It's been a while since I last sent out an update, so I should probably start off by welcoming all of you who are new to our e-mail list or Facebook group, as well as those who are reading this on our website for the first time. Some of you are friends, colleagues, and family members who I've recently added because you made a donation or I thought you'd be interested in following our worldwide travels. If you're reading this in your inbox and would prefer not to get future updates or would like to instead receive them at a different address (or via Facebook), feel free to click the links at the bottom of this message to adjust your preferences accordingly.
To recap for those of you who may have missed the news: In less than two months from today, my brother and I will embark upon an 11,000 mile, 7 week road trip from London to Mongolia to raise money for charity, which we'll be documenting as part of the 2016 Mongol Rally. Most of you already know about this, but if you happen to be hearing about it for the first time, you can visit our team website to learn more and catch up on all the details. Meanwhile, all of our updates from our journey -- including blog posts like this one -- photos, videos, and episodes of my forthcoming podcast will live at our other site, farfromhomepodcast.org
We'll be traveling through 19 countries, including places like Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan that Americans rarely visit. In fact, this whole region of the world was admittedly a black hole in our geographic knowledge until we started poring over maps and planning for this trip a few months ago. We're looking forward to our immersive adventures experiencing totally foreign food, languages, and cultures, hence the name we've chosen for our group, Team Donundestan!
Over the past few months, we've been hard at work behind the scenes, making preparations for our journey, so we wanted to share with you some of what we've been up to.
As you might imagine, going on a trip of this sort involves a ton of planning, including filling out all sorts of bureaucratic paperwork
waiting in long lines to get our visas
and several visits to the doctor
We've had to finalize our route, buy travel insurance, and figure out what to pack.
Of course we also need a way of actually getting from London to Mongolia, so we've found the most reliable form of transportation we can, a 15-year-old Nissan Micra hatchback with a 1 liter engine that we purchased last week from the London used car classifieds!
Seriously, the size of the car is one of the few, key rules that the organizers of the Mongol Rally have said they'll enforce. Vehicles participating in the event need to be tiny for a reason.
"With a small car, you're more likely to break down, so you're more likely to interact with the locals," they write on their website.
"After all, an adventure is only an adventure when things go wrong."
To be clear, a journey like this certainly has its challenges, some of which we can prepare for (like bringing extra fuel in case we run out of gas) but others that are unavoidable (like the language barriers and poor quality roads). If we wanted an easy, relaxing vacation, we'd go on a cruise in the Caribbean. That said, we're doing whatever we can on our end to help ensure a safe and fun time is had by all.
We'll have more specifics about our preparations in future blog posts and in our forthcoming podcast, which you should all subscribe to at farfromhomepodcast.org (we've also got step-by-step instructions there for those of you who are new to podcasting).
The one big announcement we want to make this week for those who haven't heard is that we've officially launched our crowdfunding campaign to raise money for our chosen charities. We even make a video:
As you can see, the money will go to several great causes, and we're also offering a bunch of cool perks to thank folks who contribute. If you'd prefer, you can also pitch in to help offset our personal travel expenses.
Click here to read more and pledge your support, and even if you can't donate at this time, please help us spread the word!
Finally, if you'd like to follow our travels on social media, the best way is to like our Facebook group, or you can also subscribe to our feeds in Instagram and Twitter. You can find all the details about all of this on our website.
Thanks to all of you for your continued interest and support!
Scott and Drew Gurian
Team Donundestan / 2016 Mongol Rally