Cover art for podcast Far From Home

Far From Home

85 EpisodesProduced by Scott GurianWebsite

An immersive travel and culture documentary podcast where Peabody award-winning public radio journalist Scott Gurian reports fascinating stories from faraway places and makes you feel like you’re really there! On past episodes, he’s road tripped 18,000 mi. (29,000 km) from the UK to Mongolia and bac… read more

85 Episodes | 2016 - 2023

Far From Home: Season 1 Trailer

March 10th, 2016


I introduce the show and describe the first season, which involved an epic, 7 week road trip from the UK to Mongolia. For more info, visit

01: Getting Started

June 2nd, 2016


My friend Rosi from Australia contacts my brother and me to invite us to join her on an 11,000 mile road trip this summer across Europe and Asia, and …

01a: Bonus Episode

June 9th, 2016


Another full episode is coming out next week, but in the meantime, here’s an excerpt of a recent interview I did about my trip on my friend and …

02: What Kind of Car Do You Drive to Mongolia?

June 20th, 2016


When my brother and I told our friends and family that we were planning an 11,000 mile road trip across Europe and Asia, one of the first questions …

03: What Will We Eat?

July 13th, 2016


After reading a hilarious, cringe-worthy article about the “culinary horrors of Mongolia,” we were curious what us two pescatarians would eat in the …

04: Final Preparations Before the Big Day

August 18th, 2016


I fly to London to make final preparations before our road trip to Mongolia and find myself dealing with one logistical and bureaucratic nightmare …

04a: For a Good Cause

September 15th, 2016


Our road trip from London to Mongolia is sure to be a fun and crazy adventure, but we’re also doing it for a good cause. On this episode of the …

05: Hitting the Road

December 22nd, 2016


After nearly a year of planning, we descend upon the Goodwood Raceway in southern England to begin our road trip to Mongolia as part of the Mongol …

06: Mad Dash Across Europe

January 26th, 2017


We leave southern England and set out on our road trip to Mongolia, overcoming some of our fears and throwing our plans out the window while we drive …

07: The Real Rally Begins

February 27th, 2017


The first few days of our trip across Europe were mostly smooth sailing and uneventful, but things were about to change. On this episode, as we cross …

08: Not What We Expected

March 23rd, 2017


First there were a series of terrorist attacks in Istanbul and Ankara and a threat from Kurdish separatists vowing to target Turkey’s tourism …

09: An Eye-opening Experience

April 14th, 2017


Our eighteen country road trip across Europe and Asia last summer left us with a wealth of memorable stories and experiences. But if you asked me to name the single most fascinating and thought-provoking place we …

10: Culture Clash

May 20th, 2017


“Honestly, most Americans — when they think of Iran — probably think of 3 things,” my brother said. “Desert, oil, and nuclear capabilities.” And it was true. Before our road trip across Europe and Asia last summer, we …

11: Just Plain Weird

July 9th, 2017


We visit the hermit kingdom of Turkmenistan — one of the most reclusive and authoritarian nations in the world — and we see why some visitors describe its capital city of Ashgabat as a cross between Las Vegas and …

11a: Bonus Episode – Voices From the Door to Hell

July 27th, 2017


While I continue to work on the next regular show, here’s a short bonus episode of some conversations I had with some other Mongol Rally teams during …

12: Breaking Down

August 23rd, 2017


Driving a small, crappy car was a prerequisite for anyone participating in the Mongol Rally. The point was to make the journey more exciting and …

13: Should We Stay or Should We Go?

November 10th, 2017


When it comes to welcoming foreign tourists, Turkmenistan is close to the bottom of the list. It was hard enough to get visas in the first place, and when we did, they were only good for 5 days. Now broken down with …

14: From Bad to Worse

December 19th, 2017


In the three weeks since we started our journey, we’d broken down about 4 times, been to half a dozen mechanics, and tried all sorts of stop-gap …

15: Whatever It Takes

February 1st, 2018


When we first learned that it would take a week for our car to get repaired, we figured we’d have some time to relax and explore the historic city of …

16: The Roads Get Rougher

March 5th, 2018


Our car was running once again, but now we faced a handful of new mechanical issues, just as we were about to embark on the roughest part of our …

17: Stranded

April 3rd, 2018


The mountainous Pamir Highway in Tajikistan was precisely the type of terrain that our 1-liter Nissan Micra hatchback was not suited to handle. One …

18: Wrong Way

May 2nd, 2018


We were in an extremely remote section of eastern Tajikistan, and we’d just received news that our car’s engine might not last much longer. Left with …

19: One Surprise After Another

June 11th, 2018


When my brother and I told friends we’d be driving across Kazakhstan, we got plenty of jokes about Borat, but we were about to find out that the …

20: The Going Gets Tough

August 1st, 2018


Mongolia is a place of wide open spaces and little vegetation. It’s the the land of Genghis Khan, nomadic culture. and yodeling dance music. It’s a …

21: A Costly Mistake

October 1st, 2018


After getting stuck driving across a shallow river in Mongolia, my brother and I make the fateful decision to veer off the main path onto another …

22: The Longest Day Ever

December 24th, 2018


After a series of bad decisions, my brother and I had ended up stranded with our friends at the bottom of an incredibly steep and rocky hill in a …

23: The Finish Line!

March 21st, 2019


We’d spent 7 weeks driving nearly 11,000 miles across Europe and Asia, and although we were nearing the end of our journey, we still had a series of …

24: Looking Back

May 1st, 2019


After driving 11,000 miles over the course of seven weeks, we finally reached the finish line of the Mongol Rally, and everything was suddenly over. …

Far From Home: Season 2 trailer

June 18th, 2019


People often say it’s a small world, but there are giant parts of the planet that most people never think about and billions of stories they’ve never heard. On Far From Home, award-winning public radio journalist Scott …

Visiting Chernobyl

July 11th, 2019


If you’ve seen or heard about the recent HBO dramatic miniseries about Chernobyl, you might have wondered what it’s really like there today. I take a trip to the abandoned villages surrounding the reactor to find out …

The Largest Fish Market in the World

July 25th, 2019


For more than 80 years, Tokyo, Japan’s Tsukiji fish market had a reputation for supplying some of the freshest and best quality seafood anywhere. But over the decades, it had become overcrowded, unsanitary, and unsafe. …

Learning to Throat Sing

August 13th, 2019


Throat singing is one of the world’s oldest forms of music. It’s practiced by indigenous groups in several parts of the world, including South Africa …

Another Brick in the Wall

August 22nd, 2019


In 1998, political leaders in Northern Ireland signed a peace agreement they hoped would end the Troubles, a 30 year period of armed conflict between …

Medicine Man

September 6th, 2019


Lucho is a traditional medicine man who describes himself as a "curandero," or someone who heals. Using medicinal herbs, archeological relics, and …


September 23rd, 2019


In the previous episode of Far From Home, I visited Lima, Peru, where I met a traditional medicine man named Lucho. This time, I accompany him to a healing ceremony where he uses a hallucinogenic brew called ayahuasca. …

Ayahuasca - bonus episode

September 28th, 2019


As a follow-up to my last episode, I present the story of my friend Dennis, who also tried ayahuasca in Peru and seemed to be immune to its effects.

Before It's Too Late

October 4th, 2019


I feel like several of the trips I’ve taken in recent years have been to places people have urged me to go while I still can, or at least before things change. On today’s show, I visit Cambodia, which is one such place …

Balloon Hats

October 17th, 2019


When he was growing up in Southern California, Addi Somekh wasn't quite sure what to do with his life. But he knew from a young age that he wanted to "spread warmth" and make other people happy. On this week’s episode, …

Haiti: Ten Years Later

November 5th, 2019


This upcoming January marks the tenth anniversary of the massive earthquake in Haiti. It came on a Tuesday afternoon, 12 days into the new year, and destroyed or severely damaged a quarter of a million homes, killing …

Meet Your Maker

November 14th, 2019


This week’s episode is a bit different from what I normally do on the show. I’ve been getting a lot of questions and comments from listeners recently, so I thought I’d spend some time today answering some of them and …

Mother Russia

November 30th, 2019


While driving across Russia on my way home from the Mongol Rally (the story I documented on the first season of this podcast), I had several …


December 24th, 2019


The historical accounts are a bit fuzzy, but the way the story is commonly told, Caribbean slaves in the 18th century gained a day of freedom two …

Revisiting Iran

February 6th, 2020


In light of the recent political developments that briefly brought the US and Iran to the brink of war, I’m re-releasing an excerpt of a story I …

Touring North Korea with The Radio Vagabond (bonus episode)

March 3rd, 2020


While Far From Home is on a break between seasons, I’m popping into your feed from time to time to share segments from other shows I’ve enjoyed that I think all of you might like as well. Today I’m featuring an episode …

No Place Like Home

March 25th, 2020


With a global pandemic, canceled flights, and closed borders, many travelers suddenly found themselves trapped in foreign countries, trying to figure out how to get home, even if they thought they were taking all the …

Finding the Helpers (with The Bittersweet Life)

April 21st, 2020


As the world is consumed by COVID-19, I check in with author and American expat Tiffany Parks, who lives on the outskirts of Rome, to get a sense of what things are like in Italy right now. Then, in my quest to find …

Pandemic Diary (with On Spec)

May 24th, 2020


As COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, I speak with Istanbul-based author and journalist Fariba Nawa about what the situation is like …

Traveling While Black

June 22nd, 2020


In light of the recent protests for racial justice across the United States and around the world, I chat with two African American friends about what it’s like to travel as a Black person, both in their own country and …

Double Your Bubble, Double Your Fun

July 9th, 2020


If you were forced to quarantine as a result of COVID-19 and could only hang out with members of one other household, who would you choose? On the …

Green Book

July 21st, 2020


From the 1930s to the 1960s, Black motorists driving across the United States and Canada often brought along a copy of The Negro Travelers’ Green Book

The Island No One Owns

July 29th, 2020


If you want to build a house on the Caribbean island of Barbuda, you can just put up a fence wherever you want, and have it. You don’t pay for it. You don’t sign for anything. You just have to be Barbudan. Barbudans …

COVID Stories Part 1

August 17th, 2020


On this episode of Far From Home, I’m beginning an occasional series where I’m checking in with friends and colleagues around the world to get a …

New Orleans 15 Years Later

September 9th, 2020


You probably missed it amid everything else going on in the world recently, but last week was the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, so on this episode, we’re staying within the U.S. for a change and going to New …

COVID Stories Part 2

October 12th, 2020


On this episode of Far From Home, I continue my series where I’m checking in with friends and colleagues around the world to get a sense of the many …

Day of the Deceased

November 4th, 2020


While Americans were celebrating Halloween and heading to the polls, Peruvians were busy commemorating El Dia de los Defuntos, the day at the …

Close to Home

December 4th, 2020


COVID-19 may have forced most of us to take a break from traveling for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some really cool …

Japarican Christmas

December 25th, 2020


On this final episode of Season 3, I return to where I began 2020 in Puerto Rico, on the last trip I took prior to the pandemic. I join my friend Rob …

Foreign Correspondence

February 16th, 2021


I’m taking a break between seasons right now, but I’m popping back into your feed with a special bonus episode I’m sharing from a really great podcast called Foreign Correspondence. It’s hosted by Jake Spring, who’s a …

Te Araroa

February 24th, 2021


Having hiked the Appalachian Trail, Justin and Patrice La Vigne thought they knew what they were getting into when they decided to embark on Te Araroa, a 2000 mile path across New Zealand. But they ended up being blown …

The Sounds of Silence

March 22nd, 2021


Over the past year, COVID-19 has had all sorts of ripple effects that most of us never imagined: Air pollution plummeted as people stopped flying. …

Revisiting Belfast

April 12th, 2021


Over the past week, violence has once again broken out in Northern Ireland. During one skirmish in Belfast last Wednesday, rioters threw Molotov …

Oklahoma City

April 19th, 2021


Each year on April 19th, residents of Oklahoma City commemorate the anniversary of the 1995 bombing in their city, which prior to September 11th bore the distinction of being the deadliest terrorist attack on American …

Revisiting Chernobyl

April 26th, 2021


April 26, 2021 marks the 35th anniversary of the 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the former USSR — which remains the worst nuclear accident in history — so I’m re-releasing an episode from my …

COVID Stories Part 3

May 21st, 2021


On this episode of Far From Home, I continue my series where I’m checking in with friends and colleagues around the world to get a sense of the many …

Tuning in the World

June 11th, 2021


COVID-19 has closed borders and made travel difficult if not impossible for many of us over the past year-and-a-half. But radio signals don't need …

Out of Your Comfort Zone

July 7th, 2021


When you travel – especially if you’re in a distant and unfamiliar place – it’s inevitable that sooner or later, things will happen that are beyond …

Revisiting the Mongol Rally

July 22nd, 2021


July 17th, 2021 marked the fifth anniversary of the day my brother Drew and I — along with our friends Jane and Rosi — set out from southern England …

Stockholm Norms (with Here There Be Dragons)

August 20th, 2021


Knowing the rules and being able to navigate them can be a big part of feeling safe in any city. On this episode of Far From Home, I share an episode …

The Stories of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

September 10th, 2021


In the immediate aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, President Bush vowed revenge against the perpetrators, but not everyone found his words comforting. Around this time, a small but vocal group of people …

How did I end up here?

October 6th, 2021


When you travel, it’s inevitable that you’ll occasionally have weird or random experiences, where you might have certain expectations before you arrive at a place, but then you’re totally thrown for a loop. Sometimes …

Playing Tour Guide (with The Radio Vagabond)

October 27th, 2021


Having grown up just outside of New York City, I visited most of the big tourist attractions like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and Rockefeller Center when I was a kid. But when you spend a lot of …

COVID Stories Part 4

December 6th, 2021


Nearly 2 years into the Covid-19 pandemic, new waves of infection continue to spread around the world, and the Omicron variant is causing renewed …

Cell Phone Santa

December 23rd, 2021


Take Santa Claus. Then ditch the red suit and the flying reindeer, and you’ve got a guy who’s all about giving. On this last episode of my third …

Revisiting Central Asia

January 17th, 2022


Central Asia is not a place that most Westerners know or think about very often. But now that I’ve been there, my ears perk up on the rare instances when it makes the news, as was the case on two separate occasions over …


March 28th, 2022


On this episode, I speak to Savelli and Olexander, two Ukrainians who’ve suddenly had their lives upended after the Russian military invaded their country.


On Far From Home, award-winning public radio journalist …

Refugee Stories

April 29th, 2022


Over the past 2 months, more than 5 million people have left Ukraine, and another 6-and-a-half-million have fled their homes and are now displaced elsewhere within their own country, making this Europe’s largest …

What Shelter Means to Me

June 15th, 2022


While I’ve been hunkered down these past few years, avoiding traveling and staying home while I rode out the pandemic, I’ve been incredibly lucky that I’ve had a safe and comfortable place to live. But what has this …

Ayahuasca Reexamined

August 1st, 2022


I’m always open to listener feedback on Far From Home, and I heard from someone recently who’s given me a new perspective on one of my past stories and forced me to see things in a new light, so I wanted to share it …

The Salvage Car Silk Road

September 13th, 2022


A few months ago, a friend of mine named Oraz who runs an autobody repair shop in Turkmenistan came across a kind of puzzle. A new vehicle had just …

Turkmenistan Revisited

September 13th, 2022


As you may have seen in my feed, I recently teamed up with my colleagues at NPR’s Planet Money economic podcast to report a story that prominently …

Off the Beaten Jack

October 8th, 2022


Last winter during the pandemic, Jack Boswell started to reevaluate his place in life and realize that at the age of 31, he still hadn’t chased his …

Stranger in a Strange Land

February 14th, 2023


From the age of 24 until she was 37, Jamie Yuenger lived in New York City. While she started out having a complicated relationship with the city, she grew over time to love her adopted hometown. Then a few years ago, …

18 Years in Rome (with The Bittersweet Life)

March 13th, 2023


If you listened to my last episode, you heard the story of my friend Jamie Yuenger, an American who moved from New York City to the Netherlands and was struggling to make the transition and figure out how to fit in. …

Stories From Flyover Country

May 27th, 2023


Two decades ago, I was just starting out as a public radio reporter, applying for literally every radio job opening I saw, and somehow I ended up getting hired by a small station in Norman, Oklahoma. Given that the …

Prison Rodeo

June 15th, 2023


After releasing my last episode where I shared stories from my time in Oklahoma many years ago, I came across one more short radio piece in my archives that I thought some of your might enjoy. It’s about another …

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