Greatest Mongolia Travel Guide Ever!

This is a guest post by Nathan Chamberlain
Peace Corps Volunteer in Community Economic Development
Bayankhongor, Mongolia

Leslie and Nathan, a married Peace Corps Volunteer couple, are two of the most incredible people I have ever met. After years of discussion between all of us as friends, they decided to make a difference in the travel world by creating a guide to Mongolia written by Peace Corps Volunteers. It will be the first of its kind and I couldn't be more excited about it. I think it's unbelievably awesome and I am so proud of them. Nathan was kind enough to sit down with me and answer a few questions about the upcoming Mongolia Travel Guide which is scheduled to be released in early 2011.

You are writing a travel guide to Mongolia, can you tell us a little bit about that?

We're writing a travel guide because we wanted to offer a different perspective for tourists bound for Mongolia. We have the unique opportunity to share Mongolia as we and our fellow Peace Corps Volunteers experience it – from the inside. Some of us have lived in these communities for up to 4 years. We have Mongolian friends, including host families we each lived with for three months, we speak Mongolian, we live in rural areas, and we’ve enjoyed traveling in our host country.

We've been talking about the need for this kind of book, from this perspective, since we got here in 2008. Unfortunately, the most popular guide book about Mongolia characterizes some places so negatively and so disparagingly we felt Mongolia and Mongolians deserved something better. We noticed immediately the disparity between the characterizations offered in that book compared to the realities on the ground, and we wanted to provide something that more reflected what we saw.

How did you hear about Other Places Publishing, how are they unique?

After chatting about how interesting it would be for Peace Corps Volunteers to write about Mongolia, Travis found Other Places Publishing. He emailed the publisher with a general inquiry, and after an invitation to submit writing samples and an outline, Travis asked Leslie and I if we would be interested.

Obviously, we were interested in being a part of showing off Mongolia to travelers, but we knew we couldn’t do it alone. We contacted fellow Volunteers Andrew Cullen and Ashlee Christian, who are both photographers and writers. Once they joined, we knew we had a solid team with great experience and the ability to deliver a quality book. Our target audience is budget conscious travelers who want a more cultural experience, i.e. not sitting around at a resort. These usually include younger, adventurous backpackers and flashpackers who want a different kind of travel experience and have the time to do it.

What has been something particularly enjoyable about writing this book?

We have had a good time digging deeper into some areas of culture that we only had a surface understanding of before the research and writing began. We have also had the chance to meet a lot of wonderful folks who are working hard to develop Mongolian travel infrastructure despite limited resources and a slow-moving mechanism.

Anything we, your future readers, can do to help out or just wait in anxious anticipation?

You will hopefully find our book online in April of 2011. Until then, if you plan on traveling to a developing country that might have Peace Corps Volunteers, check out one of Other Places Publishing’s other books available through, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Baker & Taylor, and Indie Bound.

Thanks again for taking the time to answer these questions for us Nathan!
If you want to learn more, please visit Leslie and Nathan's website and