• Asia,  Mongolia,  Trekking Tips

    what trekking in Mongolia is REALLY like

    Mongolia was an unexplored faraway land that I dreamt about one day visiting. Sometimes dreams turn reality, and I found myself in a small, rattling propeller plane on my way to Ulaanbaatar. The thing about Mongolia is that it’s unlike any other place in the world. Once you get out of the capital, you feel like an explorer. Sure, travelers have left routes to be followed, but there’s a looming sense of adventure and discovery in every step you take. Phil, my travel partner, and I found ourselves in the West, deciding to go on a week-long independent trek in the Altai Mountains, which are also shared by Russia and…

  • Trekking Tips

    unexpected packing: what to wear & pack for a day hike

    Ever get lost deciding what to wear when going on a day hike? What about what to pack? To bring an extra pair of socks or to not? Don’t fret, my friends! This is my tried and true method of getting dressed for a day of hiking, and ***Bonus*** my packing list! What to wear on a day hike Let’s start top to bottom, shall we? If it’s cold out, I’ll bring a beanie. If it’s sunny, I’ll bring a hat. If it’s not particularly any of those, I’ll skip out. I have a fleece that I love to wear hiking. It keeps me warm but is also quite breathable.…

  • Asia,  Mongolia,  Trekking Tips

    Independent Trekking in the Altai Mountains, Mongolia

    In the beginning of July, I mentioned that I wanted to explore Mongolia. It’s a place travellers often overlook, and it was calling my name! So I made it happen. Phil (from my Chinese school) and I met back up in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and then flew out West to the Altai Mountains. The Altai are right on the border of China and Russia, and not too many people visit them because you can only get there by either A) a 60-hour bus journey on unpaved roads or B) an expensive USD $150 flight. Because we were on a tight schedule, we chose to fork over the money and fly. We…

  • Tips,  Trekking Tips

    unexpected tips: my favourite hiking gear

    Hello hello friends! I’m sure you’ve picked up on my love for hiking. There’s something about it that’s so simple, instinctive, and beautiful. It’s my go-to activity if I need a clear head or inspiration. If you choose to do longer hikes, gear certainly can make a difference! These are my must haves for hiking (note: NOT backpacking, so tents/pads/sleeping bag recommendations won’t be included. Want a post on that? Let me know!). Shoes: Lowa Renegade GTX Mid These shoes are my love and life. Seriously, they’re my favourite pair of shoes. I didn’t have a good pair before the Annapurna Circuit, and I had only one day of travel…

  • Asia,  China,  Trekking Tips

    unexpected weekend hike: tiger leaping gorge

    Anya went hiking again… that shouldn’t even be a surprise by now. I’ve heard wonderful things about Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan, China, and being in Yunnan made for no excuse NOT to go! This past weekend, some friends and I headed out, despite the bad weather reports. NOTE: there is an upper trail (hiking) and a lower trail (road for tour busses). This post is all about the UPPER trail. G E T T I N G   T H E R E Getting to Tiger Leaping Gorge is not as hard as it seems! From Kunming, we grabbed a sleeper train on Friday night (at 10:23pm) and arrived…

  • Asia,  Nepal,  Trekking Tips

    unexpected everest base camp (6): our last day trekking & a flight fiasco

    Read part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5! DAY 11 TREKKING: Namche to Lukla After spending about 12 hours at the Liquid Bar, we all woke up feeling a little rough. The boys were full on hungover. That meant that the “easy” day walking back to Lukla turned into quite a struggle. There’s a bunch of up and down this day, although with the newly acquired oxygen in the air, it’s not so bad! The trek to Lukla is only about four or five hours. We immediately got burgers to celebrate. The boys had been eating meat the entire duration of the trek, but I had always…

  • Asia,  Nepal,  Trekking Tips

    unexpected everest base camp (5): we descended how quickly?!

    Read part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4! DAY 9 Trekking: Gorak Shep to Namche Bazar After getting back from EBC, we all sat in the teahouse, absolutely freezing and uncomfortable with altitude headaches. It was then, by the fire, that Vaughn half-jokingly suggested trekking all the way down to Namche Bazar (it usually takes two to four days to get down there), and we were all so uncomfortable that we agreed to at least try! After a night of no sleep (literally no sleep), we all (minus Emma, who slept in) headed out at 6am, skipping Kala Pattar. This was by FAR the toughest day. You don’t realise…

  • Asia,  Nepal,  Trekking Tips

    unexpected everest base camp (4): trekking to lobuche, gorak shep, and ebc!

    Read part 1, part 2, & part 3! DAY 7 Trekking: Dingboche to Lobuche This is a lovely day! The beginning of the day is relatively flat, gradually ascending through a valley, and then you once again, go down to the river.   After that, you’ll reach Dhugla! We took lunch at Dhugla (also called Thukla), then had an ascent up to the memorial for the fallen climbers. It’s a short & steep uphill bit, but it’s definitely worth the view at the top. You get a view of the mountains and LOADS of prayer flags. It’s also really important to see the memorials for those who have died on…