Doug’s Travel Picks: 10 Places to Visit in 2019

Doug’s Travel Picks: 10 Places to Visit in 2019

No matter how many times I’ve explored MIR’s diverse and dynamic slice of the globe, I’ve always found myself surprised and excited to see how these once-overlooked destinations have evolved since we first began organizing tours. Every year has brought new discoveries and more reasons to return again and again, whether it’s new and noteworthy hotel openings, hidden gems, outstanding cultural opportunities, or unique and memorable experiences you won’t find anywhere else. It’s not easy to narrow down a list of travel recommendations to a manageable number, but I’m giving it a whirl in honor of a brand new year. From the majesty of Moscow's Kremlin and Red Square to the rugged mountain ranges of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, here are 10 of my personal picks for the most intriguing and exciting places to visit in the year ahead. Read More


Doug’s Travel Picks: 8 Places to Visit in 2018

Doug’s Travel Picks: 8 Places to Visit in 2018

I’ve explored all of MIR’s destinations – some more than 100 times – and yet there’s always something new to discover in each one. Here are my recommendations, ranging from the wild Arctic seas to the depths of space, and from remote Russia to the booming capital of Kazakhstan – and many intriguing places in between. Read More


A Traveler’s Tale: Baku, Azerbaijan and the Shores of the Caspian Sea

A Traveler’s Tale: Baku, Azerbaijan and the Shores of the Caspian Sea

MIR’s Jake Smith recently traveled through Azerbaijan and its highlight, Baku. In his tour diary and photo gallery, discover his favorite finds in this historic city that features both old town charm and modern marvels. Read More


South Caucasus Travel: Jewish Heritage in Azerbaijan

South Caucasus Travel: Jewish Heritage in Azerbaijan

Jewish heritage is not always easy to trace in an Islamic country; it may have been covered up, forgotten, or forcibly erased. The South Caucasus country of Azerbaijan is different. Though nominally a Shi’a Islamic country, Azerbaijan has had a historic tolerance for its Jewish communities beginning in the 5th and 6th centuries. That’s when people now called “Mountain Jews” began arriving from Persia. Read More