Wandering Earl: Live From Here! (New Travel Video Series)

Derek Kyrgyzstan, Live From Here!, Videos 129 Comments

After a bit of thinking recently, I realized that the time has come for me to….eat more pickles. I love pickles and it’s just a shame that I haven’t been eating them as much as I would like as of late.

Oops…sorry about that. The pickle thing was for another post I was planning on writing.

What I meant to say here is that the time has come for me to…integrate more video into this blog. That’s right, more travel video to go along with all of the written posts I publish.

I reached this conclusion a few weeks ago but it wasn’t until I was walking around the town of Karakol, Kyrgyzstan a few days ago that I realized there was no reason why I couldn’t start a new video series right away. So I did. Just like that. And the new series is called:

Wandering Earl: Live From Here!

While I admit that this first episode is a bit unpolished and very much non-professional (major understatement!), I was extremely excited to get this first travel video made and test this new idea out. It’s basically me yakking away in front of the camera, talking a lot of nonsense as usual, but also talking about the destinations I’m visiting and what I’ve been up to. And this first episode happens to take place in a very cool mountain location here in Central Asia.

(If you’re reading this post via email or RSS, just click here to view the video on my blog.)

I actually wanted to show this video back on April 1st, the day that I filmed it, but that didn’t happen. The main reason is that, here in the middle of nowhere, it has taken me two and a half days to upload it. The video finally finished uploading about an hour ago, just in time to get it up on the site today.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it and if all goes well, I plan to add a new episode every few weeks. Either way, thanks for watching!

Any plans to visit Kyrgyzstan? Do you want your very own local Kyrgyz slippers?

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Comments 129

  1. joe brennan

    Earl, love your site, but this is the first video of yours i have encountered, and i’m curious, do you have a bit of an accent mixing with your american one now? I can’t put my finger on it

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Joe – My accent gets all mixed up at times depending on where I am in the world. It’s nothing specific, probably just the influence of bouncing all over the place for many years!

  2. castaway

    Dig the idea of a video series, Earl. Always enjoy reading your updates on travels, supporting photos, observations, etc. Videos add a new dimension, and I suppose a nice ‘color commentary’. Appreciate the additional content, and always look forward to hearing about your newest adventure. Stay curious, stay safe.

  3. Tommy

    This post has really got me thinking about how much I like mangoes and haven’t been eating enough of them either.
    I feel your pickle pain brother…

  4. Scott

    Loving the video, and nice to put a voice to the face (er words)! Highlight of the video for me has to the assemble of words and sounds you made after drinking the vodka! 😀

  5. Patrick Davis

    Keep the videos coming dude, hilarious stuff! I’m graduating in may and your blog is an inspiration for a future traveler. Definitely would love to get my hands on those dope looking slippers!

  6. Runawayhippie

    Earl! What a great idea.. It’s so nice to be able to have a different view of the countries and places you’re visiting! As they say a picture is worth a thousand words.. And I don’t even know how many a video is worth! Those slippers look warm! Did you hike in those? Jealous, the winter in Canada has been endless, could’ve really used those 😀 hope you’re doing well!

  7. Scott

    Very funny Earl. Looking forward to much more.

    Looked like my home state of Colorado well minus that wonderful KragjkajdbkJ…Vodka of course.

    Cheers Scott

  8. Anne

    I hope you are enjoying wearing kalpaks, living in yurts, dining on mutton, and embroidery and sheparding somewhere in the Krgyz mountains! Perhaps in the next video, after you’ve had enough vodka, you can sing us one of these songs or play one of these traditional musical instruments: https://www.kyrgyzmusic.com/

    🙂 !!!! Enjoying reading about your travels!

  9. Megan

    Hello there Wandering Earl! I came accross your blog a few weeks back while hunting info for my own travel aspirations! and its great 🙂 You are very good at what you do!….Just watched your video…loved it. Those slippers look very ‘cool’…headed for winter here in OZ….a pair would be a ‘hit’ here Lol. Look forward to your next post/ video.

  10. Dave K

    I discovered the Wandering Earl blog a couple of weeks ago and I just got back from a week long road trip to Las Vegas with the wife and kids. It was fun, but I have to admit that sometimes I found myself wishing I were somewhere else. I thought of you in Kyrgyzstan more than once. At one of the casinos, a pretty girl tricked us into going to a 4 hour long presentation, where a smooth guy in a suit tried to convince us to buy a time-share. We got a free buffet lunch and some show tickets in exchange, but it wasn’t fun. During the presentation, I found myself having to defend my desire to travel through Eastern Europe on a budget rather than Madrid, Paris or Amsterdam in luxury. Just after we left, I realized that I should have asked him what he has a available in Kyrgyzstan. 🙂 I can just hear him, “Kyrgy-what?”

    I liked the video and thought it was funny. Just now, I showed it to my wife but she didn’t laugh. Earl, my feet hurt from so much walking and dragging kids around Las Vegas!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Dave – Hopefully you managed to squeeze out a couple of minutes of enjoyment during your Vegas trip. Now rest those feet so that you’ll be okay when you decide to head off on a greater adventure!

  11. Alyson

    Don’t slip down the mountain Earl! Love the video series idea very much. Staying tuned for more. Hopefully your uploading will quicken. 🙂

  12. Ann

    Enjoying breakfast in sunny Queensland reading your blog and up popped the video still smiling, thanks for sharing.

  13. Emily

    Amazing – the Stans have been on my list for awhile. Looks gorgeous! And I’d love some slippers! You were able to hike in them for hours??

  14. Gideon Pete

    Earl! You have saved me and given me hope. I have wasted my life in the dream. Now I see the possible. found you by accident, my inspiration. Love the video.
    My goal? To catch you “on the road” someday soon. Someday – – – NOW!
    Oh yes, would love the slippers down here in the “ZONE.” (Arizona)

  15. Gustavo

    hahaha, nice vid, Kyrgyzstan seems amazing that view is just breath taking, all the way to Mexico for the shoes?? lol

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Gustavo – I’ll send the shoes anywhere…whoever wins, get the slippers, no matter where they live!

  16. Ian

    Earl, as travel videos go that was surreal – don’t even think about changing the format! And that was the biggest hip flask I’ve ever seen. Looking forward to episode 2…

    1. Wandering Earl

      Thanks Ian and yes, I should probably downsize that flask. Carrying that bottle through the mountains seemed a bit absurd.

  17. Leslie B.

    Looking forward to your next video! But I’ve got to say no video will beat the one where you are eating a Tostada.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Thanks Stephen! It was such a great day that I’m quite happy with my limited mountain experience here.

  18. Gilbert

    Great to hear your voice. Awesome scenery. Your description of Karakol Kyrgyzstan and its people has create a strong desire to be there one day, at least to add this country on my ”bucket list”. Keep it up Earl you’r doing great. Love the shoes. Enjoy life.

  19. Gordon Cox

    This is a great new dimension to your blog. I love the scenery and the shoes. I’ll have to get there some day.

  20. Tati

    Your voice is so manly! Hahahah just kidding!
    Were you drunk filming this? Lol just kidding again.
    Great video but If you need movie editing… :))

  21. Kendra W

    Keep up the vlog making! I’d like to see more from your perspective as you walk and go about your day. I would love a pair of traditional Kyrgyz slippers!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Marsha – Haha…you’ll get over it soon I’m sure! And during my hike up the mountain, of course, you know what I kept telling myself…it will level out soon. Once again, though, it never did.

  22. Kacey B

    I’ve been following you for some time now, and I never knew about your YouTube channel! Glad I saw your last blog post about this video here.
    I also must say, thanks to you (and your book!) I was able to push myself into travelling for the first time this summer to see some friends – Norway, Romania and Japan. Everyone thinks I’m crazy, but I know it’s something I have to do for myself. Thanks for all the inspiration Earl!
    Also, great slippers! ;)

    (I’m sorry for double posting, I wasn’t sure if you checked YouTube comments or not…many apologies!)

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Kacey – That’s excellent to hear that you’re heading off to visit friends around the world! If you need any Romania advice, just let me know. And I appreciate you subscribing to the Youtube channel as well!

  23. George

    I really loved that video Earl. I showed it to my family and they thought it was a green screen the landscape was that beautiful! I think this series will really help show off the beauty of the places you go on your travels. Keep up the good work

  24. Ollie

    Mate now you’re just asking for it if you walk down main bazar with those bad boys on. Throw a decent pair of jeans on and you’re neck is gonna be mighty sore haha, loving the vids. Ollie

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Ollie – Ha…I wouldn’t dare wear these wonderful slippers anywhere where they might get ruined! Hope you’re well my friend!

  25. Mike

    Love the new video series, and great addition to the site! If there was more snow you might be able to ski back down the mountain in those slippers…

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Davy – Thanks for the suggestion and I’ll consider that for future videos. The problem is that it takes a significant amount of work to put subtitles together and since I am a one-man operation, I only have limited amount of time. I’ll see what I can do though.

  26. Susie

    Hey Earl,
    Mamma wants a pair of slippers!
    Thanks for starting the video series. Your voice sounds different than what I imagined; in my mind, you sounded like a nerdy nasally Urkel-type. In real life, you sound more like an Italian Prosciutto salesman!
    Kind regards and good fun~

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Susie – I’m not too sure what to say about sounding like a Prosciutto salesman, or an Urkel-type, for that matter 🙂

  27. Julia

    I’ve been following your stories quietly for a while, but your slippers offer definitely encourages me to come out of the shadows. 😀

    I love the video! Looking forward to the next ones, hopefully still from Kyrgyzstan, as I know nothing about this beautiful and intriguing country. I’m curious about how city life is, so maybe you could take us to the streets next time? Just an idea.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Julia – I’ll be writing plenty about this country as well. And to be honest, there isn’t much in terms of city life. Even the capital only has 800,000 people and it is probably the quietest capital city I have ever been in. But there will be a variety of videos, from all different perspectives, of all the places I travel to from now on!

  28. Mel

    Great video Earl! Cool to finally hear you speak, instead of just reading your writing, especially in such a beautiful location. I’m excited to make it over to Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia, especially after seeing those mountains! One of my dream trips would be to go overland Europe to Asia, so through Turkey, into Iran, and then through Central Asia into China 🙂
    p.s. would absolutely love to have a pair of Kyrgyz slippers!

  29. Megan

    I’ve been following the blog for a couple years now, but this is my first time commenting! Love the video; I hadn’t even thought of going to Kyrgyzstan, and it just went to the top of my list!

  30. susan Svensson

    I wanna go hiking, too! What I really want is a size 8 women’s pair of slippers!
    Love the blog video awesome scenery!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Susan – Perhaps you will get those slippers 🙂 And yes, if you want a lot of hiking, this is the place to be!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Scott – The best time is between June – September apparently, when the landscapes are bright green and you can participate in all kinds of activities. Although, with that said, I’m enjoying being here now…it’s a bit cold at times and I can’t do as much (because some of the roads/mountains passes are still closed), but there is basically no other tourists around. I really feel like I’m the only one visiting right now and it’s a very cool feeling.

  31. Giada Amarini

    OMG! those slippers are perfect since i hate shoes… lol! I cant wait to see more videos! I read your blog at work all the time! it makes the time go by so fast (thankfully). I would those slippers! Take care, and keep posting! PLEASE! hehe 🙂

  32. Ruth James

    Hey, Earl,
    I backpacked for 2 years 56 years ago. It was a little more updated from the middle age’s pilgrims. These days I transfer from an armchair to a walker to travel anywhere physically.
    BUT, this century, Google Street View takes me almost anywhere, AND your blog gives such wonderful texture. I can smell, hear, taste the places where you travel!!
    If those slippers are fleece lined a size 39 European would be great.
    Looking forward to your next update. Thanks for sharing, ruth

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Ruth – That’s so nice to hear and I’m honored that you are enjoying the blog! As for the slippers, they aren’t fleece lined but the local felt makes your feet ever-so-happy to be wearing them!

  33. Terry

    Hi Wandering Slippers. Kyrgyzstan looks really slippers and I really enjoyed watching your slippers.

    Yep, videos like yours really helps take the sting out of being here in the cold weather… with no warm indoor footwear to keep the chilblains away.

    p.s. Nice slippers 🙂

  34. Sugar Plam Fairy

    Earl, the slippers are mega awesome!!! The video was very entertaining, but my heart breaks over seeing you parading these masterpieces outside. They are indoor shoes aren’t they? You’ll ruin them…

    On another note, I’d better try that vodka for my sinus infection. How is it called?

    1. Wandering Earl

      @Sugar Plum Fairy – Don’t worry, I only wore the slippers for the video. I wasn’t going to hike in them! I brought my regular shoes for that and just carried the slippers in my backpack. As for the vodka, I keep hearing that the brand “Bishkek Vodka” is quite yummy and the best vodka around these parts.

  35. alina

    Hi ! I.m from Romania and I was wondering if that drink its as nasty as our traditional “palinca”…:))
    Hope to see more unpolished videos soon!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Robert – It was about 10 hours in the end that we missed each other I think, crazy. Hope all is well in India and that they are treating you well!

  36. Alana

    Bahahaha!! You crack me up! You still have a bit of a yankee accent but it’s mixed with others. Beautiful scenery. I had a fellow-Texan friend who lived in Kyrgyzstan when she was in the military. She was stationed there in the dead of winter and hated it because of all the snow lol. I’m sure she would have enjoyed it much more in spring. She did say the locals were very friendly though. Send me some rockin’ felt shoes. Pick me! 😉

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Alana – Yeah, I couldn’t imagine being here in the middle of winter. That would be insane. This time of year, and especially summer, is much more ideal. We’ll see what happens with the slippers 🙂

  37. Chris

    What a cool new addition to a wonderful blog! I was going to post and say so even before the slipper caper (I’m size 8.5 u.s. or 39..:)).
    I bought one of those camera extensions for a friend – saw it one one of your videos – and it was a hit!
    Happy travels!

  38. Dan Barber

    Hey Earl,

    Was great to hear your voice again! I really like the idea of videos in your blog. It was like hanging out with you again.

    BTW, you never cease to inspire me m8!

    Keep up the good work!



    1. Wandering Earl

      Thanks for that Dan and I’m sorry we didn’t connect again in February. It will happen at some point I’m sure. Hope you’re doing well and I just noticed your blog is up and running! Congratulations on that!

  39. Erich Hiller

    Hi Earl I’ve been viewing your site for new information and helpful tips almost every day. You’re blogging lifestyle as well as your Style of travel is definitely different from like 99.99% of most people I very much envy you’re life style. In about a year I hope to leave the U.S. and do the same thanks for the inspiration man!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Great to hear Erich and if you ever have any questions as you prepare for your own adventure, just let me know!

  40. Carmen

    My son loves pickles … ah, wrong topic. Oh, video series … well, that’s a wonderful addition to your already wonderful blog, Earl! And, considering the places you travel and sketchy internet connections, quite a challenge … but one I’m certain you’ll manage with your usual humour, tenacity and talent. Congrats on posting this video in Kyrgyzstan (I did have to look it up!) Oh, the slippers – you hiked for three hours in them … uphill! Just the think I’d expect from Wandering Earl:)

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Carmen – I wanted to hike up in them but then I realized that if I did, by the time I got to the top, they would probably be shredded to pieces, so I must admit, I hiked up in normal shoes and changes to my slippers for the video. Hope I didn’t disappoint 🙂

  41. renu

    love the video post! would love the warm kyrgys slippers as well 🙂
    glad you had a back up plan…I was worrying about that!

  42. Nicole

    I really enjoyed the video. It allowed me to travel vicariously through you while I am here at work. I love reading your blogs too, but this is definitely icing on the cake! Thanks Earl and I look forward to your next video!

  43. Steve C

    Ah, noth’n like potato juice in the morning. Good thing yer at the TOP of the hill as it’s always easier to stumble down hill after a few swigs. I hear pickles go good with potato juice too.

    Good move in including a few videos with your blog. It’s a whole new dimension in conveying the feeling of being in another country. You’re on the cutting edge as I’ve experienced very few videos on travel blogs. Although, you might consider having Spielberg give you a few tips. 🙂

    I like your new stompers. I once had a friend send me a pair of similar shaped “foot ware” from Morocco. They were a bright yellow leather. Too bad they were a couple sizes too small. One thing you learn when traveling is that sizes are not always the same in different countries. Ya just gotta go there to be sure!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Steve – I say it’s a good thing it only took me a few takes to make this video. Any more takes and I would have rolled back down the mountain for sure!

  44. Nick H

    I love the video!! I started reading your blog back in November 2012, and I got the biggest wanderlust from reading everything you’ve writen. I still think of how many plates of pad Thai in thailand I could get for what I’m about to spend on something else. I got a job shortly after as a flight attendant, which has allowed me to do some international travel. I still feel like I want to go for a year and just “Wander “! You’re blog is an inspiration and makes me rethink my lifestyle whenever I visit your blog. Thanks for everything you do, and I would rock those slippers let me tell you lol! – Nick

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Nick – I appreciate that comment my friend and believe me, even after 14 years, I still use that pad thai method!

  45. Michele

    Love it! haha I enjoy reading your blog so much I wasn’t sure if I’d like a video segment, but I’m sold. Please keep the humor and keep it real. Don’t over-edit 🙂 Glad you’re enjoying your trip and your slippers! Loved the bit about the local vodka, I’m a fan lol

  46. Susun

    I can’t believe I watched the whole video and didn’t get bored! That’s a big accomplishment for me lol. I was actually entertained and really enjoyed it. Didn’t realize your a comedian as well 🙂

    I’m looking forward to the next one!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Susun – That makes me feel good…but if you do fall asleep watching any of the videos, please do tell me!

  47. Jillian

    I very much enjoyed your video and am looking forward to many more. What a luxury those felted slippers must be for your feet! I need to see if I can find a pair on the internet somewhere…

  48. Dave

    Cool – I really enjoyed the video. It`s definitely a good idea and it is nice to see a little more vividly the vibe of a place or country and get an idea of a few local customs.

    Kyrgyzstan is certainly a country that I have no idea about so that made it interesting too. Look forward to the next one in the series.

  49. douglas simonson

    dude! i like your video. very natural and down to earth. you have an appealing manner onscreen, which is a really good thing! it’ll be interesting to see how this evolves. just FYI, at 2:27 in, the words NAME and Description appear for a couple of seconds. you might have missed that. anyway, keep up the good work!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Douglas – I did miss that. I was so excited when I found a connection that would allow me to upload my video that I forgot to take one last look first! Thanks for letting me know!

  50. Mark Baron

    You crack me up Derek, great to hear you voice again. Love the dry humor and I’m glad you haven’t given up on your lifestyle….that is travelling with a with a small bottle and partaking in ALL of the local customs. Looking forward to more vid’s.

  51. Monte B. Gray

    Hi Earl,
    Alright, put my name in the hat for the Kyrgys slippers! I wear 11 1/2, if you pull my name out!
    That was a beautiful location you showed us. Especially the moment of silence! I would love to go there someday if I live long enough to get all my other travel goals in! Instead of the Vodka, I would have been curious as to what you had brought up for lunch!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Monte – Lunch included a loaf of bread and some jam. Luckily, on the way back down, I met a shephard who invited me into his house for eggs and tea!

  52. Shirley

    Really loved your video. Most times I am bored by long drawn-out videos that just try to sell something, but it was great to see where you really were, and I enjoyed your authentic style, like a real human being. I’ll be watching for your next video.

  53. Ruann l Solo Travel Uncut

    Great stuff man. What a view! Looking forward to the upcoming videos. How often do you think you’ll do this? For someone who loves to read I don’t mind just staring every now and then. Cheers man and enjoy the rest of your time in Kyrgyztan.

  54. Paul C

    Great idea for videos. Really helps connect me with the place you are traveling and have a better sense of what it would be like to be there. Much more intimate than reading a blog (which is good too). So … this one just reinforces that Kyrgyzstan is a must-go-there destination for me. Do you think that renting a car and driving through the central Asia countries is feasible? I read a magazine article about someone who did that.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Paul – It’s definitely feasible, although a bit challenging perhaps in certain places. But I see no reason why it can’t be done. Those who participate in the Mongol Rally car race from Prague to Mongolia every year, pass through several Central Asia countries en route in their own vehicles.

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