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Pamir Highway scenery, Tajikistan

The Pamir Highway: Adventures and Misadventures

The Pamir Highway: Everything looks great on paper… and then you hit the road!

Tajikistan was the one of the countries we were most looking forward to on the entire trip. It had the lure of high alpine treks, legendary road trips, and intriguing and remote cultures. We never expected Tajikistan to be an easy ride but it was the first place where we felt that we had bitten off more than we could chew. Maybe spending the first three months of our trip on roads less traveled was not our smartest move. Or, maybe, the record temperatures we experienced had finally worn us down. Or, was it the monotonous, taste-free food of Central Asia that was taking its toll. Either way, Tajikistan did not work out as well as we had hoped.

The persistent rumors coming out of Tajikistan in the week prior to our Pamir Highway trip were not encouraging either. The extreme heat has been melting the massive glaciers at an unprecedented rate, creating huge landslides on parts of the Pamir Highway. The Highway had also been closed for a couple of weeks earlier in the summer for alleged Russian-Chinese-Tajik joint missions against the Taliban in Afghanistan. … Read more

Ready to launch

On April 14, we will leave our jobs and apartment in Seattle and spend the next 16 months traveling across Asia.

The most fun planning tool has been a route planning calendar taped to the closet door. We add a sticky note per country and move them around to shape our itinerary.

For the last few months, we’ve used a kanban board on the closet door to track our trip planning progress. I’m pleased with how many items are in the “done” column.… Read more