Back from Mongolia

In This Week’s Post

  • No Jet Lag
  • How was Mongolia? Not Great, for a YouTuber
  • My Snow Leopard Encounter
  • Delayed Uploads
  • Join Me in Northern Spain

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Last night I arrived home from Mongolia, where it is currently 03.20 in the morning. As I write this it is 19.20 in the evening in the UK.

Surprisingly, I feel fine. I also felt fine when I arrived in Mongolia. So, how did I avoid the dreaded jet lag, which can be crippling at times?

  1. I don’t accept jet lag as an inevitable thing.
  2. I immediately drop into my new time zone and do not sleep until bedtime.
  3. Exercise. As soon as I landed in Ulaanbaatar, I went out for a 3hr walk in the bright sunlight and fresh air. When I came home to the UK, I went climbing straight away.
  4. I stay hydrated and eat at the appropriate times.

How Was Mongolia?

As an experience, it was incredible. The people, the culture, the landscapes: I can’t speak highly enough of them.

Local Shepherd

However, from a “Work” perspective, the trip could have been better. Let me explain.

As somebody who creates YouTube videos, being productive is important. When I plan a trip, I take into consideration the costs, the time away from home and how many videos I can produce in that time and for that cost.

The videos must be diverse, high quality and there must be a story to tell.

A good trip will usually cost less than I can make from half of the videos produced. 

Making In-Field Videos

I typically aim for an average of 1 video per 2.5 days away. A week-long trip should product at least 3 videos. 

To hit these numbers, the travel location must be diverse so that I am not repeating the same video each time.

Unfortunately, a 3-week trip to Mongolia produced only 4 videos, 1 of which was a travel vlog. A 3-week trip should have produced at least 7 – 9 videos. 

There are a few reasons for the lack of productivity on this trip:

  1. I was in a group and did not have my own transportation. This meant that I was restricted to the activities of the group and unable to go off and do my own thing.
  2. The trip was split up into 2 activities: Part 1 was photographing the Snow Leopard and part 2 was photographing the Pallas’s Cat. There was very little diversity in the trip and every day was (more or less) the same. From a video standpoint, this makes it difficult to create varied content.
  3. Whilst I was able to shoot both wildlife and landscapes during the 1st part of the trip, this was impossible during the Pallas’s Cat shoot, which took place on the Mongolian Steppe. This is a vast, featureless environment. With the best will in the world, it was impossible to shoot landscapes here, especially when being part of a group searching for Cats.

Despite the shortfall in content, I am ecstatic with images and video I have produced. The quality, excitement and stories are all there.

Mongolian landscape shimmering through the late morning heat haze.

An Encounter with a Snow Leopard

We were lucky enough to see a Snow Leopard on Day 0 of our trip. 

This was supposed to be a travel day, but we got a call about the sighting whilst en route to our camp. We decided to forgo dinner and head straight to the mountains. 

Having such an incredible sighting so early was both a blessing and a curse.

My assumption was that these cats are common and easily seen, so I didn’t fully appreciate or make the most of the encounter. I took it for granted. This was a big mistake as it would be another 7 days before seeing another Leopard.

I did not take enough images or film enough video – “I’ll do more tomorrow” I naively thought.

Snow Leopard

My Delayed Video

I had hoped to release my first ‘in-field’ video last Wednesday, but with such a hectic travel schedule and very limited internet in Mongolia, this was not possible. 

My fall-back day was 2 days ago (Sunday), but I could not make this date either.

The edit for the first episode is too complex. It involves lots of narration and time-hopping to tell the story in a succinct way. To upload it on Sunday would have been too much of a rush.

My 3rd upload date is tomorrow (Wednesday). In the past, I would have been hard on myself for skipping a week, but I’m learning to be a little more laid back, putting quality ahead of quantity. 

Make sure to tune in to my YouTube channel tomorrow. 

This will be a fantastic week of landscape photography indulgence. It will be in intimate affair, with only 30 participants, 10 in-field workshops and lots of presentations from professional photographers.

More Information & Booking Here