Want to enter to win a freakin’ free trip?? Read on my friend.
Some of us travel to get away and do virtually nothing. While others travel for adventure and often need a vacation when they return from their travels. You can put the participants of the Mongol Rally far deep into the latter category. The “Mongol what” you ask?
The Mongol Rally
The Mongol Rally is just another hair-brained scheme dreamed up by those nuts over at The Adventurists. To explain to you what they do, I felt it best to put it in their own, beautifully crafted words (I love this):
“There is nothing new under the sun” said a beardy ecclesiastic, thousands of years ago. Although with the power of hind sight you could have argued that the entire American continent would have been new to him and fell into his category of being under the sun, it seems that humans have always worried about the world being boring.
Moany old git. He had nothing to whinge about. He probably didn’t have a TV constantly mind shovelling him factoids about every corner of the earth. It’s also historically unlikely that he had a GPS. I doubt the Lonely Planet had shat forth all manner of papery monsters telling you which colour toilet you need in Nicaragua. No, the beardy one had it easy. His maps had edges. Ours go round in a globe shape. Rubbish.
Some git has already walked off the edge of all our maps, there’s a traffic jam to get to the top of the world’s tallest mountain, every millimeter of our good planet has been scanned by satellites and rammed into your mobile phone. What room is there left for those of us who still yearn for a bit of old school adventure? We live in a hermetically sealed, health & safety shit-storm where using a ladder is considered unacceptably dangerous and adventure travel means a guided tour up a mountain or staying in a hotel with less than four stars.
Here at The Adventurists we believe there is still adventure to be found in the world. We just need to go try that little bit harder to find it. Let’s cut new edges into our maps, break our GPS and set forth into the world to find out what happens.
In the hope that we might help inject a little unknown back into the world we make our own variety of ill considered adventures for you all to get stuck into. Have a look and see what you will be doing next summer. Or winter…
So…here’s what I think I understand about the Mongol Rally:
- It is an adventure starting in the UK and ending in Mongolia (fittingly enough).
- Several hundred teams compete for charity by driving klunkers (small engine cars OR emergency-type vehicles (doesn’t everyone have an extra ambulance in their garage?) across 1/3 of the world. Said vehicles are then donated to charity.
- So far £1.5 million has been raised for charity over the last few years of the rally.
- The current official Charity is the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation which looks after orphans and street children in the capital Ulaanbaatar.
My good friend and fellow travel blogger, Sherry Ott, has decided to throw more caution to the wind than she already has in her round the world travels and partake in this particularly extreme challenge driving across 15 countries, many with no roadside attractions, let alone…real roads. Yikes.
Her team: The Social Media Syndicate
Interview with Sherry Ott
LL: Why did you decide to do this crazy thing?
Sherry: I first read about it on a website called Abandon the Cube – and as I read about their adventure I have no idea what came over me, but all I could think about was how I wanted to do it too. I think it was the deadly combination of something so totally unique, massive travel, a mountain of detailed planning, and mentally/physically challenging which combined into the ultimate ‘made especially for Sherry Ott’ experience. Seriously – these are the things that get my motor running, they excite me beyond belief – and I knew I had to do it. It wasn’t until I met Dave and Deb at TBEX a year ago that I had finally found willing partners that I knew would do it with me. Then things really started rolling; we picked up Rick and we were off! The charity aspect was the icing on the cake for all of us adventure seekers!
LL: What are you looking forward to the most?
Sherry: Living the moment. I honestly don’t want to look forward to or anticipate anything as I know there’s no way to predict what will happen. So my challenge on this trip is to simply live each day in the moment and enjoy everything that passes outside our windows and all of the words flying inside the windows. I think when we travel we are always looking forward to the next site, tour, city, booking the next accommodation or flight; and so often we forget to enjoy the place we are at the moment.
LL: What are you worried about the most?
Sherry: Driving. I know that sounds stupid, but I have never really driven a car in foreign countries. I’m always the eternal passenger and navigator. I did drive my own motorbike in Vietnam when I lived there – but even that took me 4 months before I finally took the plunge and did it myself. To make matters even more challenging, we’ll have a UK based car with the steering wheel on the right side; however the 12 of 13 countries we drive through will be countries where the steering wheel is on the left side (what I’m used to in the US) – so I have a feeling that will take a bit to get used to. I can imagine that someone in the car will be yelling “Watch Out!!” a few times.
LL: How much do you think these answers will change when you are done?!
Sherry: I hope they change completely…I would be disappointed if they didn’t.
Sherry and her team kicked off a raffle contest this week. The Social Media Syndicate has teamed up with Intrepid Travel, specialists in small group tours, to raffle off a ‘trip of a lifetime’ to an exotic location.
Enter for chance to win one of these trips:
Wild Mongolia – A 15 day trip through Mongolia. Starting in the capital of Ulaanbaatar, then heading out into the country to hike volcanoes and enjoy Mongolian barbecues. Follow the footsteps of Genghis Kahn and take a camel ride into the desert sand dunes of Khogno Khan.
Inca Trail – This 8 day trip takes you through Peru. Starting in Lima you will spend the day exploring the historic centre of the city. It is then off to the charming city of Cuzco in the centre of the country. Explore the Sacred Valley and the ancient city of Ollantaytambo before beginning your trek on the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Voted as one of the new 7 World Wonders this is a trip you will never forget.
The fundraising raffle will be held until June 12th. The winner will be randomly drawn and notified the following week.
Rally tickets cost just $5 each and you can enter at The Social Media Syndicate through June 12.
Sherry’s team estimates that it will cost about $4000USD in fuel charges to drive the 10,000 from London to Mongolia. Therefore all raffle proceeds will go to filling their tank with gas to get their car to Mongolia, where the vehicle will then be donated to a charity there.
Intrepid Travel cares about the environment and will be donating our carbon offsets for the fuel of the car. Not only will you be helping her team transport its car to a deserving community in Mongolia, you will be making up for their fuel consumption by offsetting our carbon emissions.
Each team is asked to raise a minimum £1000 for charity at least £500 of which goes to the official Rally charity, the Christina Noble Foundation. This money will make a massive difference to the lives of some of the poorest people in Mongolia.