The longest road trip in the world
"Far from Home captures the strangeness of places most Westerners have never heard of, much less visited, like the giant fire pit and the near-empty capital city of Turkmenistan. But it’s at its best in small human moments, from hospitality offered in Iran to the kindness of strangers after multiple mishaps.
It also documents the practicalities of preparing for an 18-country trek in a tiny car, obtaining visas and car repair lessons, and the necessary improvisations along the way when navigating desert breakdowns and corrupt border guards.
A brilliant listen."
Not Just Any Road Trip
"One of the greatest things I've ever heard!
It's an exciting, fascinating experience to go along on the ride with Scott and his brother. Some of the things that they go through are terrifying and amazing, and pretty much all of the range of emotions that you can think of. There's a lot to experience here, and if you're a traveler, this is going to satisfy that feeling of getting out there and seeing the world. It's a cool experience, especially to hear it all through audio. As Scott is a very experienced radio journalist, he knows what sounds good, and he puts it all together in this podcast, Far From Home."
“Far from Home” the Best Combination of Big and Small in More Ways Than One
"Far from Home encapsulates what makes travel so formative and important.
There’s the typical cliche about how it’s not about the destination, but the journey, and that’s partially true... but it’s also about the destination.
Far from Home is one of the few podcasts that balances both concepts almost effortlessly."
Getting Properly Lost and
“In 2016, Americans Scott and Drew Gurian participated in the Adventurists’ 2016 Mongol Rally — an epic road trip that took the brothers 7 weeks to complete. They were prepared for their journey and endured many challenges along the way. However, they eventually made a costly mistake in an extremely remote area that put the completion of their adventure, and themselves, at risk.”
— Profile of our trip on the website of Garmin, the maker of the inReach satellite communicator that we used to contact the American embassy for help when we were stranded in the middle of Mongolia
7 Weeks, 11,000 Miles, and 2 Tiny Cars:
The Mongol Rally
Interview with my brother Drew and our friend Rosi on Condé Nast Traveler's website:
"At the end, I got teary. There was a massive sense of achievement. Because there was certainly a point when Jane, I think, would have happily walked away and gone home. There was a point I know when Drew was ready to pack it in and go home. I had been absolutely adamant with both of them that they weren't going to be allowed to do that. That we were going to finish it. That we were going to finish it together."
Condé Nast’s Travelogue podcast also features a lengthy discussion about our trip on its episode "In Search of Adventure" (listen beginning around 19:45)
Do you have a Nissan Micra?
Then definitely listen to this podcast
“Scott Gurian is clearly an experienced radio journalist. During this trip he recorded 65 hours of audio. The batteries of his recording device do significantly better than those of the Micra. This is how we end up together with Scott in places where tourists never came. At bizarre wedding parties and in godforsaken villages where they only serve the meat of the yak.”
— podcast review in De Morgen, a Flemish newspaper in Brussels, Belgium (in Dutch)
“I am willing to bet money that you have never been to a Kazakh wedding. Or if you have, that you’ve never been to one in Kazakhstan. Or if you have, that you’ve never been to one to which you were invited by a complete stranger you just met while driving through the country on the way somewhere else. The wild wedding party is just one of many adventures our friend — the radio producer and podcaster Scott Gurian — relates in his show Far From Home.”
— Interview on "Get Outta Here," the AP Travel podcast
(begins at 15:00 into the show)
“There are a lot of podcasts out there that cover travel-related topics, but the vast majority of them are simply interview or discussion-type shows. Sometimes the hosts might even record their episodes remotely, but they’ll be in their hotel room in Bangkok or wherever, talking about what they did that day. What’s the point? I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be room for shows like that, but I’ve learned that the power of good audio is that it transports you places. I want to hear the sounds of traffic and marketplaces, foreign accents, and insects in the rainforest. I want to be able to close my eyes and imagine that I’m somewhere else. People think that you need a video camera to gather images, but in some ways, well-recorded audio is much more intimate, since listeners get to form their own pictures in their minds.”
— Interview / profile on the website of Pod Bible, a British podcast magazine
What kind of audio gear do you bring on a reporting trip across Europe and Asia? Something small and discreet. Tascam profiles Far From Home and my use of their DR-40 digital audio recorders in this press release.
Tascam also interviewed me on their "Capture Your Art" podcast about my process of gathering tape out in the field, as well as the gear I used to record my sound (see episode 5).
Recommendation from The Bello Collective’s editorial team:
“My dad used to take my family on drawn-out road trips in a claustrophobia-inducing minivan across the United States, but what radio journalist Scott Gurian is doing with his Far From Home podcast is a bit more intensive: driving a tiny car 10,000 miles from London to Mongolia. Pick the show up from the beginning — it’s a fun listen.”
"Mongol Rally participants drive from London to Mongolia at their own pace and their own peril. Radio Producer Scott Gurian survived the 11,000 mile journey in his tiny, 1 liter car and joins us to talk about it."
"The Mongol Rally. There are so many questions... What is it? Where can you go? How much is it? What do I have to do? Do I have to raise money for charity to do it?
Lucky thing is... we answer ALL those questions and more in this month's mini-episode with our guest Scott Gurian. Scott tells us about his epic adventure doing the Mongol Rally with his brother in 2016. Check out our episode to give you a taste for the race, and if it makes you hungry for more... Scott has made his own podcast all about it!"
“An absolutely fascinating podcast series. This reminded me of similar travel documentaries made by BBC World Service. The episode set in Turkmenistan introduced me to a country I know nothing about, and made me want to find out more. Above all, this podcast is a great work of storytelling. Genuinely this is one of the best audio travelogues I’ve ever heard.”
“This podcast pulls the listener in and makes them want to go back and listen to the rest of the story. It’s fantastic! The pacing, the mix of narration and recordings made it engaging and immersive from the beginning. It felt like we were accompanying the host on the tour – complete with eerie feelings and overwhelming excitement. Overall, this podcast provided a fascinating insight into a trip of a lifetime, and both of us are planning on going back to the beginning of this podcast and listening to the entire thing.”
— Peer reviews of Far From Home from other podcasters as part of
#2PodsADay's July, 2018 indie podcast promotion campaign
"Throughout all of those miles and experiences, Gurian, a Peabody Award-winning journalist who previously worked for public radio stations around the country, was recording audio -- audio that he has since turned into 22 episodes for his podcast, Far From Home.
‘It is really great to bring other people along -- people who might never dream of going on a trip like this,’ Gurian said. ‘Audio is intimate. You can just close your eyes and feel like you're there.’”
— Profile in the Spring, 2019 issue of Emerson College’s Expression alumni magazine
"In the course of documenting the 11,000 mi. road trip I took from London to Mongolia, I aim to take listeners out of their comfort zones, introduce them to people and places they might not otherwise meet or experience, and instill in them a sense of adventure."
Just a casual 11,000 mile drive
"I can’t stop listening to Scott’s far.from.home podcast. It makes me want to do the Mongol Rally myself one day. If you’re an aspiring traveler like myself, I highly recommend listening to all the episodes so far (and those to come)."
Profile of Far From Home on the website of AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio:
"I think the underlying theme of much of my work on the podcast is that nearly everywhere I go, people are generally more alike than they are different, so I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to include conversations and interactions I have with folks in such far-flung places at Iran, Russia, and Kazakhstan, to dispel stereotypes and show how fascinating and complex the world really is."
The Long and Winding Road
Article by my brother Drew in the April, 2017 issue of Geographical magazine:
"This 53-day trip was all about the adventure. Through all of the ups and downs, we somehow managed to make it through, and now we have so many great stories to share. Would I do this exact trip again? Probably not. However, I would certainly go back and revisit some of these places. I guess it’s time to start planning the next big adventure."
The Mongol Rally is a guaranteed (but super-fun) disaster
"How about this for a vacation idea? Fly to Europe, buy a beat-up clunker, then try to make it from England to Mongolia in one piece. There’s no official route and no official rulebook. Photographer Drew Gurian and his brother, Scott, did just that this summer as participants in the Adventurists’ Mongol Rally."
— November, 2016 photo essay on Outside Magazine's website
Bloomfield Brothers To Help Charities
during International Rally
"Two brothers from Bloomfield, Scott and Drew Gurian, are heading to London to participate in the 2016 Mongol Rally, an annual event where hundreds travel more than 10,000 miles in tiny vehicles to raise money for charity."
"Imagine doing the Mongol Rally, a 10,000 mile road trip race from London to Mongolia, with a family member! Last fall Scott Gurian, a journalist, contacted me to do an interview about my experiences on the Mongol Rally. He’s doing the rally this summer with his brother, and he’s also producing an amazing podcast, called Far From Home, covering the rally. You can tell Scott is a true professional – this is one of the best independent produced podcasts that I’ve listened to – and I’m not just saying that because I’m interviewed in the first episode! If you’ve ever thought about the idea of doing the Mongol Rally, then follow his journey at Far From Home Podcast…you will be enthralled."
— Travel blogger Sherry Ott, Ottsworld Travel and Life Experiences
The lengths he'll go for a story
are about to reach 11,000 miles
"'This is a big trip we're taking. Driving through parts of the world that the average American has never been through – through the 'Stans,' Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and places that just sound so foreign and can be a little scary if you haven't done much traveling,' said Gurian on the latest edition of The Backgrounder Podcast. 'It seems like a really great thing to document. We'll have tons of stories along the way.'"
— June, 2016 hour-long interview on The Backgrounder podcast recorded live on stage in Montclair, NJ, where I discussed my upcoming trip and the launching of the Far From Home podcast and took questions from the audience.
Banner image by Drew Gurian