'My dream is to buy a camera’, she said. ‘My husband says it’s a waste of money, since I can take pictures with my phone.’
I decided to spend 3 days in the Gobi desert. As always, I took to Airbnb and couchsurfing to find a welcoming home (it’s the only way I travel when I’m alone), and to my surprise I found many. ‘400 dollars including transport, day trips and museum tickets. Vegetarian is extra. This is very cheap price because you are alone’, said one. ‘45 dollars a night including food, travel extra’, said another. I had heard that Mongolia was expensive and touristic, so I was prepared to dig a little.
That’s how I found Chanaa.
A multi-lingual girl from the Gobi, Chanaa moved to the city as a child to pursue an education and eventually, an urban lifestyle. She lives in Ulanbataar with her husband and two children, and she features her home on Airbnb to help her family in the desert get a little extra income.
This is the story of her family in Tsagaan Suvarga and of the life they lead which is also the life she chose to leave behind..