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


Traveler’s Tale: Impressions of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan’s Peculiar Capital City

Traveler’s Tale: Impressions of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan’s Peculiar Capital City

MIR Tour Specialist Nathan Cox was born and raised in Utah, but has spent much of his adult life living and working in Russia and Ukraine. Since then, he’s traveled to a number of MIR's destinations, including China, Central Asia, the Baltics, and Europe. Here, Nathan shares his impressions and memories of his recent travels to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan's strange and fascinating capital city.  Read More


Client Spotlight: Travel to Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova

Client Spotlight: Travel to Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova

In the spring of 2017, MIR traveler James Burch set off on MIR’s Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova small group tour, sending almost daily reports on his progress. We saved his refreshing and good-natured missives and observant photos, and put them together for you to enjoy as we did. Follow along as James Burch shares his perspective on Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova – three countries that don’t often get a lot of love from travelers. Read More


A Traveler’s Tale: Baku, Azerbaijan and the Shores of the Caspian Sea

A Traveler’s Tale: Baku, Azerbaijan and the Shores of the Caspian Sea

MIR’s Jake Smith recently traveled through Azerbaijan and its highlight, Baku. In his tour diary and photo gallery, discover his favorite finds in this historic city that features both old town charm and modern marvels. Read More



Traveler Spotlight: Dispatches from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan

Traveler Spotlight: Dispatches from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan

MIR traveler Fred Lundahl spent 30 years serving in U.S. embassies abroad with the Foreign Service. During his postings, he fell in love with Central Asia, and still travels there every couple of years. Recently, Fred traveled with MIR on another trip through Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, including some hiking “in the most picturesque mountains that no one in the U.S. has heard of – the Fann Mountains north of Dushanbe [Tajikistan].” Read Fred’s Travel Journal for all of his dispatches from Central Asia. Read More


A Traveler’s Tale: Yurt Living in Sary Tash, Kyrgyzstan

A Traveler’s Tale: Yurt Living in Sary Tash, Kyrgyzstan

Our guest blogger is Caroline Eden, a journalist and travel writer from the U.K. specializing in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Caroline’s travel stories have appeared in Conde Nast, Wanderlust and National Geographic Traveler, among other publications. Read More


Iran Travels and Tastes: Taftoon Flatbread (VIDEO)

Iran Travels and Tastes: Taftoon Flatbread (VIDEO)

While leading a tour through Iran, MIR Tour Manager Jamshid Fayzullaev spotted a baker preparing dough for the flat Iranian taftoon bread that will soon grace the tables of a Yazd restaurant. Enjoy this video of the baker as he shapes it into balls, ready to roll out flat for baking in the tandoor oven. After he rolls it out, he’ll score it and flip it onto the padded mitt that you can see by the oven. Read More