Middle East 2014 Oman

Escape Dubai: Road Trip to Oman’s Musandam Peninsula!

Dubai is boring. At least if you’re not interested in shopping, luxury and excess… But fear not, fellow Dubai visitor….I have the perfect escape for you! A mere two hours north of Dubai lies a part of the Sultanate of Oman that few people even know about. Detached from the rest of this spectacularly beautiful […]

Middle East 2014 UAE

Dubai: A City of Superlatives

I never wanted to visit Dubai. I grew up in a very fake city (Las Vegas) so the thought of visiting another very fake city just wasn’t appealing to me. But when I jumped on a great flight deal from Emirates I found myself with a 5-day stopover in Dubai, so I figured I’d delve […]

Iraq Middle East 2012 Photos

Inside Saddam Hussein’s House of Horrors

Have you ever heard of “Chemical Ali?” You know, Saddam Hussein’s cousin who was responsible for “Gassing the Kurds?” His biggest claim to fame happened on March 16, 1988 on an otherwise quiet day, at least as quiet as it gets in an active war zone! It was late in the Iran-Iraq War when Saddam […]

Jordan Middle East 2011/12 Photos Travel Tips

Hiking Petra: How To Experience the Best of the “Rose-Red City”

What pops into your head when you hear the word Petra? The “Rose-Red City?” Perhaps a certain building that was featured in “Indiana Jones and the Lost Crusade?” That’s the Treasury (also called Al-Khazneh), a jaw dropping sight. You get the first glimpses as you emerge from the seemingly never-ending Siq, a sort of canyon […]

Iraq Middle East 2012 Politics

Meet Kurdistan: The “Other Iraq”

Think of Iraq. What pops into your head? Romanticized visions of Baghdad? Ancient Mesopotamia? A war-torn country filled with cities you’ve heard about on the news, like Mosul or Fallujah? If you want to travel to this Iraq these days I’m sorry to tell you that it sure as heck ain’t gonna be easy. Tourist […]

Iraq Middle East 2012

So What’s it Like to Travel in Iraq?

I don’t think I’d ever been quite so excited to cross a bridge. Here I was, literally in no-mans land, the space between border crossings, and up ahead lay grand mountains. Behind me? Turkey. Finally, the bus passed a sign: “Welcome to Iraqi Kurdistan.” This was the moment my whole trip was designed for. The […]

Middle East 2012 Travel Ethics Travel Tips Turkey

Travel Ethics: Handouts

Hey, tourist! Yeah, I’m talking to you in the tour group. And to you with the backpack traveling solo. Haven’t you ever read up on travel ethics?? One of the biggest things is that you shouldn’t give stuff to kids! Let me say that again a little louder… DON’T GIVE STUFF TO KIDS! I know, […]

Middle East 2012 Turkey

To Istanbul, With Love

Dear Istanbul, I have a confession to make. I think I’m in love with you… See, I didn’t mean it to happen this way. I was just going to spend 3 days visiting you, the perfect introduction to my time in Turkey, before setting off to explore the country which you used to rule over in […]