The dark side of Mongolia

This is an ugly post. This is a post that hurt to write. This is a post that made me cry. I wished it had had no reason to be written. But it does. One reason is that I want others to be warned, in particular other women travelling solo. The other reason is that …

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Mongolia and the frailty of life

In our everyday lives, most of us have a buffer between life and death, and a comfortably huge one at that. We have insurances, access to a health care system, houses that protect us from thunderstorms, access to clean drinking water and nutritiuous food, neighbors that would hopefully get alarmed if we did not leave …

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Mongolia calling

(Or: knowing when you’re ready) First things first: the next leg of my journey is coming up really soon (hopping onto my bike Emily tomorrow)! After a long preparation phase with Kafkaesque struggles, I am finally ready to hit the road again. Well, not a road in the sense most of us know roads. The …

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About trust

[photos were taken at my winter/spring destinations: Iran, United Arab Emirates, Oman and the Canary Islands] ‘Aren’t you afraid?’ That is one question I get quite often, from friends and family back home as well as from strangers on the road. Am I? The short answer is: No, most of the time, I am not …

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Through no-man’s-land into the Pamirs

Everybody faces her fear sooner or later in her life. The real one. The big one. Not the small ones that we believe are so important – be it being humiliated, failing in front of others, showing emotions when we are vulnerable, …  These are the kinds of fear we are used to in our …

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Just being

This is my first (and likely only) post for which I deliberately use next to none of my photos. I have gigabytes over gigabytes of them, no worries. But they might distract from what I want to say. (plus my internet connection is awfully slow, so I would not be able to post many photos …

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The (mental) run-up to the Pamirs

How do you prepare for the biggest challenge of your life? In retrospect, I would say that the Pamir highway was exactly this. Maybe this whole journey, but this stretch was where all my fears where concentrated. The second highest international highway of the world. Compared to nothing I have ever attempted before. It was …

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We are no extremists

I had thought of other things to share, but after the terrible events in Beirut and Paris, this would feel off to me. What I do want to share with you, though, is a statement that occured over and over again during my journey, in particular during the many days that I spent cycling and …

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Beyond rules

When you are travelling alone, nobody sets any rules for you. Still, some travellers decide to set rules for themselves, in particular when they are on the road for longer. One rule I encountered among cyclists is to cycle every inch of the way, for example. Others set out with the aim to only hitchhike. …

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