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. […]

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 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 […]

Saturday Scenes: Samarkand’s Avenue of Mausoleums

Samarkand, Uzbekistan

One of the most impressive sites in the Silk Road city of Samarkand, Shah-i-Zinda is an avenue of nearly twenty mausoleums, many dating back to the 14th century. The avenue culminates with this tomb, Kutlug-Oko, […]

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 […]