21 ways to tell you are living like a Mongolian Nomad

This post was written by my biggest boy, Tintin. That’s him on the horse. I’m so proud of his storytelling, and he’d be super chuffed if you commented below, if you enjoy it too. I asked him, ‘What’s different about what we are experiencing here? How would you know if you were living like a Mongolian Nomad?’ Here are his answers:

1. When you wake up in the morning you would  see this;

2. When the dogs bark, all the other dogs around join in, and a volley of barks rolls around the hills as they pass on a message to each other.

3. All your furniture is pretty, small and orange.

4. You would hear the kids lighting the fire on a cold morning.

5. You would feel the icy wind as the door flings open.

6. You would eat meat and drink tea for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

7. On a sunny day you would strip off and swim in the freezing cold river. You would last about 10 seconds in there!

8. You would wash your clothes in the river and hang them out to dry on a tree.

9. You would wear your boots and be careful where you stepped because there is horse poo everywhere!

10. You would have arrived on a horse and cart or cow and cart. They can cross fast-flowing rivers better than a landcruiser.

11. You would meet people wearing traditional dress getting their horses ready.

12. You would play with the local kids by using sign language.

13. You would say ‘saa’ and ‘sain ba nuu’ when you meet someone.

14. And you would say ‘mini neggis Tintin’ when you are making a friend.

15. When you are offered a dried fermented milk biscuit you say ‘bayer claa’  but you take one bite and put the rest in your pocket!!

16. You would see lots of hills and beautiful landscape around you which you wouldn’t see in the city. There is lots of grass and black dots far away which are horses, cows and sheep.

17. You would see your ger, a great big white tent made of thick felt and decorated with blue patterns around the bottom.

18. You would dream of the sound of horses galloping, and you wake up and see them there.

19. You would be careful not to leave you socks outside, as the cows get hungry and think your socks are a cafe!!

20. You would see wildflowers of every colour all around the fields.

21. The last thing you would see at night is the stars, and you go inside and blow out your candle.


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55 Responses to 21 ways to tell you are living like a Mongolian Nomad

  1. Rebeca September 7, 2012 at 6:55 am #

    This makes me want to hop on the soonest flight to Mongolia! I’ve had a longstanding infatuation with yurts/gers and would love to come and stay in one. Enjoy your time there!
    Rebeca recently posted..PendingMy Profile

  2. Renee September 7, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    Thanks for sharing Tintin,
    I love reading about your family’s adventures and am very impressed with your post. My favourite one is when all the dogs are barking. Must be pretty noisy!
    Happy travels,

  3. Sara September 7, 2012 at 8:06 am #

    Well written TinTin!!

    I LOVE all of your descriptions so much. I will have to show my husband and convince him to go to Mongolia!

    I love wildflowers, stars and most of all I love cows the most.

    Have fun xo

  4. Bethaney - Flashpacker Family September 7, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    Great post Tintin!

    Mongolia looks absolutely beautiful. I can really feel the sense of space from your photos.

    Not sure about the fermented milk biscuits though!
    Bethaney – Flashpacker Family recently posted..Toddler Travel Tips – Flying with ToddlersMy Profile

  5. Bampa September 7, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    Hi Tintin: Great porst, well written and thoughful. I wish Granny and I were with you there as it really sounds beautiful and peaceful.

  6. Jennifer Pearce September 7, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    I really enjoyed reading your post Tintin! I especially liked that close-up photo of the cow. So funny that they like to eat socks. :)

  7. anne September 7, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    Dear Tintin,

    I loved your letter, it looks like you’re having great fun and I really liked the pictures you sent.


  8. Joanne September 7, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    I would love to dream of horses galloping and wake up and see them! Mongolia looks very beautiful, thank you Tintin for sharing your thoughts about it with us.

  9. Yvette September 7, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    Loved it! As an astronomer I must confess I am very jealous of what those stars must look like out there. :)
    Yvette recently posted..Introducing the Cendes Waterfall ScaleMy Profile

  10. Trudi September 7, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    What a fabulous post Tintin! I loved what you wrote about the horses and the stars. But my favourite was what you wrote about the dried, fermented milk biscuits :)

  11. Granny September 7, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    Fantastic blog, Tintin. Your story brings meaning to the photos. How many pairs of socks have the cows eaten? Love you heaps. Granny

    • Jill September 17, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

      5 socks is all!

  12. Lisa Wood September 7, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    Tintin, you so are good with words! I love your story telling ways of sharing your adventure in Mongolian. It sounds cold, pretty and those tents look amazing! hope you are enjoying your travels ~ those cows look super cute.
    Lisa Wood recently posted..Disconnect To ReconnectMy Profile

  13. Aunty deb September 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    I think I would like to live as a Mongolian nomad. At least for a while. I love your photo on the horse Tintin. Do they give their horses names? How many people would live in each ger? I am glad you all had boots for your Mongolian adventure. Love A Deb

    • Jill September 17, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

      Hi Aunty Debbie the horses do have names. Whole families can fit in a ger . We fitted 8!
      thanks Tintin

  14. Lightnur September 10, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    Hi Tintin
    What a fantastic post! Well done, Tintin! I really enjoyed reading your adventure living as a Mongolian Nomad. I love all your photos especially when you and your family are on the cart.

    • Jill September 17, 2012 at 11:58 am #

      Thanks, it’s really my Dad who takes the pictures!

  15. Mary-Louise September 11, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    Wow, Tintin. That was a brilliant blog post. You captured a day in Mongolia so perfectly that I could really imagine what it is like. I read your post to my friend who is blind and this is what she said, “I can really see inside my head what an incredible place Mongolia must be. I feel like I really know now what a day as a nomad would feel like, smell like, look like, and taste like”.

    Tintin, only the most powerful writers can make their readers feel like they are being spoken to, like the words are leaping off the page and being spoken in a voice from another land. You have this ability, Tintin, and it is truly God given. Please keep writing lots of journal entries that really help the reader understand what it is that you can feel in your heart, and what you are taking in with all of your senses. Please share another blog post with us, and ask those sisters of yours to do the same!

    Can I have your permission to turn your post into a Pictello book to share with Jack and the other children I work with? Maybe you could make the Pictello book and record the sentences so the children who cannot read text can hear your voice rather than the Pictello voice. You could share the book with me via the Pictello Share or email. We would REALLY REALLY love this!

    Thanks again for a really amazing post.

    Love from Mary-Louise

    • Jill September 17, 2012 at 11:56 am #

      Hi Mary-Louise, thanks.
      Sparky is working on a blog post! I would like to make this post into a pictello for you. thanks

  16. Crystal September 17, 2012 at 8:53 am #


    I was in Mongolia a year ago and your post made me miss it very much! I hope that you get to ride lots and lots of horses all over the place – try to find some dried meat, it’s pretty good, though it requires a lot of chewing!

    I miss the tea the most, and being able to rely on the welcome and kindness of strangers (and getting to drink warm salty milk tea with strangers)!

    All the best,

    • Jill September 17, 2012 at 11:50 am #

      Hi Crystal,
      I never tried the dried meat, but I did like the warm salty milk.

  17. Fiona September 18, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    HI Tintin
    Great photos, Sandy and I will have to visit you and your family in our dreams at night. Do you ever miss eating chocolate bikkies?

  18. Bron September 25, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    TinTin, this post is brillant!
    I love the pic of you looking so professional on the horse! Wow!
    Cooper uses pictello every week for school it now has an Aussie voice!
    bron x
    Bron recently posted..Cruisy online shopping with OO.com.au!My Profile

  19. Emily September 25, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    Wow! What a great blog post you made! I wish I could see you again soon.


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