In the second episode of "Adventures in Mongol Rally Land," I go a little farther off the path. While driving from London to Mongolia during the rally, My partner-in-madness Steven Priovolos and I dabbled in a little extreme tourism by taking a detour to Chernobyl.
We have strolled along the hill-fortresses of Kernave, Lithuania, and bantered with the costumed vendors in Tallinn's Old Town. In these easy, carefree moments, there is a commune with nature and other individuals.
I ignored my mother's pleas and started a journey into the unknown. I hoped it would inspire people along the way: For each mile we drove in our Daihatsu Terios, we donated a book to an underprivileged child through First Book. 10,000 miles. 10,000 books. That was the goal.
The aim was to drive from England to Mongolia. The reality was that I found myself lying on a hospital bed in a distant land. A broken collarbone and bruised ego in tow. Violent car crashes can sometimes do that to you. But this year I am trying again.
I'm having a bout of anxiety, and here's why: The Uzbek Embassy was late in processing the visa of my trusted friend and cameraman, Steven Priovolos, so he was forced to travel across Europe on his Greek travel documents because his passport is at the Uzbek Embassy.