MIR’s 30 Years: Imagine Your Journey with MIR (VIDEO)
What is your dream journey, a travel experience that will transform the way you look at this world and at those around you?
Imagine traveling to once-forbidden lands such as Central Asia, Iran, and remote parts of the former Soviet Union; experiencing the rugged mountains of Tajikistan by driving its famed high-altitude Pamir Highway; helicoptering to the once off-limits lands of volcanoes, geysers, and reindeer herders on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia’s Far East; motoring in vintage cars, Jeeps, or motorcycles across China and Siberia – and even traversing it on foot.
These are just a few travel dreams turned into reality for MIR travelers.
This is where MIR can get you started on your dream journey, on the right foot, and where MIR does it best, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. No one knows that better than MIR’s co-founder and president, Douglas Grimes.
- Overland Expeditions: MIR has been fulfilling the dreams of intrepid travelers for 30 years, and one of its favorites is creating exciting and even daring overland expeditions crossing multiple countries – for months at a time – in cars, Jeeps, and motorcycles. Complicated visa and travel documentation combined with complex on-the-ground logistics are overseen by MIR’s Seattle experts together with MIR’s local affiliated in-country offices, staffed by hand-picked local coordinators, to help pave the way for a smooth and successful adventure. A memorable example: Wishing to discover the world up close, MIR worked with one couple who each drove their own Land Rover for several months on an overland expedition across China, Mongolia, Russia, Ukraine, the Baltics and Belarus, with their close friends joining them along the way.
- Handcrafted Private Journeys: MIR also specializes in creating handcrafted, private journeys to destinations of your travel dreams, focusing on your own specific interests, itineraries, and timelines. MIR travelers have explored their family heritage in the villages of their ancestors in Western Ukraine. Others have taken their grandchildren through former Yugoslavia, witnessing the Balkan nations’ recovery from the 1990s war – along with a little zip lining and kayaking thrown into the mix. More than 300 travelers journeyed to Siberia to witness a total solar eclipse, and still others organized groups of clowns over many years to give hope and laughter to children in Russian hospitals and orphanages.
- Scheduled Group Tours: As it has done for years, MIR offers imaginative scheduled group tours to challenge your mind and open your heart; first in the former Soviet Union including Western Russia, the Baltics, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Siberia & the Russian Far East, Central Asia, the South Caucasus, as well as the Trans-Siberian Railway. Gradually, MIR’s offerings included Eastern Europe, Mongolia, China, and Iran.
Over the years MIR has won top awards for tours ranging from its up-close look inside the Russian space program, to its classic Silk Route expedition across Central Asia and one of the first culinary tours in Russia.
“One of the draws for us at MIR is that the destinations are always changing, making travel logistics very challenging – it’s never a dull moment. We invite travelers to try MIR and experience our passion and expertise for the crossroads of Europe and Asia.”
– Douglas Grimes, MIR Co-Founder & President
When you read these stories and view these videos you will see why, in imagining your own travel journey, you can so easily imagine that journey with MIR.
More on “MIR’s 30 Years”
Learn more about “MIR’s 30 Years” in the stories below, all embedded with videos. They include MIR’s beginnings and the mindset and mission of MIR’s president and co-founder, Douglas Grimes; MIR’s utterly unique travel offerings at the crossroads of Europe and Asia; and Siberia, one of MIR’s favorites specialties.
- “Imagine Your Journey with MIR” (story); view video – MIR’s 30-year expertise in making dream trips come true.
- “198os Volleyball Diplomacy, and MIR’s Beginning” (story); view video – Volleyball is the game changer: a young Douglas Grimes dreams big, and his (MIR) world changes forever.
- “Back in the U.S.S.R.” (story); view video – Traveling back in time to MIR’s mid-1980s beginning, and a watershed decision.
MIR’s One-of-a-Kind Journeys
- “Handcrafted Journeys: Making MIR Movies” (story); view video – MIR’s memorable custom, private journeys are akin to making movies, including tracing family history “back in the old country.”
- “Epic Journeys: Ultimate Dream Trips” (story); view video – MIR’s adventurous overland expeditions include one Canadian couple’s extensive yearly travels, from driving along the Silk Road to motoring through China, Siberia, and the Balkans.
- “Beyond the Stars, Inside the Russian Space Program” (story); view video – MIR President Douglas Grimes’ favorite tour harkens back to the U.S.-Soviet space race, from exploring Star City’s once-classified cosmonaut training facility to witnessing the manned launch of a Soyuz spacecraft.
- “Overland Expeditions: Motorcycling with GlobeRiders” (story); view video – Intrepid motorcyclists repeatedly choose MIR for their global travel logistics, from the South Caucasus to Iran, and from Siberia to Central Asia.
- “Overland Expeditions: Roving the World in Land Rovers” (story); view Land Rovers video – Land-roving at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, MIR creates an ambitious itinerary for 54 participants and 18 vehicles, from Kazakhstan to Turkey.
Siberia, A MIR Specialty
- “Why I’m Sold on Siberia” (story); view video – Countless reasons why MIR President Douglas Grimes loves this vast, pristine place.
- “Siberia’s Beauty of Lake Baikal” (story); view video – MIR President Douglas Grimes’ lasting memories of this legendary lake in Siberia.
- “Overland Expeditions: Channeling Siberia and Beyond” (story); view video – One of MIR President Douglas Grimes’ early (ad)ventures into Siberia with one channeler, her five dozen followers, and their six sacred crystals.
- “Overland Expeditions: Driving Siberia and Beyond” (story); view video – MIR helps intrepid motorists re-create the 1908 automotive Great Race in their 1928 vintage car, down to gas station locations in Siberia and tricky border crossings.
- “Overland Expeditions: Running Through Russia and Beyond” (story); view video – MIR’s extraordinary logistics for 79 runners and support personnel, running 5,500 miles from Eastern Europe to China via Russia and Siberia, all to promote safer drinking water.
- “Overland Expeditions: Total Solar Eclipse in Siberia” (story); view video – MIR prepares three years in advance to bring more than 300 travelers – “sun chasers” – to the heart of Siberia for a rare total solar eclipse.
MIR, in a Nutshell
- “MIR in a Nutshell” (story) – Compact and concise, here’s everything you need to know about MIR on one page.
(Top photo credit: Russ & Ellen Cmolik — One of MIR’s many handcrafted overland expeditions, this one along a road near Kashgar, China.)
PUBLISHED: October 18, 2016