Outliers is an initiative to engage and connect with people in countries regularly deemed “too dangerous”, “too unstable”, and “too remote”. Program regions include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, North Korea, and Yemen amongst others, and we’re constantly expanding to new outlying regions. Each locally-lead program focuses on providing opportunities to meet locals, hear their stories, share your own, and learn through hands-on experience and interaction, as opposed to just touristic activities.
Travel through Mainland Yemen’s Marah and Hadhramaut to the UNESCO city of Shibam, Tarim, the city of Al Mukalla and Seiyun. Then we fly to Socotra Island where we embark on a camel and foot trek through the Hajhir Mountains meeting bedouin herders along the way, meander through Dragon’s Blood Tree forests, stay in traditional Socotri villages, and hike through deep canyons, caves and otherworldly terrain.
Travel to the remote Hindukush mountains in Northwest Pakistan to experience one of the most unique festivals in the world— Chawmos— the Kalash New Year. Stay in homestays, trek amongst snow-covered peaks, wander ancient bazaars, and join in on the pagan celebrations in the only ethnically non-islamic parts of Pakistan.
Pucks Over Pyongyang is the first ever in-depth hockey training, playing and service project in North Korea. It is specifically designed to serve as a bridge to connect people on and off the ice.
Located at the cross-roads between South, Central and West Asia, Afghanistan is a mixing grounds of cultures and traditions. This trip brings you to select regions within Afghanistan during the Eid al Fitr to experience the country for yourself, meet local people to hear their stories, and visit families during this fast-breaking holiday.
Or are you looking for something curated for you or your group?
"What I felt I got out of this trip is both being truly present but also being with a group that had no judgement whatsoever. We were all so present and not in fear of judgement; both being extremely refreshing. This is how it felt to not be worried about anything else, but to be focused in that moment and sharing in that moment with people who are right there experiencing it with you, which made it so much more than just a personal experience but a shared experience."
The goal of Outliers is to create a community dedicated to better understanding and positively engaging with people who come from regions in conflict, post-conflict, and or in isolation. Community members design programs together, share information, and connect openly and honestly with each other about topics concerning these places.
The community is open to everyone by application, and each Outliers program is made available only for members. We do this to form a trusted group of individuals who are not only interested in engaging outlying countries, but also for people whose values align towards positive engagement and learning.
"If you want off-the-beaten-track real human and cultural interaction, there really is no alternative out there. If you want to explore the unknown a bit more boundlessly with others who want to connect with the places they encounter, there is still really no alternative out there. And to be perfectly honest, they are just a really down-to-earth nice group of people who want to get to know you genuinely, and that you end up wanting to talk to and learn from every day."
CREATE YOUR OWN PROGRAM
Looking for a truly unusual experience for your group or organization? We invite you to work with the Outliers team on creating a custom program. All of our local teams have been pre-vetted and we’ve worked with them before. Additionally, a member of our Outliers team will guide your group and facilitate each program safely and securely.
Custom Outliers expeditions take advantage of our network of dedicated fixers, guides, expedition leaders, and coordinators from some of the world’s most remote and difficult corners to bring people together, push comfort zones, challenge preconceptions, and get, for lack of a better word, way off the beaten trail.
In order to begin designing a custom program for your group or organization, please fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch. Please note the minimum group size for an Outliers custom program is 5 people.
"What I felt I got out of this trip is both being truly present but also being with a group that had no judgement whatsoever. We were all so present and not in fear of judgement; both being extremely refreshing. This is how it felt to not be worried about anything else, but to be focused in that moment and sharing in that moment with people who are right there experiencing it with you which made it so much more than just a personal experience but a shared experience."
MEET SOME OUTLIERS CHAMPIONS
Matt is a documentarian, consultant, locational manager, expedition leader and Inertia co-founder from Vancouver, BC. He’s lead projects in numerous outlier destinations including Afghanistan, Yemen, North Korea, Pakistan, DR Congo and more. He graduated from Brown University with degrees in International Relations and East Asian Studies and can speak English, Mandarin, French and Spanish.
Han Ju Hak was born and raised in Pyongyang, DPRK, and has been working with Inertia members for the past ten years as a fixer, expert, guide and organizer. He is fluent in Korean, English and Chinese, having graduated in both language departments from the Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies. He now specializes in athletic exchanges, film project coordination, and unique travel experiences in his homeland.
Nicole is a born and bred Alaskan and hard core adventure traveller and writer. She’s lead Outliers expeditions in Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt and China’s Far West and continues to develop some of our most insane and mildly terrifying expeditions. When not on the road exploring a country on the travel advisory list, she’s in Anchorage working as a dental hygienist. She’s also hilarious.
Noor comes from Mazar-i Sharif, Afghanistan. He’s an ethnic Hazara and was forced to flee Afghanistan during the Taliban takeover. As a refugee, he learnt to make shoes to survive, and years after returning to Afghanistan, he was able to attend school, learn English, and get work as a project evaluation officer for numerous NGOs. He’s an experienced fixer and guide, and is an incredibly kind and helpful person.
Murad comes from the mountains of Northern Pakistan in the Ghizer District. He is an experienced trekking and mountain guide, but beyond that he’s a pleasure to spend time with and treats people like family. He’s worked as a coordinator for BBC’s Planet Earth, has lead expeditions across Pakistan for two decades and speaks four languages fluently. He lives in the small village of Ishkomen with his wife, daughter and son.