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20: The Going Gets Tough

Episode description

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 country that’s twice the size of Texas, but with only 3 million people, it has the lowest population density of any nation on earth. It’s also a place with notoriously bad roads, where the main east-west routes are often little more than tracks through the dirt. Maps and satellite GPS are of little navigational help, and signs are few and far between. Throw in some river crossings for added entertainment, and – as we found out – traversing the country can be quite an adventure!

Far From Home is a series, so it’s best to listen to all the episodes in order from the beginning for the story to make the most sense. Learn more about our trip and follow our adventures at farfromhomepodcast.org and teamdonundestan.com. And if you like what you hear, please do me a favor and leave a quick rating or review in iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts!

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Announcing a new adventure for your ears

March 10th, 2016

1:56

Award-winning radio journalist Scott Gurian documents unexpected adventures and chance encounters with interesting people around the world. On this …

01: Getting Started

June 2nd, 2016

28:59

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

10:07

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

29:51

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

21:51

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

30:51

I fly to London to make final preparations before we hit the road and find myself dealing with one logistical and bureaucratic nightmare after another. We also take a basic car repair class and pick up some essential …

04a: For a Good Cause

September 15th, 2016

12:04

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

28:08

After nearly a year of planning, we descend upon the Goodwood Raceway in southern England to begin our journey. I chat with other rally teams from around the world to hear their stories, and we discuss our concerns …

06: Mad Dash Across Europe

January 26th, 2017

27:42

We leave southern England and set out on our road trip, overcoming some of our fears and throwing our plans out the window while we drive across Europe on the first leg of our journey. As we head towards the Turkish …

07: The Real Rally Begins

February 27th, 2017

29:23

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

08: Not What We Expected

March 23rd, 2017

26:18

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

28:06

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

34:51

“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

37:06

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

5:30

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

23:20

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

31:50

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

25:12

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

33:33

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

29:37

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

30:24

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

18: Wrong Way

May 2nd, 2018

25:31

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

31:46

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 …

21: A Costly Mistake

October 1st, 2018

30:05

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

25:41

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

36:56

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

39:00

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. …

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