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.

14 Tips for a New Traveller

Keeping Motivated

Loosing motivation is a huge reason why people quit early or don’t even travel to begin with. Staying positive and telling yourself “I will travel”. Travelling can be quite a scary thing, but if you stay positive about it you will most likely have a better chance of not backing out. If you’re already abroad and are beginning to lose motivation; well you need to look forward. Travelling always has its ups and downs, but that’s what makes it so great. It’s the challenge that is rewarding when you look back. Look at travel photos, read travel blogs, or simply buy yourself a guidebook and read about new destinations. Whatever you end up doing just keep motivated about your trip. Read More

The Freedom of the Bicycle: Cycling Home from China

While I was travelling the Silk Road to Afghanistan I met Mark on the road to Kashgar, China. Mark is a person I am honoured to call my friend, and an incredible person for what he is doing. By cycling the world he is able to accomplish two tasks. Mark is able to see and travel the world while helping children go to school. This is such an admirable mission that all travellers should applaud. This is Marks story, he is still currently on the road and not back in Canada yet. But his journey is coming to an end soon. There are those of us who travel because we love it, and there are those who give back at the same time and Mark has done just this. Read Below and learn more about my friend Marks incredible Journey cycling from China all the way back to Canada!          Read More

Just Travel!

This video is made from a compilation of my travels. I called it “Just Travel”. It’s named this because its purpose is to inspire others to get out the door and just travel like you have always wanted to. Traveling is an incredible experience. So many people procrastinate and end up not traveling. Watching this video can maybe help change your mind and get you on that plane to destination awesome! As the saying goes; the key to happiness is spending your money on experiences rather than possessions. 100% of this video is shot from my Gopro Hero 4

Afghanistan Travel Guide

The Shrine of Hazrat Ali in Mazar E-Sharif Afghanistan

Why Travel to Afghanistan?

Afghanistan is a travelers dream. Unfortunately because of Afghanistan’s recent events it has been off the travel radar. Times are changing however, and travellers are beginning to enter Afghanistan borders once again. Afghanistan plays host to an amazing array of sights, cultures, and landscapes that will one day be on every traveller’s checklist. The north of Afghanistan hosts some of the country’s most exotic markets, and incredible mosques. The north also offers many hidden valleys amongst Afghanistan tallest mountains the Pamirs. In these valleys you will find hidden villages, and a wide variety of different traditional cultures. Head to Afghanistan’s centre and find pristine blue lakes, pine forests and ancient Buddhist kingdoms. The south of Afghanistan remains mostly off limits due to civil unrest, but one day the deserts near Kandahar will be filled with curious travellers looking for that long lost adventure. Afghanistan may have had a difficult past. But it is looking towards the future now. Look past all the problems and you will discover one of my favourite countries that I have ever visited. Read More

Spain Travel Guide

Barcelona Sagrada Familia Spain Travel Guide

Why Travel to Spain?

If you’re new to travelling Europe, Spain is a fantastic place to start. If you’ve never travelled Europe, Spain will blow you away. Spain’s history, culture, and food is like no other amongst its European counterparts. Every region in Spain will introduce you to something new. Whether you’re in the fiery south; where flamenco dancer’s stomp, and Moorish architecture reigns or in the classical medieval north, Spain will impress. Spain also houses a smorgasbord of languages and dialects. With Spain’s proximity to Africa, and borders to Western Europe, it creates a complex blend of nationalities, and intriguing cultural treasures. Spain is also one of Europe’s most affordable destinations. Most cities have an abundance of budget accommodation, and sightseeing can be a fraction of the price compared to the rest of Europe. If you’re traveling in Europe already or planning to travel this continent, then don’t miss out on this amazing country and witness a completely unique part of Europe. Read More

Mongolia – Kharkhorin to Orkhon, Mongols, Nomads and Shamans

Chuluun

Ulaanbaatar and the Orkhon Valley – Mongolia 

My mind is clearer here. The morning dew gives a fresh earthy scent as you breathe it in. Open your eyes to the wide vistas of emerald green seas of grass blowing in the crisp wind at your face. The odd puffy white clouds covering the ground from here and there. A chill running deep inside from the brisk cold air as I step outside from the warmth of my Ger. Central Mongolia is what dreams are made of. There is something special in the air here. Something no word in any of my stories can tell. Read More

Nepal Still Shines after the Earthquake

Nepal Still Welcomes Tourists Even After The Devastation

Kathmandu, Nepal 

April 2015 brought devastation to Nepal. A 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked the capital and much of the country, killing over 8000 people. I have visited Nepal many times in the past, but my most recent visit a few months ago left me heart broken. So many amazing places here have been either damaged or destroyed altogether. One thing however that has not changed is the heart and spirit of the Nepalese people. The people are resilient and strong; they are working hard to repair the damage that has been done and restore the desperately needed tourism industry. Unfortunately, since the earthquake tourism has been almost non-existent. My recent travels into Nepal have shown me that yes, Nepal has been damaged and yes, much of what I had loved is now gone, but this did not affect my interest at all in this wonderful nation. Nepal still is and always will be an incredible country to visit. In this post I will show some of the devastation, but more importantly I will show you why you should still visit Nepal. Read More

Jordan Travel Guide

Cathedral at Petra

Why Travel to Jordan?

Jordan sticks with you. Long after you leave its borders this country will draw you back. It could be the spirit of the Jordanian people or its stark beautiful countryside. T.E Lawrence crossed the treacherous deserts of Arabia to find himself here for this same reason. From the ancient mysterious carved temples at Petra to the red sand dunes of Wadi Rum, Jordan becomes an addiction. Jordan also happens to be one of the safest places in the Middle East. Jordan has a small but beautiful coastline teeming with marine life. After delving into Jordan’s spectacular natural scenery take in the ancient carved temples of Petra or the Roman city of Jerash and to finish off in the urban streets of Amman modern day Jordan so you can experience The “New” Jordan. Traveling here will get you a good taste of what the Middle East has to offer. This is the land of true Adventurers, so just as Lawrence had done you too should come to Jordan and see for yourself why he held this country and its people so close to his heart. Read More

Top 5 Offbeat Places to Visit in Mexico

Palenques temples

Mexico has long been known to North Americans as the place where you go to drink, party and sit, day after day on the beach. Mexico however; happens to be one of my favorite backpacking destinations! After visiting Mexico many times it has ranked at the top of my list for “favorite destinations”, however, not for the beaches, but instead for its history and people. Historic Maya, Aztec, and Colonial Spanish cities are spread throughout the country adding to Mexico’s incredibly in depth and complex history. Mexico’s landscapes are also just as spectacular; from giant blood red copper mountains to lush humid dense jungles, and vast open barren deserts that make all corners of this nation an adventure waiting to happen. Mexico’s population is currently over 125 million which makes for some incredible diversity among its people. You can still find Mayan language speakers and the descendants of Spanish explorers throughout this fast pace country. Once you leave the Yucatan you will be amazed at how cheap of a travel destination Mexico really is. Most days in Mexico I only spent around 25 USD, and that’s including those desperately important evening cervezas. So grab your backpack and head to Mexico for something other than the beach with one of my top favorite Mexican “off the beaten track” destinations.
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Libya Trials and Tribulations: Life in Libya After the Revolution

Libya Uncharted Backpacker

Tripoli and Leptis Magna – Libya

When you think of Libya, images of violence, revolution, and the former dictator Muammar Gaddafi probably come to mind. While violence is still rampant throughout the country, the revolution is over and Gaddafi is gone. This is a new Libya: a nation facing political chaos in the aftermath of revolution. Free of the tyranny and terror that was Gaddafi’s reign, Libya is a country ready to show the world its once concealed beauty.

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