Desolation Travel is the brainchild of a group of disenchanted westerners who are associated in some way or another with the London School in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The purchase (on a whim) of the domain name desolationtravel.com has led to the creation of a site where people can share travel experiences and photographs.
Pleasure travel to the more desolate and absurd corners of the Earth sometimes teaches us how to find beauty in the ugliest of things and how to take enjoyment from the most ridiculous of situations. More usually, it merely provides a wealth of miserable, uncomfortable and photogenically depressing experiences which make great blog material once the physical and mental wounds have healed. Either way, the story should be told and this is the place to tell it.
An extract from the Desolation Travel blog; Chernobyl
I remember when the Chernobyl disaster happened. I was in first grade. I clearly remember drawing pictures, showing how we needed to keep our windows closed to prevent radiation from coming in. I was living in Florida at the time, so that was probably somewhat silly, but then again, I was seven years old at the time – it’s a wonder Chernobyl was even on my radar.
Of course, I didn’t really think about Chernobyl much at all after first grade. It was something I knew about, something I was aware of, but – despite spending my undergrad years studying the former Soviet Union – I gave it very little thought whatsoever until 2004.
In 2004, I came across that semi-hoax website, Kidd of Speed. (I call it a semi-hoax, as the photos are genuine, but initially the author had this long, involved story, about having been given permission to ride solo through the Zone on her motorcycle; this wasn’t true – she had gone to the zone as part of a tour.) Looking at the photos on the Kidd of Speed website, I immediately became hooked on the notion of going and seeing what was left of the Chernobyl reactor and the nearby city of Pripyat for myself. It wasn’t until August 2011 that I got the opportunity.