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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Jordan | A Slow Stride into the Lost City of Petra

“A rose-red city half as old as time,” poet John William Burgon has said of it in his 1845 Newdigate Prize winning poem Petra.

Concealed from the rest of the world for many centuries before made famous by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812, the ancient city of Petra dishes a unique attraction emphasized by its rock-cut architecture where old settlements, royal tombs, temples, and palaces were directly hewn out of massive rock walls.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Following the Way of Jesus Christ in Israel

Savoring my first breath of air in the very birthplace of Jesus Christ, I instantly noticed the sudden shift of scenery as I stared out the window of our chartered bus. What arrested my attention was the fusion of colors representing the fertile lands dotting the countryside of Israel. The new topography that replaced the red desert dunes that dominated the landscape of Jordan provided a new visual spark for me to scrutinize. While I would miss the staggering golden tints characterizing the spectacular backdrops of Wadi Rum to Petra and to Amman, these fresh set of scenery added to the high I was feeling that moment.  Coupled with a realization about how this trip is turning into notches more epic, I glazed at the backdrop with intent focus. Within moments away of tracking the path of Jesus Christ, an emotional air got through me – and knowing how extraordinary it is for anyone regardless of faith, to step into the very heart of the Holy Land – I felt all the good karma overwhelming me.

The Old Jerusalem is seen at the background.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Connectivity on the Road Made Possible by Flytpack Travel WiFi

Internet connectivity when on the road has become one of the must-haves of today’s legion of travelers. There are so many things you can do when you plug yourself to the World Wide Web, and among the many travel apps, one can instantly create travel plans on the go. Using Google Maps, consulting TripAdvisor and booking hotels through AirBnb, makes life on the road so much easier. Doing so though, can amount to a huge part of your travel budget. I still remember the outrageous bill that greeted me upon my arrival from Hanoi, Vietnam three years ago when I used my roaming connectivity to use the internet while traveling. 3,500 pesos for a few hundreds of data is just too much. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Unlikeliness of Being a Speck in the Vast Otherworldly Setting of Wadi Rum

The landscape of Wadi Rum almost empties your soul of worldly worries. Looking at the immense rolling hills entwined with chiseled canyons and sand dunes blemished by camel footprints, one is reminded of the words of British archaeologist, military officer, and diplomat Thomas Edward Lawrence more famously known as Lawrence of Arabia, when he described Wadi Rum as “vast, echoing, and God-like.