Day 144: The Middle East Starts in Oman

The middle east has always captivated us. Growing up in America, you are practically conditioned to be afraid of the region. As a child of the 80's and 90's, I got a quick synopsis of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict in 'Western Civilizations' class in high school, but 9/11 was the coffin nail to the…

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Day 136: Big Things in Tiny Malta

Sometimes the littlest things can have a big impact. A pawn can force a checkmate, the small keystone keeps the integrity of the bridge, and a small island in the Mediterranean can serve as a tactical and strategic bastion of war for over two millennia. The tiny island of Malta is such a place. Inhabited…

Day 93: Tanzania Part 3- Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Tarangire

"Daddy, wake up! I heard something!" Ava said while rustling me awake at one in the morning. "I don't hear anything." I said sleepy eyed. "Just outside our tent. Listen!" Sure enough, I heard some footfalls that sounded faintly like 'clopping'. Moon shadowed shapes danced across the fabric of our tent and I heard plants…

Day 84: Tanzania Part 2- Zanzibar

"Jambo!" "Hakuna Matata!" "Hello my friend!" These all announce your arrival in Tanzania's most famous island. The turquoise waters were an iridescent blue I hadn't imagined in my wildest dreams. We boarded the Azam Marine ferry at 9:30am and made the two hour voyage to Zanzibar Town on the west side. Our guidebook said to…

Day 54: Laying Low in Bratislava

At just an hour and 20 minutes, the bus ride between Vienna and Bratislava was the shortest ride we've taken on our trip between cities. I sat next to a woman who was nervously clutching the purse on her lap and across the aisle, a textbook frat boy. Oxford blue long sleeve shirt rolled up…

Day 48: The Czech Republic

By the time we arrived in the gothic capital of Prague, it was late and the sun was going down over the Jiraskuv bridge. Bridges cross the Vltava river every few hundred meters or so, but the crown jewel is Charles Bridge which is shut off from cars and open only to pedestrians and statues…

Day 38: Poland Part 2- Auschwitz Birkenau

The day after arriving in Krakow, Lisa and I took turns visiting the most infamous concentration camp in the world. Unless you've been living on the moon or dropped out of high school, the name 'Auschwitz' brings a chill because of the atrocities committed there. From 1941 to 1945, over one million Jews and political…