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Traveling Iran — What it’s Like

Old world Persia

As a curious traveler, I believe visiting a place for myself is the best way to learn on-the-ground knowledge and to see a place beyond the headlines. My recent visit to Iran – just like my previous trips to troubled lands like North Korea and Palestine – further reaffirmed that what we see in the media isn’t always the real truth. As [...]

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Photo Highlights of Iran: from Persian Architecture to Outstanding Hospitality

The Zagros Mountain in western Iran

Mention Iran and many think of burkha-clad women, burning flags and war. But these stereotypes can’t be further from the truth. For those who are curious and open to new discoveries, Iran is packed full of surprises. It is a relatively safe country to visit and there’s so much to see and do in terms [...]

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Traveling Central Asia: The Mind-Boggling Visa Application Process

Central Asia map

Amongst the nuances of travel, applying for visas is one of the things we hate about traveling. Sadly this is probably the most annoying part of planning a trip to Central Asia. Almost every country in Central Asia requires a visa to enter (for most nationalities). The ever-changing rules for visa applications in Central Asian nations [...]

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Up Next: Two Months in Central Asia Traveling the Silk Road!

Mongolia map

My next trip is something of a dream journey, something that I’ve been planning for years! As you’re reading this, I’m making my way down to Mongolia and starting an epic journey through Central Asia. For a long time I’ve been dreaming of exploring this region that just seems so enigmatic with its golden sand dunes, vast steppes, [...]

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A City in Transition: Nazareth, Israel

Visiting an abandoned house

“There is tension almost everywhere in Israel, but not here in Nazareth,” says Linda, our guide from Fauzi Azar Inn. Indeed, Nazareth doesn’t seem quite as intense as Jerusalem, the religious hub of Israel. Here, there are no military soldiers, nor machine guns. In their place are friendly, hospitable Arab vendors and welcoming locals who are more [...]

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Rock and Rumble: Off Road Driving in Israel’s Judaean Desert

Judaean Desert

Just ten minutes outside of Jerusalem lies the Judaean Desert, a sprawling desert of stone-studded hills, valleys and gorges. The area stretches from the Negev Desert to the Jewish settlement of Beit El in the West Bank, ending in a steep escarpment dropping to the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley. Despite its proximity to the city, it’s a whole [...]

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Walking the Jesus Trail in Israel – Part I

Hiking the Jesus Trail - near Kibbutz Lavi

A gravel path stretches before us, extending into the rolling hills and beyond into the dramatic Arbel Cliffs in the far distance. Green meadows sprinkled with red poppies and yellow daisies flank both sides of the path. Once and in a while, we’d stumble upon a herd of grazing cows or roaming horses. In the [...]

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Staying Afloat: The Power of The Dead Sea

Dead Sea from the high way

The Dead Sea got its name for a reason: it’s salty, deadly and it stands at the lowest point on earth (at 1,388 feet below sea level). This world famous salt lake has almost 33.7% salinity - so hypersaline that not a single species of animal can survive. But more importantly, it’s hypersalinity makes swimming in it akin to floating. [...]

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Sunrise Over the Masada Desert Fortress

View of the surrounding mountains

It was 3am when we awoke. Darkness engulfed us as we left Jerusalem behind us and wounded down the valley towards the ancient desert fortress of Masada. Poised at the edge of the Judean Desert, Masada looms above the sands, overlooking the Dead Sea and the Moab Mountains in Jordan. At just 1,300 feet high, it’s perfect for a morning hike – providing [...]

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Photoblog: Scenes from the Holy City of Jerusalem

Western Wall and Dome of Rock

In Jerusalem, the smell of Christian incense mingle with the aroma of Muslim spices, while the sound of Koran prayers weave its way magically into the whispers of Jewish myths. It is several worlds merged into one: where Christians, Jews, and Muslims live side by side. In a city where three different religions co-exist, a [...]

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Next Up: Israel and Colombia

Views along Jesus Trail

After an extremely productive month in Spain, we’re now off to Israel for quite the adventure. The main goal of the trip is to trek the Jesus Trail, a 65-km route that connects some of the most important sites from the life of Jesus. The trek winds its way through the Galilee region of Israel, starting [...]

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Turkey: Where East Meets West

*This article was originally published in WildJunket Magazine June/July 2012.  Uniquely straddled across Europe and Asia, Turkey encompasses a thousand worlds at one time. From spice-infused bazaars to envogue European enclaves, this multi-facted country promises to bring you across continents at one go.  By  Mike Dunphy / Originally published in WildJunket Magazine ew countries have a location as [...]

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Featured Destination of the Month: Jordan

Jordan: a land rich in centuries-old history, intriguing Bedouin culture and landscapes that range from vast red rose deserts to the legendary Dead Sea. Situated in the Middle East, Jordan has traditional Arabic flair blended into modern, advanced development, resulting in a safe and fulfilling destination to visit. The country has also gained quite a [...]

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World’s Most Unearthly Landscapes

Eerie, dramatic and enigmatic: certain landscapes on Earth can be so unworldly, they’re reminscent of scenes from outer space. Many of these hotspots have been sculpted by the hands of Mother Nature, moulded into intriguing destinations that have captivated the imagination of modern-day travelers. While space travel still seems to …

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Daily Travel Snapshot: Panorama of Wadi Ghweir, Jordan

Hiking through the narrow canyon of Wadi Ghweir in Jordan.

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