Oh man, Oman- my week spent roaming around greater Oman was pretty much the bee’s knees. A few days after celebrating a still surprisingly festive expat Christmas, Gary and I made a beeline down the Gulf Coast, eventually crossing the border into mainland Oman and continuing south. To help pass the time we counted wild camels and donkeys along the way, pulling over after a long day of driving to set up our tent on a cliff above the ocean, where we watched the sunset and spent the night playing cards by the fire, listening to the waves crashing below us. The next morning the drive further south looked remarkably like the coastline in Southern California, until we crossed the Tropic of Cancer and big mountains etched out by deep canyons began rising up next to the sea. Our first stop was to explore the ruins in Qalhat, a tiny coastal town written about in its heyday by Marco Polo. We tried to imagine former splendor as we poked about Bibi Maryam’s tomb and an old graveyard before continuing inland towards Wadi Bani Khalid.
Tag Archives: travel
Happy Holidays from Dibba, Oman! Today work was cancelled thanks to heavy rain, the Arabian version of a snow day. Since some of the cold and dust from last weekend’s trip to the Empty Quarter is still rattling around in my lungs, I spent the better part of the day watching Lawrence of Arabia curled up in my cozy bed. Four hour later (I didn’t know movies were allowed to be that long), now fortified with tea and toast, I’ve decided to finally stop procrastinating on writing a bit about the past couple months.
And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
-Khalil Gibran, The Prophet
Some pictures from two weekends spent touristing!
Dibba, which I’ve also seen written as Daba, Dabba, Dibya, Dabya and Doba, has helped me redefine just how sleepy a little town can be. Living here has felt a bit like stepping back in time, life following the simplicity of the desert landscape. There are quite possibly more goats than people, roaming about town wherever they please, and you’ll also find the occasional wild donkey milling about, left over from days when they were expected to haul in fishing nets. Superstitions still abound, so far I’ve heard not to photograph the goats or they won’t produce milk, not to kayak off the main beach because it scares the fish away, and to only eat dates in odd numbers if you want any of the nutritional benefits.
Somehow I have already been in Arabia, specifically the United Arab Emirates and Oman, for exactly one month, although it feels more like one week. I’m sitting in my courtyard taking my first lazy day off since I arrived, coincidentally the first day that the weather has been pleasant enough to sit outside anytime after 7am or before 7pm. As I enjoy the breeze while bingeing on snacks left over from last week’s student group, I guess I will attempt to rewind to day one.
I was lucky enough to spend cumulatively a little over a month working in Bali, and despite being overrun with tourists, I still found it to be kind of a magic place.
We must risk delight. We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of the world.- Jack Gilbert
I’ve been thinking a lot about joy lately, especially as the current political climate continues to relentlessly break my heart, and since reading Naomi Klein’s ‘This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate’ has been giving me some restless nights. All I can figure is the only way to combat the phase we’re in now is to speak up where it matters, to love with more depth, to be even kinder, and to stubbornly enjoy every little moment of joy we can find. Sri Lanka provided the perfect opportunity to practice gladness, it really was a perfect 12 day trip.
What a whirlwind 2017 has been! I’ve been on the move constantly, living out of my backpack while balancing work or play in a different country every couple of weeks. It’s been a blast, but after three months of non-stop motion I’m finding myself a bit weary. As a remedy, I flew into Laos and immediately made my way to Nong Khiaw, a sleepy riverside town that perfectly matched my mood. After my first day this entire year spent alone, I finally got some much needed introvert recharge time, spending a lazy afternoon watching the Ou River meander past from a hammock on my hotel balcony. After a 10 hour long nights sleep, I finally feel rested enough to attempt to turn these half finished thoughts into some sort of a post.
My malay vacay, which is fun to say (hehe), kicked off with a little magic. Just as I was heading to bed there was an urgent knock on my door informing me that there was a nest of baby turtles hatching. I rushed next door to the Juara Turtle Project just in time to help transplant the hatchling hawksbills, and to watch them scramble towards the sea. There really is no cuter animal than a baby turtle, and as I walked back home shooting stars whizzed across the night sky. I couldn’t help but smile, little me on a little island floating in the South China Sea.
Rock steady baby, that’s what I feel nowwww. Well hello, dear family and friends that still have any interest in reading this. Can you believe I’ve been writing on this blog for 7 years? Here is a brief summary of what I’ve been doing: After two weeks cruising the classic tourist circuit around Cambodia, I spent a month working for Little Planet, an outdoor education company based in Tioman Island, Malaysia. A month flew by, spent mainly introducing groups of international private school students from Singapore to jungle trekking, kayaking, snorkeling and star gazing, as well as a detour to the wild jungles of Endau Rompin for a three day canoe trip and a field trip to Bali, where I learned how to mud wrestle men twice my size. A painful 22 hour flight later I was back in California in my happy place working another quick season for Naturalists at Large, and after flitting around California for two months I hopped back on a plane to return to Malaysia for the summer. And here I am, writing during a two week vacation, after a jam-packed June.