For months I’ve been over-the-top excited about participating in this summer’s Mongol Rally with some of the world’s foremost travel writers. I’ve described the Mongol Rally as the “Ultimate Road Trip”. We’ll be traveling 9000 miles, across ⅓ of he globe, over two continents, and 15 countries! What an amazing opportunity to step out of my comfort zone, eat some weird foods, communicate with people who don’t speak english (especially Southern english) and see the world!

I love road trips! As a co-host of the Midlife Road Trip, my job is to share with our audience the thrill and adventure of our travels. But the recent disasters in New Zealand and Japan have me looking at the Mongol Rally, and road trips in general, from a new perspective.

Thousands of people devastated by the earthquakes and tsunamis were forced to make road trips simply to find shelter, leaving the places they lived and worked, often without knowing the fate of friends or family. Their lives will never be the same. Most road trips end when you return home, but that won’t be possible for many of these victims. Their journey will make the Mongol Rally look like a weekend sleep-over.

Until now, my thoughts on the Mongol Rally have been centered around my excitement for the adventure and my anxiety over the preparations – planning our route, obtaining visas, finding a car, and paying for airfare, lodging, food, gasoline etc. But these recent disasters reminded me that the real purpose of the Mongol Rally is to “rally” and raise awareness and money for charity.

While the Mongol Rally is an epic road trip, it’s times like this that remind me why the rally is really important.

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