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 […]

Saturday Scenes: Road to Khujand


I endured my fair share of harrowing rides during my 13-month career break, but the drive from Penjikent to Khujand in Tajikistan may have been the scariest. This is a picture that I took as […]

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 […]

Saturday Scenes: Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Dushanbe, Tajikistan

I only spent one day in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan – most of it feeling hot, exhausted and annoyed. But when the sun started to go down, I was treated to this sky full […]

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 […]