Everything You Wanted To Know About Our Mongol Rally Trip But Were Too Afraid To Ask
If you’ve run into us, visited our website, or spoken with us within the last little while, chances are we’ve told you about this crazy trip we’re doing over summer 2019. However, some people still have so many questions about what exactly it is that we’re doing. Relax, take a breath. We will survive this trip. We’re here to answer all your burning questions.
Ok, I read the blurb, but I still don’t understand what this Mongol Rally thing is about.
The Mongol Rally is a yearly intercontinental car “race” that begins in Europe, and ends in Mongolia (or not far from there in Russia, as is the case this year). The point of this rally is quite simple: it’s adventurous, crazy, and fun, and it encourages participants to raise money for charity. There is no prize for finishing first; finishing the race is a prize in itself, and not every team has the luxury of making it to the finish line with their car in one piece. To make this rally a little crazier and more difficult, you can’t bring a “good” car. This means the car’s engine has to be smaller than 1200cc. It’s not meant to be a brand new 2019 car just off the lot. It’s ideally meant to be an old car, decorated to absurdity, that will likely break down once or twice or twenty times. Driving across the world in a durable 4x4 is too easy. Anyone can do it. The Mongol Rally is supposed to be a challenge, and driving a shitbox across the globe is definitely challenging.
Additionally, aside from the idea, some meet-ups along the way, and the chance to interact with some equally crazy and like minded individuals from around the world, the Mongol Rally organizers themselves help you with nothing. You’re completely on your own. That means everything from buying a car, planning your route, getting towed out of a ditch in Kyrgyzstan, and everything in between is entirely the responsibility of each team.
The Mongol Rally is a bucket list item. It’s not a ‘summer backpacking across Europe’ kind of trip. It will be messy, dirty, frustrating, and entirely gratifying to get to the finish line.
What on earth influenced you to do this? Why can’t you just go “find yourself” with Yoga classes classes in India like every other twenty-something year old?
First of all, half our team has already done that. Second of all, where’s the fun in doing what everyone else is doing? Central Asia is a really attractive area to our team since it’s much less frequently traveled that most other areas of the world, and The Mongol Rally is a unique way to see these countries.
There’s also something awesome about being a team of girls doing this. Most of the promo for this rally, as well as most teams, are overwhelmingly male. As two girls who travel alone often, we have come to realize the importance of solo female travel. Many girls we know are afraid to go on a weekend alone out of fear or uncertainty, and if we can show them that we can travel 10,000 miles in a dinky car across countries they’ve never even heard about, maybe that will encourage them to finally buy a plane ticket to that place they’ve always wanted to visit.
Mostly, we love traveling and hate boredom and routine. Between the two of us, we’ve been to around 50 countries, and we have no intention of slowing down any time soon. When we saw the opportunity to go on a crazy trip AND raise money for charities we care about, it was a no-brainer: we had to do it.
Why are you fundraising?
The easy answer is that The Mongol Rally requires each team to raise a minimum of 1,000 GBP. Half of that goes to their charity of choice, Cool Earth, and we can opt to donate the rest to a charity of our choice.
Aside from being required to, The Mongol Rally has a lot of costs tied to it. We need to buy a car, ship it from Tel Aviv to Greece, drive across Europe and Central Asia, pay for repairs, accommodation, food, gas, and pay for visas for dozens of countries, to name a few expenses.
With that being said, we believe we can surpass the rally’s minimum donation requirement, which is why we’ve set ourselves a goal of $20,000. With that amount of money, we’ll be able to cover many of the costs of the rally (while putting in a lot of our own money, of course). We can donate a chunk of money to Cool Earth to ease our consciouses over the carbon footprint required in driving 10,000 miles across the globe. And most importantly, we can donate enough money to save the heart of one child, which includes transport from their home country, accommodation in Israel, round-the-clock medical care, and life-saving open heart surgery. Worth it? We think so too.
Alright, but where are you actually going?
Being from Israel, we weighed the costs of buying a car here and shipping it abroad, or buying a car in Europe and beginning our journey there. Buying a car Israel will actually save us a lot of time, hassle, and even money. We plan on shipping a car from Israel to Greece, where we will drive across the Balkans to The Mongol Rally's starting point in Prague, then drive across Eastern Europe, cross the Caspian Sea (on a very long ferry ride), make our way across the Stan countries, conquer Mongolia, and then finally cross over into Russia where the race ends in Ulan Ude. Our projected route looks something like this:
Leg one - getting to the starting point: Tel Aviv - Prague
Tel Aviv - Greece - Albania - Macedonia - Kosovo - Bosnia - Serbia - Hungary - Austria - Czech Republic (Prague)
Leg two - The Mongol Rally:
Czech Republic - Slovakia - Hungary - Romania - Bulgaria - Turkey - Georgia - Armenia - Azerbaijan - Turkmenistan - Uzbekistan - Tajikistan - Kyrgyzstan - Kazakhstan - Russia - Mongolia - Russia
24 countries in one summer seems sane, right?
Can I do anything to help?
WHY YES, DEAR READER, YOU CAN! We’re so glad you asked!
We need help with SO MANY different things, it’s a bit overwhelming.
First things first, if you simply want to help us without actually dedicating any time or effort to doing so, we totally understand. We get it. You’re busy. You have better things to do. No problem. That’s why we definitely won’t be mad if you just leave us a donation of any size and leave us alone with our mountain of rally prep. That’s 100% acceptable. Donate, and we probably won’t ever bug you again.
However, if you can’t donate, or want to help us with more, we will be so grateful and might even be inclined to name our car after you. We need help with so many things, from fundraising & getting sponsors (we’re CLEARLY not experts), learning how to fix a car, and spreading the word. If you have a skill that you’d like to share with us that you believe can be helpful, get in touch!
We hope you’re able to sleep now that all the most pressing questions on your mind have been answered. If you have any other questions, feel free to let us know and we’ll be happy to answer them. If you don’t know what to click on next while you’re mindlessly scrolling through social media, we would highly suggest the following link: greatest place on the internet.