A Traveler’s Personal Story of Her Return to the North Caucasus

A Traveler’s Personal Story of Her Return to the North Caucasus

When MIR traveler Susanna Markiewicz McNeil signed up for MIR’s Return to the North Caucasus small group tour, she was – literally – returning. Susanna was born in a village in Dagestan, an out-of-the-way region her Polish parents fled to during the atrocities of WWII. Prior to her departure, Susanna shared with MIR that her family had once lived in Dagestan, and that she was actually born there. MIR worked diligently with our Tour Manager and local MIR guide to find a way for her to visit her birthplace and reconnect with her roots. We used our destination expertise and on-the-ground connections to make it happen. We are grateful to have Susanna share her story of her very personal return to the North Caucasus, and to the small town where she was born and lived the first few years of her life. Read More



Why Move Eastern Europe to the Top of your Travel Bucket List?

Why Move Eastern Europe to the Top of your Travel Bucket List?

How about choosing destinations your friends have never been to, or even considered? How about discovering people in places totally off your travel radar that nevertheless are happily going about their business in a dimension you are unaware of? How about joining “Journey to Eastern Europe,” a MIR Private Journey that has been opened to travelers who are ready to go beyond the familiar? Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Kosovo and Macedonia strut their stuff on this wildly different one-time-only itinerary. Read More


Dancing Across Uzbekistan: An Interview with Expert Helene Eriksen (video)

Dancing Across Uzbekistan: An Interview with Expert Helene Eriksen (video)

Every few years, internationally respected dance ethnologist Helene Eriksen leads a group of enthusiasts to a different region of the world to explore its traditional dances, costumes and music. A teacher, dancer and choreographer of women’s traditional dances of the Balkans, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, Helene has teamed up with MIR for her 2016 trip, Dance Tour Through Uzbekistan. This inspired tour is open to anyone who wants to learn about – or already loves – the vivid multicolored garments, graceful dance movements and characteristic music of Uzbekistan. On this tour, participants will: • Attend a presentation of traditional Uzbek silk clothing. • Visit a small private museum to hear typical Central Asian instruments. • Learn to make Uzbekistan’s signature dish, plov, in a family home. • Learn Central Asian dances from a renowned Uzbek dancer and teacher at private master classes in Bukhara, culminating in a public performance, a centerpiece of the program. Intrigued by the itinerary of this one-of-a-kind tour, we sent these questions to her to learn more. Read More


Return from Auschwitz: MIR Travelers and Holocaust Artifacts

Return from Auschwitz: MIR Travelers and Holocaust Artifacts

In July 2015, MIR organized and operated a custom tour to Jewish heritage sites for Seattle's Holocaust Center for Humanity. The tour, led by MIR's Joanna Millick, took travelers to the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, where earlier this year, 14 artifacts on loan from the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum were carefully packed and shipped to Seattle to take their places among the exhibits at Seattle’s new Holocaust Museum, which opened in October 2015. The list of everyday objects includes... Read More