Everywhere But Home

News and musings from wherever my crazy life takes me. My body may be back in Illinois, but at least for now, my mind is still in Mongolia.


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Some Observations From My Travels

After all this time without a word from me, you might be expecting some astute, well-worded posts. Surely I’ve had time to put something like that together, after all.

Sorry, folks. No such luck. Mostly I’ve spent the past two weeks in Russian van getting shaken half to death on mostly non-existent roads, which is not conducive to writing, typing, or really anything besides keeping your eyes on the horizon and trying not get sick. But it does give you plenty of time to think, to yourself or to those around you, and here are a few of those thoughts.

  • Desert or no, the Gobi is awfully cold in October. In related news, I’m really glad I brought my deel.
  • The Gobi is not particularly sandy, for the most part. However, the one part that is will kill your camera faster than you can protest.
  • Camels make funny noises. And funny faces. Really, camels are just hilarious creatures.
  • IMG_3014Yaks are, if possible, funnier.
  • There is an enormous difference between long-term travelers and couples on vacation for a month. The former are far more fun to travel with.
  • Kazakh milk tea > Mongolian camel milk tea > Mongolian cow milk tea. However, fermented camel milk < fermented horse milk.
  • Horses are more difficult to milk than cows, and cows are no walk in the park.
  • I miss American autumn. Khovd is well-treed, and the golden leaves everywhere made me amazingly homesick. IMG_3158
  • Kazakh sounds remarkably Slavic. Which is to say that a Slovakian and a Kazakh can have what sounds, to a speaker of neither language, like a conversation, but does not successfully communicate anything.
  • I have misplaced more things in the past month and a half than in the previous twelve combined. Some I have been able to get back; others, alas, are gone for good.
  • Goats have a talent for mischief. Sheep have a talent for poor life choices.
  • Eagles are enormous. And surprisingly heavy. IMG_3044
  • You never really need to pee until the land around you has gone absolutely flat, with no cover to be had. Happily, extended travel makes you and your companions really good at not seeing people in need of privacy.
  • Mongolia is really freaking gorgeous, even when it’s thwarting your need to pee.
  • Sheep have funny butts that bounce when they run.
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Elephants!

More sorry-I-don’t-have-Internet filler, but hey, this is filler has elephants!

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And you know what’s cuter than an elephant? A baby elephant!

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What’s cuter than a baby elephant? A baby elephant on a log.

This little one attempted to climb up, whereupon he discovered that he had misjudged the size of the log - and was stuck.

This little one attempted to climb up, whereupon he discovered that he had misjudged the size of the log – and was stuck.

And that’s about all I’ve got for you today. There will be more elephants, in story and picture form, when I find Internet that will let me upload more than three pictures in an hour.


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The Nomadic Life

In lieu of actual content, today I bring you a few pictures from my homestay with a family of nomadic herders in Tuv aimag. The homestay was one of my favorite parts of my own Fulbright orientation, and so I asked if I could join the new Fulbrighters on theirs.  Though cold and very wet, it was amazingly fun.


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A Taste of Thailand

I have several thousand pictures of Thailand, but unfortunately, I can’t seem to upload very many of them. So here are the few that I have managed to get onto the internet.


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Back in Mongolia!

Apologies for the long silence, everyone! Thailand was marvelous, and marvelousness is not particularly conducive to blogging. Convalescence is, but I’ve been lazy for the past week. My apologies.

On a related note, did you know that when you Google “Thailand diarrhea abdominal pain,” it gives you a helpful list of diseases you may wish to research further, and that said list includes names like choleradysenterymalaria, and typhoid? Thanks for that one, Google. Highly reassuring.

Happily, I’ve now gotten Thailand almost entirely out of my (digestive) system, so now I’m off to explore Mongolia. I won’t be bringing my computer with me for the next week, which I hope to spend mostly on horseback, so (Internet willing), allow me to provide you with some photo-heavy filler to keep you occupied until I can regale you all with tales from the land of elephants. And, of course, the conclusion to the Hiking Fiasco cliffhanger.