Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Walking into Petra for the First Time

I knew I’d be impressed by Petra.  After reading glowing review after glowing review, it seemed like there would be no other option.  And was I ever. It takes a long time to get to the Treasury, Petra’s most famous icon.  The long, winding path through Petra’s Siq is 1.2 km long and will take [...]

Traveling in the Off-Season: Sometimes Great, Sometimes Awful!

I’m a big advocate of traveling in the off-season and reaping the benefits: lower prices, fewer crowds, a more local experience. But as I sit here in Turkey, I’m disappointed at my decision to come here for three weeks in late November.  Istanbul was great if a bit cold, Cappadocia was freezing cold and creepily [...]

Jerash: The Coolest Ruins You’ve Never Heard Of

Of all the outstanding views in Jordan, my favorite was from Jerash, seen at the top of the amphitheatre: I loved it.  The ancient city’s colonnade in the foreground, the modern city in the background — this, in a nutshell, is Jordan! The ruins of the ancient city of Jerash are some of the most [...]

What Should Women Wear in Jordan?

What should a woman wear when visiting Jordan?  As this was my first time in the Middle East, I didn’t want to make any missteps, so I erred on the side of caution and dressed somewhat conservatively.  Since it was November and cool, it made it easier. Unlike Iran and Saudi Arabia, women in Jordan [...]

Adventurous Kate Rides a Donkey; Hilarity Does Not Ensue

When visiting the incredible site of Petra in Jordan, you MUST visit the Monastery.  It’s a bit of a hike to get to it, but so worth it. It’s just as impressive as the Petra’s most famous building, the Treasury, but its remote location keeps the crowds away. The views at the top are unforgettable, [...]

Welcome to Amman — and the Middle East

Jerusalem, Beirut, Dubai, Damascus — these cities of the Middle East are wild and vibrant, and probably sit closely on your radar. As for Amman, Jordan?  Not so much. But being one of the lesser-visited cities in the Middle East doesn’t mean that it’s boring.  Amman was my introduction to Jordan — as well as [...]

Arrival in Istanbul: From Uninspiring to Irresistible!

I’m not in the best mindset when I arrive in Istanbul. Things aren’t going well.  It’s freezing cold.  Nobody will exchange my Jordanian dinars.  As I ride the crowded metro into the city, I quickly learn that deodorant isn’t exactly a “thing” here.  And to top it off, everyone is glaring at me for bringing [...]

First Impressions of Jordan

Greetings from Jordan! I am four days into my trip here with the Jordan Tourism Board.  It’s been a whirlwind, almost nonstop trip and I feel like I should wait and let things coalesce before getting into any in-depth posts, but I wanted to share my thoughts on how my first trip to the Middle [...]

World Travel Market 2011: A Smashing Success

I have never been to any event that remotely resembled World Travel Market. Picture this: nearly every country in the world has a stand in a conference building ten times the size of most wedding venues in London.  Some of these stands are design marvels, particularly in the Middle East section.  It takes 10 minutes [...]

Photo Essay: Bologna at Night

Early evening is a magical time in Italy, when everyone comes outside to walk the streets — that evening ritual is called the passeggiata, and it goes on throughout the country. Then darkness falls.  Bologna, as fascinating a city as it is during the day, becomes positively magical at night.  Here are some of my [...]