September 12, 2013

Wakhan, Afghanistan

Photograph by Matthieu Paley, National Geographic

Kyrgyz herders adore their cell phones, which they acquire by trading and keep charged with solar-powered car batteries. Though useless for communication—cellular service doesn’t reach the isolated plateau—the gadgets are used to play music and take photos.

Find out why your smartphone—and fingerprint—are part of the future of travel in this month's National Geographic Traveler cover story, "The Traveler 50: People, Places, and Ideas Changing the Way We Travel" >>

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2014 Traveler Photo Contest

  • Picture of a supercell storm in Colorado.

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    See all the winning images from the 2014 Traveler Photo Contest.