You would think that doing the Mongol Rally would be just as easy as hopping into a car and start driving endlessly until you hit Mongolia. Well, that’s part of the general idea of what we’re doing, but it is a far cry from the reality of planning this adventure.
Our Early Planning Stages
During this past month, I’ve spent countless hours researching and planning this adventure.
I know my team and I, The Drama of Llama, are far from having a fully planned trip (and in a way that’s part of the fun of the Mongol Rally), but at least we are making sure that we can get from point A, London; to point B, Ulaanbaatar… even if it is with our car held up together with duck tape and pushed by Bactrian camels.
Now that we are a full team, we had to sit down to discuss the preliminary route, or at least, the list of countries we plan to cross. Why? Visas!
Our team will be traveling with American, Brazilian, and British passports, so we have to make sure we are allowed to enter the countries we wish to cross and which ones require visas and how much.
After some debating, discussion, and your votes through Facebook, we have chosen this route.
We will expect to do:
- Czech Republic
Quite a route, eh? What do you think of it?
For Stephen (A Backpacker’s Tale) and I, that means we need to get visas from Russia and Kazakhstan. We will be using The Visa Machine that the Mongol Rally recommends since they know what they are doing and they’ll take care of the invitation letters and all the details. For Turkey and Georgia, we will get a visa on arrival at the border.
Livia (Eusouatoa) will need a visa for Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan, and Vitalli will need visas for Russia and Mongolia.
For me, there’s a boo-boo on getting these visas. I’m currently traveling and in order to get these visas, I need to send my passport to London for at least 4 weeks.
That means, I have to plan carefully and find a place to stay for a month (no travel) so I can let the Visa Machine do its magic.
For now, I’m thinking of going back to Milan and stay there during the month of May. I hope the Visa Machine can get my visas in time; otherwise, I’ll be pretty screwed since I have to fly to Puerto Rico and Brazil the first week of June and will have no other window of travel-less time before the rally.
Thanks to Vitalli, we have an awesome 2005 Hyundai Getz that we hope will live to the adventure. At the moment the car is insured in the EU, so we need to get insurance for every country we cross outside of the EU. As far as I know, we can get the insurance at the border. Someone can confirm this? (Update: Yes, we could!)
On a side note, my driver’s license expires in September. In theory, I should be good, as we should be done with the rally by then. But, I’m considering renewing it.
This means, more document planning since I have to renew by mail, but can’t do it at the same time my passport is away because I can’t go around without any form of identification. Ahhh, planning and timing!!!
We are three bloggers doing the Mongol Rally and we are more than happy to bring exposure to any company that can help us in this endeavor. We might have a good online presence, but this doesn’t mean sponsors will jump that easy to help us.
It is hard work finding sponsors and we are more than willing to work hard to deliver and bring results.
While we are on this subject, I want to give a huge thanks to Go With Oh, XCOM Global, and OneSimCard for extending their helping hand and sponsoring us with their products and services. You will hear more about them as we do the rally.
One of the main goals of the Mongol Rally is to help our charities, Set Her Free and Cool Earth, in addition to donating the car we use once we reach Mongolia. We have managed to raise a bit of money through fundraising activities (thanks, Vitalli!) and online, but we are faaaaar from our goal. We would love your help with this!
Just $10 can help support a girl for a week. (Our fundraising is over, but you can read more about our charity here)
Well, that’s as far as we’ve gone so far. I have to say, that while planning the Mongol Rally takes a lot of energy, it has been super fun thanks to Vitalli, Livia, and Stephen.
We plan everything through Facebook chat, but the reality is that our chats are 90% random, useless, and hilarious blabbing; and 10% serious planning. These guys are the best! This will be an awesome rally!
And last but not least, I want to thank Sherry Ott of Ottsworld for giving me a great helping hand with tips and rally info.
Does anyone have any tips for us rally rookies?
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