I arrived in Ulaanbaatar at 2 am after twenty hours of travel, and hopped into the van of my driver and guide to be assaulted by a barrage of questions and opinions concerning US politics—more specifically Trump. My attempts to seek a little peace by staring out the window and acting uninterested failed, so I was extremely happy to pull up to my hotel and get into my room. I slept a few hours and woke in time to watch the sunrise over the city.

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Namibia, Botswana

I spent three weeks driving around and through the amazingly diverse landscapes of Namibia, with a brief foray into Botswana. Equipped with a solid 4×4 with dual gas tanks and a good supply of water, I was still was a little hesitant starting out, not knowing what terrain I would encounter along the trip. I began my journey by spending the night in the capitol city of Windhoek. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, check out Joe’s. It’s a huge restaurant, with several bars and shaded out door seating. You can order a sampler plate the consists of, I think, one of every animal.

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Punakha Tsechu Festival, Bhutan

We were invited to drinks by the nations business ministers, we saw the king drive by us on what our guide told us was one of his many road trips around the country where he visited the people in their homes, children played with us and loved to see the pictures we took, it was not uncommon to see men walking holding hands having discussions and the Bhutanese had no fear of us even though the country had only opened its borders to the outside world in the 1970’s. Some go to Bhutan for the trekking, rafting and biking. However, you can do those things in many places. This is an unusual place for a westerner; I recommend taking part in its unusualness.

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Orange Bus

Kathmandu is a beautiful disaster. Amid the color, pattern, texture, filth, ritual, pollution, hippie westerners living on the cheap, marketing, mangled infrastructure, smell, music, traffic, corruption and the holy, it was hard not to feel like I was in the most unenlightened place in the world–a poverty tourist with the objective of seeing every aspect of life splayed out onto elaborately decorated fascias where everything is hyper real accept the armature.

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Nellim, Finland

Our ride.

The quietness of the Nellim Wilderness Area reminded me of the quietness of the desert. That absolute lack of sound which has the ostensible effect of suspending all movement and creating a complete psychological stillness which is also accompanied by the physical sensation of a certain change in air pressure surrounding the body. It’s the perfect state of being when waiting for the ephemeral, but also a bit dangerous as the mercury begins to fall toward -25℉, and you’re not noticing the pain because of the peace. But, at this time of year, cold means clear skies, and we were lucky enough to suffer through a few cold nights staring heavenward on frozen Lake Inari.

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