Uncharted Backpacker

Travel Knows No Borders

Stephen Gollan; Travel photographer/blogger, travelling the uncharted parts of the world, exploring the culture, cuisines and natural wonders to get you the latest travel updates.

Why You Should Visit North Korea

North Korea Travel

Let’s put aside the politics, the propaganda and everything else negative about North Korea. Instead of looking at the constant barrage of negativity surrounding this controversial destination let’s take a look at the positives. I traveled to North Korea for two weeks and loved it. After traveling the most secretive country on earth I can tell you that it is a beautiful country that has stunning nature, clean cities, friendly people and of course bizarre but wonderful sights. North Korea also has a very distinctive culture that everyone shows with pride. Here is a list of reasons why you should visit North Korea! Read More

The Travelers Soul, Varanasi, India

Varanasi, India

I have been here before, a place in time where all my troubles seem irrelevant, where everything I thought I knew has just been turned upside down. The colours, sounds and people unfold in front of me in a dazzling display of culture. All the descriptive words I can write, but nothing will give this place the justice it deserves, this is Varanasi, India. You see, Varanasi is where traveling became something different for me, it’s the place where I abandoned my previous life and entered my new one. This place of life, death and everything in between is the place I keep returning to for many reasons, although many are still understood. Varanasi will change you, walk these holy shores and she will take a hold of you as she did to me. Varanasi, the ultimate traveling destination! Read More

Exploring Nizwa and the Hajar Mountains, Oman

Nizwa, Oman

Leaving Oman’s glitzy capital, Muscat, into the Hajar mountains things change. Life is slower paced out here. It’s decisively more conservative as well. The small communities that call the Hajar Mountains home are more traditional and are deeply connected to Omani culture. If you are looking for an Arabia that has been lost in neighbouring countries, than this is the place to come. This region is also famed for being one of the most gorgeous regions in all of Arabia, deep gorges cut through jagged black mountains while villages made of stone defy gravity by clinging to the Cliff side. Nizwa and the Hajar are impossibly beautiful.  Read More

Traveling to Greenland this Summer

Greenland Travel

Greenland is a destination that many believe is nearly impossible to travel through, but for some time now daring travelers have been venturing into the remote wilderness of Greenland’s Arctic. Those who have traveled here have told me stories of unimaginable beauty, traditional Inuit Cultures and unbelievably raw nature, but the most alluring thing I am told is that Greenland is addictive. This summer I will begin a two-week adventure starting from Greenland’s historic South and heading north by boat to the Arctic Circle. Read More

Travel Gear Guide For Professional Travel Blogging

Travel Gear Guide

I often get asked what kind of specialized equipment I take traveling with me and after years of trial and error, I can tell you that I have become very particular in what I decide to bring. Apart from my electronics most of my equipment is not that expensive, instead, it is just things that have made my life easier while I travel. I put together this gear guide to show you what I find works best for me and to help you see what kind of gear you need to travel to crazy destinations like I do! Get your backpack ready and prepare for traveling’s most important lesson, the essential travel gear guide! Read More

Traveling the Karakoram Highway, Kashgar to Pakistan

Karakoram Highway

The scenery is indescribable. As we slowly bump down this 1300km road in a colorful semi-truck with Urdu music blasting it’s hard not to get wrapped up in this amazing journey. It’s a difficult, uncomfortable, dusty and at time’s dangerous route, but it’s one that will stick with you forever.

The Karakorum Highway is a classic traveler’s trail that is often referred to as the eighth wonder of the world, The Karakoram Highway. This ancient trade route whispers hints of its former glory with its grand crumbly forts, magical traditional villages and legends of Marco Polo. Travellers who undertake this journey will not be disappointed.  The Karakoram Highway will change those who dare to undertake its path, venture here and join the elite travelers who have done so! Read More

Safety Tips for Traveling to Dangerous Countries

Travel Safety Tips

When you make the decision of where you want to travel to a large number of people will try to defer you from traveling because of “travel safety” issues. Although these issues may be very real, it should not deter you from doing the trip that you want! My experiences in dangerous countries include Yemen, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, Papua New Guinea and many more. This list of safety tips derived from my travels through war torn countries, crime capitals, wild jungles, and the uncharted parts of the world. I have been thrown in jail, interrogated, suffered from tropical illnesses, been shot at and attacked by wild animals and although i wouldn’t trade my experiences for the world, i do want to help my followers avoid these situations. Being prepared for the worst is the first steps! Read More

Exploring the Yarlung Valley, Tibet

Yarlung Valley, Tibet

High in the Himalayas I clamber through a dark cavern deep into the mountains heart in search of the Guru Rinpoche’s path to enlightenment in the Yarlung Valley the cradle of Tibetan civilization. The cave opening is barely wide enough for me to squeeze through. A weathered old leather rope was placed here hundreds of years ago by pilgrims to help assist in pulling yourself to the other side, this is not for those who are claustrophobic. Finally, I reach the heart of the mountain. Wafts of juniper incense and the heat from the butter lamps make the air heavy. In the distance you can see Tibetans gathered around a large gold statue murmuring mantras.

For Tibetans a pilgrimage should be a difficult and dangerous event, this way when you finally complete the journey the sense of reward is there. In Tibet’s Yarlung Valley there are many of these karma boosting journeys taking place. Those who make it to the Yarlung Valley will find one of Tibet’s oldest and culturally rewarding experiences. Read More

Travel to Libya’s Saharan Capital, Ghadames

Ghadames, Libya

The Saharan mirage gives way to a wonderful sight of a palm fringed oasis, a caravan town of white Islamic architecture that provokes images of a lost ancient desert masterpiece. The shimmering gold sand dunes in the distance add contrast to such a perfect image. This is not a dream, this is reality if you can make it to the far flung capital of Ghadames, Libya. Ghadames beauty if only the beginning, the hospitality and culture of Ghadames inhabitants will be your lasting memory.  This whimsical desert odyssey is not for the faint of heart as getting here requires a plethora of security issues, but for the jaded traveler this makes the allure of visiting Ghadames even more. Read More

Most Common Travel Scams and How to Avoid Them

Travel Scams

Wherever you are in the world, when a destination becomes popular for tourists, there will be travel scams. These scams range from simple theft, trickery and can even result in much more serious events that can ruin your holiday. After being exposed to almost all of these scams in my eleven years of globetrotting I have created this Travel Scam Guide to help you become a Travel Scam expert without having to actually be scammed! Follow me as I discuss the top Travel Scams I have encountered! Read More