Team SM Stowaway in Prague, Pamela MacNaughtan and Charlie Grosso

The last 25 days has been divided into different chunks of time and space. Each time and place came had its own specific set of focus and intent.

Istanbul – Turkmenistan Consulate for transit visa submission – attempt to catch up on work

Bucharest – Romanian bureaucracy and finalize all paper work for our car for the rally

Venice, Rome, Italy – Food Markets for Wok the Dog

I have not had the chance to give time to think about the fact that I am about to meet Pamela, my darling teammate who I meet on Twitter for good, for real. I will be spending some very serious time with this other person driving in a Dacia Logan across the world in the next 6 weeks to come and I have not given it a single thought. The only thing I had in my head is the task at hand and getting myself to Prague in time for kick off.

Everyone asks, who are you doing The Mongol Rally with? I reply, a stranger I meet on Twitter. They wince and tell me that I am a brave soul. I shrug and tell them that it will all be fine.

After months of endless email exchanges and Skype conversations on all aspects regarding the rally, Pamela seems like an old friend. I have not been worried at all.


The first 48 hours in Prague with Pamela doesn’t quiet feel…right. We don’t function at the same pace, we each buzz at a different rate and we have yet to find our groove. Is this because we still have a couple of days before the launch and we are still in pre-rally limbo? Is it because no matter how well you know someone virtually, real time and space changes all dynamics? Is it because we are both exhausted from this month of travel? Pre-rally stress?

Maybe it is all of the above.

Then I got to thinking…What is this rally all about, truly?

The Mongol Rally is an adventure. It is a philanthropy event. But beyond all of those things it is a crucible that test and refine one’s character, resolve and more. The mechanical failures, the boarder crossings, the visa woes and more are nothing compared to the human dynamic and the potential for conflict. The 10,000 miles of tough terrain ahead is not the real challenge but how we deal with everything to come as individuals and as a team, and maybe most importantly how we deal with each other.

Like Seth Godin said so aptly, The wettest, weirdest environment is human interaction.”

Follow SM Stowaway and see how our characters refine itself through the next 10,000 miles ahead.

SM Stowaway was a team of three once upon a time. Sadly we lost DJ and now we are two. Find out why DJ is no longer with us here.


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