Travel is not just a visual experience.
It’s a combination of the everyday sights, noises, aromas, tastes and textures that make a destination distinctive, so get ready to engage all your senses.
Dance to the chaotic symphony of local life; from the ambient chatter of foreign tongues wagging in the dining car to the street side clatter of ladles serving up hearty delights, and the staccato horns blaring from a tangle of traffic.
Away from the thrum of the cities, let yourself be moved by the whisper of solitude in the Gobi Desert, mesmerised by the morning call of native birds, and whatever you do, don’t miss the harmonic throat singing practised throughout the Mongolian countryside.
Get to know a country through its food and the people who gather to cook and eat it. Send your taste buds into rapture by savouring each morsel as if it’s passing your lips for the first time, every time.
Challenge yourself to try local delicacies. Sprinkle on some drama as you imagine the stories behind each dish; from the traditional comfort cooking of the countryside to the cheap and cheerful hawker stalls, to the more inventive restaurants waiting to be discovered in scrumptious cities.
Your sense of smell is critical to memory-making so don’t take it for granted while travelling. Let the aromas enchant you, from the intoxicating overtures of a spice market to the uplifting fragrance of leafy avenues wafting out a delicate infusion of jasmine, pepper and coffee.
Engage your snout, and your memories will resurface to delight you for years to come. The splendour of 19th century Russia has even been bottled so make sure you have a sniff at the GUM department store in Moscow’s Red Square.
You might not be able to touch the masterpieces at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, but you can ignite this sense in other ways. Feel the reign of a new climate embrace your skin and let your heart beat to the rhythm of adventure.
Run your hands over soft silks and glittering dresses in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar, plunge into a steamy bathhouse in Tbilisi, welcome the summer breeze on your face as you whizz around Beijing by bicycle, or crunch your feet over fresh Siberian snow in winter.
Soak up the obvious and the unusual sights. Gawk at the dazzling chandeliers and frescos that adorn the Metro ceilings underneath Russia, witness incredible vistas from mountaintop villages in Georgia, and open your eyes to the awe-inspiring wonders of Kazakhstan’s canyon-filled lands.
No matter if you’re exploring the exotic or the familiar, there’s a sight that must top your list: people watch. Open your eyes and heart to the people of the region and your mind will surely follow.