• Underground Russia (#4)

    October 15, 2019 Comments (4) Europe, Experiences

    In my final story from Russia I want to show you some stuff we found while in Moscow and Saint Petersburg that’s really ‘underground’. The first area is one just discovered by my Russian photographer friend Sasha (whom I met in Burma a decade ago, but has since become a recurring character in my travel

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  • Mean Canada (Russia #3)

    September 15, 2019 Comments (12) Asia, Europe, Experiences

    All those years ago, when I was telling Sasha why I didn’t think I ever needed to visit Russia, I summarised my argument thusly: “Isn’t Russia just like Canada, but with meaner people?” Well now that I’ve been, I thought I’d report back to you all on the accuracy of that hypothesis.

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  • Camels and Kalashnikovs (Russia #2)

    August 18, 2019 Comments (4) Asia, Experiences, Photo Essays

    Our first stop in Russia was a village in Buryatia province, Eastern Siberia. Buryatia is special because (Intriguing Fact #1) it’s the centre of Russian Buddhism. This is something most Russians don’t even realise. This region was once a part of Mongolia, but transferred to Russia in 1689 and 1727. It’s home to

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  • Into the Cosmos (Russia #1)

    August 8, 2019 Comments (0) Asia

    “Russia!  But why?” A question I’ve been asked many times in the months preceding this trip – and one I sometimes asked myself during it. One reason is that I promised my nomadic Russian photographer friend Sasha I would. In 2010 we travelled together in Burma after meeting on the streets of

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  • How to Cross the China-Russia Border from Manzhouli to Zabaykalsk

    July 30, 2019 Comments (2) ONE Proj blog

    This is not my typical post. But the internet desperately needs an update on how to cross the China-Russia border overland from Manzhouli (满洲里市) to Zabaykalsk (Забайкальск). What we read before our trip (from ThornTree, Wikitravel, and TripAdvisor) was badly outdated. Basically, 100% of it was

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  • Fresh Eyes (China #12)

    July 28, 2019 Comments (8) Asia

    I’m not sure if you’ve ever been dropped into a foreign land where basically no one speaks your language. It’s a strange brew: A cup of fascination, a tablespoon of excitement, a teaspoon of frustration, and a pinch of fear. China is definitely one such place. And it’s made even more alienating by the many

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  • Prime Time in New York City (USA #2)

    September 21, 2017 Comments (0) Americas, Experiences, Photo Essays

    The Big Apple. The City That Never Sleeps. The Empire City. New Amsterdam. Gotham. The Five Boroughs. The City So Nice They Named It Twice. New. York. City. After the west coast climbing adventure and on either side of family Christmas events, I spent a month holed up in a Toronto basement, racing to finish …

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  • Panoramerica: Eclectic Scenes from the Wild West (USA #1)

    June 28, 2017 Comments (4) Americas, Experiences, Photo Essays

    Meet Tim, one of my oldest mates from Perth, a British-born Aussie reliably liable to quip quotably. After completing my tour of Central Asia (which you’ve surely read all about) and some family-recovery time in Canada, it was time for me to realise one of my greatest life ambitions: To become a climbing bum,

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  • Cuba, On The Brink

    January 29, 2017 Comments (0) Americas, Experiences, Photo Essays

    At the end of 2014, Obama and Castro announced that US-Cuba relations would begin to ‘normalise’. It’s no coincidence that 2015 was Cuba’s biggest year in tourism history. Until 2016 that is, when it over-topped its own record. At the end of 2015, I was in Canada suffering from screen-overload

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  • Our Ridiculous Ride on the Pamir Highway (Stans #8)

    May 18, 2016 Comments (0) Asia, Experiences

    I spent two months in Central Asia, immersing myself in landscapes, history, culture and (mis)adventures. Since then I’ve told you 7 stories of serendipity; great empires; border guards hoping for porn; nomads; and elderly farmers under shady trees amidst a landscape scorched by environmental catastrophe.

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  • Getting High in Tajikistan: Magnificent Mountain Moments

    May 4, 2016 Comments (4) Asia, Experiences, Photo Essays

    Tajikistan has some hills. I already told you all about this. But now I want to show you some of these sky-touching scenes from two regions we visited: Kulikalon and the Pamirs. But not just yet! Because you ought to hear how we reached these areas. The first place, Kulikalon – well that won’t take long.

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  • Broken Rules, Broken Roads, and Broken Spirits (Stans #7)

    April 13, 2016 Comments (0) Asia, Experiences

    It was sometime about an hour after my escape from the bureaucratic clutches of the Uzbeks. That’s when I realised Tajikistan may not have been the panacea it seemed. My shared taxi-driver, delivering me into the capital Dushanbe (affectionally known as ‘the big douche’) was ignoring lane markers and

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