I’ve prepped for trips before, but I’ve been very lax. I do basic things and leave a lot of things alone. I mean, how fun is travel when you plan every single detail before you leave?! What is the fun in that?! Yeah, Mongol Rally has kind of trashed those habits. Fast.
We all know that driving the Mongol Rally will be challenging, messy, crazy, fun, thrilling, draining, tantalising and so much more. But did you know that preparing for the Mongol Rally is just as much, if not more, work than the actual rally? Yep. It totally is. Or, at least it feels that way now.
Signing on to do the Mongol Rally was the easy part. Seriously. For the next few days, I was filled with nervous excitement. I’m doing the MONGOL RALLY, how freaking cool is THAT! I was jumpy. I couldn’t sit still. I would talk about it until my family’s eyes glazed over and then talked about it some more. Then the reality of doing the Mongol Rally started to sink in, slowly. Holy Crap! I’m doing the Mongol Rally with two women I have never met! We need a car. We need to raise money for charity. We need to pick a route. We need to find sponsors. OMG, how much will the cost me? Can I find enough sponsors to offset my costs? The list goes on and on.
In recent days we’ve come up with a route, which is probably one of the most important things we need to do as we cannot book hostels, apply for visas etc without a route in mind. So, after a little contemplation, we’ve selected a route. What is it? Well…
Czech Republic – Slovakia – Hungary – Romania – Bulgaria – Turkey – Georgia – Azerbaijan – Turkmenistan – Uzbekistan – Kazakhstan – Russia – Mongolia
We want to stick to Eastern Europe and Central Asia as it’s cheap, diverse and full of history and culture. My brain is overflowing with ideas on how I can share this crazy adventure with you.
So, we have a route. Awesome. Now comes the hard part, selecting dates for visas, and hostel bookings. As much as this makes me cringe, some countries (like Russia) require a specific entry date and they are pretty strict about it. I’d go into more detail about the visas, but I think those deserve their own post.
Aside from visa and hostel dates, I’m also researching each country and selecting things I want to see, experience and share. I know I won’t be able to hit them all during the rally, but I’ll submit my wishlist along with Charlie and we’ll formulate a plan. At least that’s how I see this whole thing working, Charlie could have other ideas.
I’m also busy looking for sponsors, working with the sponsors we already have, coming up with a plan for a Toronto fundraiser and getting ready to solicit donations for the charity we’re supporting, The Lotus Children’s Center Charitable Trust.
Lots to do in 5-6 months. Some days are awesome, okay most days are awesome. I do have mini panic attacks though. This adventure is going to stretch me in ways that I didn’t think were possible. I’ll be venturing into new countries and exploring Central Asia quite a bit. In fact, after the Mongol Rally and the Silk Road, I will have visited every country in Central Asia except Armenia. Yikes!
There is a lot to do before I board a plan bound for Europe in June, but I know I’ll get them done, especially with the help and support of my teammates, friends and family. 2012 is a big year for me in terms or travel and new experiences. I’m putting myself ‘out there’ a lot more and frankly, that scares the hell out of me! But it also excites me.
Are you doing the Mongol Rally in 2012? I’d love to hear about your route and plans!!