Saturday Scenes: Ship Cemetery Near the Aral Sea

Aral Sea, Kazakhstan

The Aral Sea is the sea that almost disappeared. Situated in both Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, the shrinking of the Aral Sea is one of the greatest environmental catastrophes in history. While crossing Kazakhstan, I stopped […]

Reviewing 2012: Did That All Really Happen?

Warsaw, Poland

Thinking about the past year leaves me with very mixed emotions. After being back in the United States for over three months now, it sometimes feels like the nine months before that didn’t even happen. […]

My 12 Favorite Places in 2012

Kamyanets Podilsky, Ukraine

As 2012 winds down, I thought I would take a look back at some of the most memorable places I visited over the last year. From ancient castles and ruined churches to mountain villages and […]

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 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 […]