Welcome to my adventures! First of all, I’m glad you’re here and a bit curious. A little about my vlogs: I come from humble beginnings. Having grown up in small-town Park Hills, Missouri, population of 7,000, I’ve lived my entire life in the Midwest, passionately curious about other lands, people, and cultures.
You’ll find that in my vlogs, I try to extract stories or genuine interactions from native peoples, or perhaps, I dial in on mesmerizing nature and landmarks in a foreign land. Then, I excitedly share these extraordinary times with you, so we learn together–through the lens of my GoPro HERO7. Come along with me as I interact with remarkable people and places around the world.
The Dead Sea
A lake of salt separates Jordan from Israel. It hit me while I was staring out the backseat of our rental car, just where I was exactly. I could literally see Israel, the Biblical holy land, just across the water. I had goosebumps. It was in these moments of descent– far below sea level in the lowest elevation on land–that I noticed Jordanian border control standing outside a military post with automatic rifles in hand. While the land appeared holy and ancient, I was quickly reminded of the tension between the two country’s politics and religions.
*One quick fact: the Dead Sea is not the world’s saltiest body of water. Buttttt, it the salinity is so potent that it makes it impossible for animals and plants to live inside it.
We’re riding in this old classic Land Rover, which looks as if it’s survived maybe a hundred deadly sandstorms, just beaten over time by this ancient valley. This old car looks as though it hauls tourists day and night without rest. Our guide, an elderly Jordanian man, no younger than seventy, tells us he has a few wives at home. One wife has born most of his children; his other wife is the one he takes driving with him when he visits relatives in Saudi Arabia. The best part was him allowing us to see his very own home carved into side of a tall orange, sandstone bluff.
Traverse the desert…camel style
Along with our desert safari in Wadi Rum, my friend and I decided to ride a camel. That’s only fitting, right?
The Bedouin (nomadic Arab) man told me that the best thing to do when riding a camel is… to relax. Camels, like most other rideable animals, sense fear. So get a hold of the handle, which oddly enough wasn’t made of leather or plastic or even wood; it was a large bone (in which I didn’t muster up the courage to ask from which animal it belonged). After you swing your leg over the saddle, you must, must, must hold on. The camel seems small-ish while crouched on the ground, but once it gets up, you’re way higher up than a horse. It gets up back legs first, making you lurch forward. I almost toppled over the camel! Brace yourself when mounting and dismounting, as you’ll see at the end of my video!
Kerak Castle (one of the largest crusader castles)
This historic castle, dating back to 1142, remains one of the largest crusader castles in the Levant (eastern Mediterranean countries).
United Arab Emirates
Dubai Spice Souk (Market) & Dubai Creek
Colorful and aromatic mounds of herbs and spices spill from large baskets. The bartering of prices and grabbing of your arm to come into stores may be just a tad overwhelming. It certainly was for me!
Jebel climbing in the Hajar Mountains
In September of 2018, after most of the scorching summer heat subsided, I took a solo four hour hike in a part of the “Jebel Al Hajar” mountain ranges. In my opinion, these are the Middle East’s very own version of the Rocky Mountains. These impressive stone mountains are the tallest in the eastern Arab countries and stretch from UAE to Oman.
During my hike, I noticed mountain goats and donkeys grazing very lazily.
Lakes in the Middle East–what?!
Hatta Dam Adventures
When people talk about travel, they usually think about these daunting, expensive trips thousands of miles away from home–except there’s no rule that states you “must go far” to have an awesome trip!