“The words you speak become the house you live in.” – Hafiz

It seems a little silly to write a blog about Dubai considering we were only there for about 36 hours. However, there is a good chance we will never go back and so I would like to at least remember what we saw. We arrived at the crack of dawn and ended up wandering around waiting to check into our hotel for a much needed nap. When we finally ventured out we saw a bit of the old town and walked along the creek. We stopped for a coffee and an orange basil juice concoction while watching the old boats scoot thru the canal. We stopped for a thali at an Indian restaurant and later followed it up with our old standby – the falafel.

IMG_2785 IMG_2791 IMG_2805 IMG_2813IMG_2820 IMG_2843 IMG_2857 IMG_2888 IMG_2895 IMG_2898 IMG_2901

We were both in a funk. I had pushed making our couple hour layover into a couple day layover, but we were both so tired we were finding it hard to enjoy. My impression of Dubai was a meeting of the old and the new, moreover the new pushing out the old. It felt a bit like one huge shopping complex. And malls they had. Malls with ice rinks and aquariums and skiing. Within the glass air-conditioned skyways you could look out and see the the palms and construction below. All that construction has produced some impressive feats – the Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab are what immediately come to mind. IMG_2918 IMG_2920 IMG_2924 IMG_2925 IMG_2926 IMG_2933 IMG_2937 IMG_2955

After a somewhat lackluster day we found a bar, Trader Vic’s no less, and settled in for a couple strong cocktails. This helped to shake off some of the malaise I’d been feeling all day. Tiredness and an extra sensitivity seemed to be following me. We were heading to Nepal for a month long meditation retreat – might as well indulge once before a month of abstaining.

IMG_2975 IMG_2982 IMG_2985 IMG_3003

Ezra’s best creepy look?IMG_3005

The next morning we went for more of the tradition than the flash. A walk to the fish market was mostly memorable for the queasiness the smell induced. Then the gold souk and an old historical house. Of course what trip would be complete without a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee before hitting up the airport.
IMG_3011 IMG_3012

Sorry, no souvenirs were bought from this souk.

IMG_3032 IMG_3043 IMG_3052IMG_3082

Seriously, what airport has Rolex clocks?


Goodbye Dubai.


the holy land

“Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have traveled.”  -Muhammed

We knew we wanted to go somewhere in the Middle East for the last leg of our trip. After talking with a few people who had traveled to Iran, we educated ourselves a bit more on the country (discovering it’s not as scary as all the negative press), and decided this is where we wanted to go.  However, after waiting a couple months for a visa that did not end up being fruitful – we could wait no more and needed airfare to get home. We decided to pack up those hopes for now and go with plan B: Israel and Jordan.  It felt a bit strange picking between two countries that are arch enemies.   In hind sight, it was good timing to be in Israel and Jordan.  By the time we were flying back home there was conflict happening with three of its neighbors.

In the end we were pretty happy as we arrived into Tel Aviv, with the warm Mediterranean breeze and relaxed vibe.  We were feeling even better with our decision as we sipped wine, ate olives and drank fresh juice.



We spent about a week in the spiritual center of Jerusalem and hopped over to Bethlehem on the West Bank.  I will not pretend to fully understand the complexity of the situation between Israel and Palestine.  Nor, do I feel like trying to weigh in on it. However, I have a greater appreciation for its complexity now than ever before.  We experienced some of the tension (which seems to be an ever-present part of life), but tried to keep in perspective the events which have led up to such hostile feelings. In the end the city has an amazing energy, a lot of people with deep faith and a rich history.  It seems to be a place that has condensed many of people’s most positive and negative traits all within a small territory.  It appears that no one is right and no one can truly win.

DSC01656 DSC01702 DSC01772 DSC01786 DSC01794 DSC01823 DSC01876 DSC01911 DSC01918 DSC01963 DSC01985 DSC02076 DSC02105 DSC02492 DSC02585 DSC02621 DSC02627 DSC02648 DSC02982 DSC02997 DSC02999 DSC03069  DSC03127

Obligatory trip to the Dead Sea and the stronghold of Masada.

DSC03145 DSC03187 DSC03244 DSC03259 DSC03290 DSC03372

Our last week was spent in Jordan where we visited the infamous Petra.  Jordanians are known for their hospitality and we were welcomed at every turn.  We enjoyed a few World Cup games while sipping tea, patroized the oldest bar in the world and Ezra was taught how to wear a keffiyeh.  It was a lovely conclusion to our 16 months of travel.

DSC03388DSC03419DSC03649DSC03414DSC03446DSC03448DSC03474DSC03483DSC03499DSC03520DSC03522DSC03523DSC03534DSC03555DSC03565DSC03733DSC03778DSC03788 DSC03897DSC03694

some words of advice: