Blogs from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Asia - page 2


Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar January 21st 2018

Yes indeed, Mongolians are best known as the original nomads, and in a vast, sparsely-populated expanse of land such as Mongolia, the reasons for all of these migratory movements are fairly self-explanatory. It is fair to comment that the final word in Mongolian culture, economic activity and tourist influx begins and ends in the nation's capital city, Ulaanbaatar, and a few brief glances around the city reveal evidence of far-Eastern investment, namely South Korean developers whose investment in Mongolia seems like a strategy-in-the-making. Ulaanbaatar's centrepiece is Sukhbaatar Square, which is flanked on the one side by the government building, and on another side by the colourful Opera and Ballet theatre, a State institution in a nation where a knock-on influence from the Soviet Union has clearly shaped the way in ... read more
Gandantegchenling monastery (Ulaanbaatar; Mongolia)
Statue of Genghis Khaan (Terelj National Park; Mongolia)
Roadside scenery (Terelj National Park; Mongolia)

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar October 30th 2017

Typically as the curtain closes on a trip, there is a brief stroll down memory lane to capture those significant moments. Dad, Kyle and I always take time to discuss what was the best part of the trip for each of us, our favorite meal, our biggest surprises, anything we would do differently, what we missed most from home and so on. Since I did not have my traveling partners for this exercise, I thought it might be best to just sum up what I learned during my time in Mongolia. This is a glimpse of what I learned in Mongolia: 1. A camel is a camel is a camel. I did not know what to expect with Bactrian camels since all of my exposure has been with Dromedaries. These camels were a tad shorter and ... read more
Frosty Camels
Please Remind Me Why We Are Here
Please Send Hay Hooks and Chaps

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar October 24th 2017

I can tell you the exact spot where I was sitting when I made some pretty big promises to myself and some specific demands of my future. It is not a moment that enters mind very often, but after this trip to Mongolia, I can't help but wonder how that flashpoint in my life is still affecting my decisions today. I was 12 years-old and had spent the day rotary mowing at Shamrock Farms in order to earn some walking around money. I was sitting on a rickety old tractor, soaked in sweat and covered in the dust and bugs that inevitably get kicked up when doing such work. I had spent the day doing nothing but driving and thinking. Rotary mowing is the sort of job that affords a lot of time for thinking, even ... read more
Expedition Team

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar October 22nd 2017

There was so much packed into this short two-week adventure, it has been hard to cohesively capture it for the sake of blogs. I have relied on the photos to tell much of the story, but the energy, constant laughter and group dynamics are hard to express in words or photographs alone. Communication Even though this trip sprung up on the horizon without much notice, I was determined to do a little research on Mongolia and the Mongolian culture. Like I was cramming for an exam, I devoured two books on Mongolia and was pleasantly surprised how much historical and cultural information I was able to retain. What I quickly learned is I read the wrong the books. In order to properly prepare for this excursion, I should have read a book on how to understand ... read more

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar October 20th 2017

I am not even sure where to start when I am asked what I thought of Mongolia, how I felt about the expedition and if I learned anything along the way. There were so many things coming at me at once, I am not sure I have fully processed my time in Mongolia and I certainly haven't been able to convey my thoughts in any sort of logical or succinct way. Sometimes it is just easier to make lists and be random. Accommodations I laid my head to rest in a wide variety of places on this trip. Upon arrival in Mongolia, I checked into The Blue Sky Hotel which is a nice hotel overlooking the main square and piercing the city skyline. It was exactly the place I needed when I arrived in the middle ... read more
Taking A Rest
Horse Corral in the Distance
Going for a Walk

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar October 18th 2017

We set out on a mission. We were going to prepare a string a camels for an outrageous expedition. We signed up because we love the camels and we love the concept. We assumed we would be building trust, teaching commands and perfecting practices. We knew there would be great progress followed by a few setbacks followed by more progress. We knew nothing would go as initially planned. Some of us had livestock experience. Some of us had camel experience. Some of us had passion. And there were a few who had all three. We were in Mongolia to train camels. We knew that part of the trip. We knew our role. What we did not know was who these people were who were going to take OUR camels from Mongolia to England. We had no ... read more
Cuddles are Mandatory
Be Open to Learning
Embrace their Goofy Nature

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar October 17th 2017

I have always believed one of the greatest honors is to share your life with an animal. There are few relationships that afford such vulnerability, love and satisfaction as those relationships between a human and their animal companion. Animals teach us patience, trust, responsibility, grace and confirmation that we are not the most important being in our life. A part of this coexistence, one that I take very seriously, is giving animal friends a solid, respectable name. I know there is a joke among our family that I name anything that moves, and frankly, I can't deny it. But I strongly believe the only thing worse than an animal without a name, is an animal with a lousy name. You can imagine my dismay when I came face-to-face with my camel partner in Mongolia and he ... read more
Love at First Sight
Me & the Original Shamrock
The First Shamrock

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar October 16th 2017

I am trying to remember the last time I was ready to return from traveling and I am not having any luck. My dad jokes, if no one ever forced me to go home I would still be on that first big adventure in Egypt exactly 25 years ago. Okay, so I like to see the world and I don't like to say goodbye. Surely there are worse crimes to commit. Usually I don't want to say goodbye to the exotic locale, the carefree feeling of vacation, the decadent food or the intrigue of a new day out in the wide world. I don't want to say goodbye to the laid back lifestyle, the luxuries of hotel living or the constant excitement. And I certainly never want to say hello to the 9 to 5 work ... read more
Cheers to a Job Well Done
Cameleer Happy Hour
Snow Bunnies

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar October 15th 2017

For the first time ever, my holiday goal was to lose weight while I was traveling. I know it sounds counterintuitive. Who goes on vacation to diet? Certainly not this girl, who usually eats her way through trips like she is on death row. But whoever said, "Oh go to Mongolia, you will love the food?" Who has ever planned a dinner party and served fine Mongolian cuisine? So the plan was that I would be working all day among the elements and then would be served some simple, not-so-appetizing campfire meal. It sounds like the perfect equation for weight loss. Perfect, expect for the one thing I did not calculate. Mongolian food is fantastic. It is hearty and filling, but it is also tasty and satisfying. I can honestly say I did not have one ... read more
Camel Camp Chef
Fried Bread
Lunch Crew

Asia » Mongolia » Ulaanbaatar October 8th 2017

Set backs are to be expected. This is never more the case than when you are working with animals, people or the weather. We, unfortunately are managing all three of those factors and we are trying to do it in a developing country. To say the cards are stacked against us is an understatement. Today the biggest obstacle was the weather. The very brutual weather that swept over this unforgiving terrain briefly stopped us in our tracks. It is no secret the cold weather is not something I embrace, but each year I endure it because of living in the Midwest and cohabitating with livestock. However, when I was standing in the blowing snow wondering if I would ever feel my toes again, I couldn't help but think, "did I really pay to do this? Is ... read more
Leading Our Students
Practicing Camel Lessons
Sleeping Quarters

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