December 23, 2013

by Stephen Jan in New York, NY

Time: 0 Days Distance: 437 miles (since Olean) Odometer: 306,725 miles Packing

There were many moments on the Mongol Rally where i told myself that I would never ever do anything like this again. That 10,000 mile drive from London to Mongolia was among the most mentally exhausting experiences I’ve ever had. 3 years later, I am on my third rally and embarking on a 16,000 mile drive to the end of the world. I’m often asked about what it feels like to launch a project like this. It’s amazing. But honestly, it’s not a “Wow, this trip is going to be awesome” amazing. It’s a “Wow, I can’t believe we actually have both a car and team.” To this day, I continue to believe success lies in getting to the start line and that is 99% of the work. The finish line, where ever that is, is ultimately determined by the journey as it unfolds. Every rally launch has similarities and differences: Similarities

  • Team teammate starts at different places different times. The first order of business is to collect the team.
  • 3 hours of sleep in the 48 hours leading to the launch.
  • I’m once again without an international driving permit.


  • Did not take a plane
  • Two cars instead of one: logistics headache x2
  • Unlike mongol rally, I didn’t lose the permit, I just didn’t bother getting it.


Launch 3.0 is once again full of unknowns. This time around, the training wheels have come off and we’re going about it completely on our own. Five of seven members are rally noobs. I have no idea what they’re expecting but they’ve selected a pretty challenging route for their first. As ex-mongol rallies can attest we meet companions along the road so we’re not likely to be alone for much of the journey. Our first stop out of New York is Philadelphia. After that, we are headed to College Park for a brief stop and then Charlotte to spend the night. I’m looking forward to warm weather in the south. I’m okay with cold weather, but keeping track of what I keep in all my jacket pockets is such a hassle.