We're taking a crazy road trip to raise money for charity, and we want you to follow along!

What's This All About?

Now in its thirteenth year, the Mongol Rally is an annual event involving hundreds of teams driving tiny vehicles across Europe and Asia-- a quarter of the way around the planet -- to raise money for a variety of good causes. It's not a race, and there aren't any winners or losers per se. Rather, the goal is to simply make it in your car to the finish line and see a large, beautiful chunk of the world along the way!

The Rules

The Adventurists -- the British group that loosely organizes the Mongol Rally every year -- have instituted just 3 main rules:

1. You can only take a farcically small vehicle (up to a 1.2l engine)

2. You’re completely on your own (participants figure out their route and get no backup support if they break down)

3. You've got to raise at least £1000 for charity

The When, Where, and How

The two of us -- collectively know as "Team Donundestan" -- embarked on the 2016 Mongol Rally on Sunday, July, 17th from the official launch site at the Goodwood Motor Circuit, a couple of hours south of London. While it's theoretically possible to drive all the way to the finish line in Ulan Ude, Russia (just across the border from Mongolia) in as little as 3 weeks by taking a direct northern route on highways through the forests of Siberia, most participants opt to travel a more interesting, challenging, and windy path through Europe and Central Asia. Remember, there's a start and a finish line, but it's up to each of our groups to decide how exactly to navigate from one to the other (see rule #2 above), and there are an endless variety of possibilities! In previous years, some teams have driven up through Scandinavia -- north of the Arctic Circle --  before heading east, and one group even took a detour to Africa! We drove along with our friends Rosi and Jane of Team Sugar + Spice on a route that took us through parts of the U.K., France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, then across Turkey and Iran, and up through Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Mongolia. It's a distance of nearly 11,000 miles, and it took us about 7 weeks to complete.

After arriving at the finish line in early September, Drew flew home, but Scott got the bright idea to drive all the way back to the UK across Siberia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, and The Netherlands (with a side trip to Italy and the Vatican), traveling a total of 18,000 miles (29k km) round trip through 23 countries, over the course of nearly four months. If you're interested, you can listen to his podcast to hear more about his adventures.

Promotional video for the Mongol Rally that was made back in 2012

As you can probably imagine, planning and undertaking a journey like this was no simple feat. We had to buy a vehicle in the U.K. and get international licenses and insurance; fill out all sorts of paperwork to apply for travel permits and visas; figure out what gear to pack; get a bunch of vaccinations; and launch a crowd-funding campaign. But the reward was that we got to have a once-in-lifetime adventure and document our experiences to share with all of you reading and listening back home.

We're asking for your help in a couple of ways. First of all, please follow us via our newsletter, Facebook, and Twitter, and spread the word to your family and friends. Secondly, we're trying to raise money, both for our selected charities as well as to recoup some of our personal expenses, so if you're feeling generous, please see the part of the website about donations and sponsorships.