Meet the Team: Sarah



Sarah Olmstead

Sarah grew up semi-nomadically all over the East coast. When she was around seven she took part in a section of the “peace wave,” an offshoot of the “Great Peace March,” which aimed to walk across the US. Apparently the beginning of her love of travelling long distances, when she heard about the Mongol Rally in 2005, she decided she had to do it. Every year since then she and Anand have tried to enter, only to be denied each time. This year, as Sarah arrived in Uzbekistan to do fieldwork for her dissertation, she received an email from Anand saying they’d won a slot. Currently Sarah is a grad student in Santa Monica studying water management in Central Asia. She spends her “free time” fixing up a motorcycle, playing music, and making things (furniture, art, etc).

Hometown: Boston, Brooklyn, West Hartford, and Washington, DC
Current Location: Santa Monica, CA
Job: Doctoral fellow
Mongol Rally job: Obstacle Avoidance Specialist and bazaar negotiator.
Countries visited: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Cayman Islands, Czech Republic, Dominica, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, Mexico, Mozambique, The Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan,
Languages attempted to have spoken: Spanish, French, English, Turkish, Russian, Uzbek
Where you will pretend to be from when you get tired of answering questions about America: Old Mexico. Hey, it’s worked before!
Instruments attempted to have learned: In chronological order: Violin, recorder, guitar, piano, kemence, ukulele.
Ukulele song most excited to learn: Borneo (the Jim Kweskin version)
Country you’re most excited about: Turkmenistan. Turkmenbashi is too funny…
If you were a car part, what would you be? The idiot light; I’m paranoid about running out of gas.


  1. Diane Olmstead says:

    When you pretend to be Mexican this time, try not to run right into someone married to a Columbian…really blows the cover. Travel safely and return with many a tale to tell….xo mome

  2. sarah says:

    I don’t know, she still bought that I spoke Spanish. I had to tell her you were mute and deaf, though…