easy, right?   Not so much.   Both […]