Travel: Jabel Shams – Oman 2013

Oman is a special place, a natural wonderland for the outdoor enthusiast. There are so many spots untouched and yet to be explored in this mysterious land. One of them was Jabel Shams, the highest peak in Oman, topping out at 3075 meters high. It is a relentless and grueling hike up, that can be done in one or two days depending on your pace. The views are magnificent and the silence captivating.

Travel: Mongolia – Part 2

Travel: Mongolia – Part 1

I have been planning to go to Mongolia ever since my late father gave me a movie called  ” The Story of The Weeping Camel.”   After watching the movie, I fell in love with the landscape, the culture and the people of Mongolia. Size wise, Mongolia is a vast and geographically rich country with a population of around 3 million people, of which 2 million approximately reside in the capital Ulaanbaatar.  The rest, of varying backgrounds, such as theTuvas or Kazakhs, are scattered throughout the country. My husband and I planned the trip with Altai Expeditions, which I truly recommend, as they are very well organized and are specialists in the region which we wanted to explore.  All in all, our expedition consisted of us, a translator, a mountaineer, a cook, and a driver.  The region we focused on is in the far west of Mongolia towards the Altai mountain range, bordering China, Russia and Mongolia, and heavily inhabited by Mongolia’s Kazakh population.  The main frontier city is called, Bayan Ulgii, a Kazakh city where we hopped into our unstoppable Russian 4×4 van and drove towards the gates of Tavan Bogd National Park.  Translated as the “Five Peaks” (Tavan Bogd), our aim was to climb Mount Malchin, at 4050 meters in height and to try and climb Mount Khutin, at 4374 meters high and Mongolia’s highest point.  We were successful on the first, but were unable to summit Khutin, instead, we were stuck in a snow blizzard and a whiteout for two days on mountain at the advanced base camp. It was my first attempt in mountaineering / alpining, and it was a hell of an adventure, drastically stepping out of my comfort zone and challenging myself mentally and physically.  But as it goes, I feel it makes you grow, and on a whole, the idea of this trip is to see some of the magnificent landscapes, mix in some adrenaline and adventure, and learn about others and myself in new places. The idea of driving and stopping in the middle of nowhere to camp for the night is very exciting, and meeting other travelers at base camps and ranger stations exposed us to multiple nationalities and different perspectives on the reason they were there. One thing we all shared was a sense of freedom, and the culmination of the trips trip for me was that it is a once in a lifetime experience and a definite stepping stone to the many adventures to come.  Next stop Patagonia 🙂 Enjoy!


Travel: The Road To Nowhere

One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to go to remote places. Either by foot or by car, I end up stopping in the middle of the road, and taking pictures to freeze these moments when I am absolutely in the middle of nowhere. These are some of the pictures that I took when I was in Iceland, Norway, Oman and the USA.  More to come.

Road-to-nowhere-Utah Road-to-nowhere-Iceland Road-to-nowhere-Ras-Musandam Road-to-nowhere-Iceland2 Road-to-nowhere-California Road-to-nowhere-Norway

Travel: Cuba. 2010

From the vintage cars to the architecture of Old Habana, Cuba has it’s own unique style.  It is a wonderful place to capture a history frozen in time, experiencing the Caribbean lifestyle of the 1950s in the 2000s. You know you have felt the essence of Cuba when you walk through the alleys of the old town, have a Havana Club at a rundown bar, explore the tobacco fields of Pinar del Rio, enjoy a fresh Partagas cigar in a courtyard, eat a home cooked meal at a casa particular and get picked up to dance at the Tropicana.  Lovely people and an island with a wondrous history. Enjoy!


Travel: El Gouna – Egypt. 2012

El Gouna over looks the red sea, is a place were the privileged go to have fun on the beach. It wasn’t one of my favorite places but if you are into Kite surfing and diving then this is the place to be.  On the way to the beach you get to walk between an art installation of human Figure representing different segments of Egyptian society in this time we live in.

El-Gouna-Egypt-2012-1 El-Gouna-Egypt-2012-2 El-Gouna-Egypt-2012-3 El-Gouna-Egypt-2012-4

Travel: Road Trip. USA National Parks. Summer 2012

According to Wikipedia, the United States of America has 59 national parks. In June of 2012, we decided to drive to as many as we can out West starting from Colorado. After a few months of planning, we rented a car from Denver and completed a full loop back after a month on the road. These are the parks we stopped by:

  1. Great Sand Dunes, Colorado
  2. Mesa Verde, Colorado
  3. Bryce Canyon, Utah
  4. Canyonlands a.k.a. Needles, Utah
  5. Arches, Utah
  6. Zion, Utah
  7. Grand Canyon, Arizona
  8. Sequoia, California
  9. Yosemite, California
  10. Grand Teton, Wyoming
  11. Yellowstone, Wyoming,Montana and Idaho

From all the above, I think Utah has the best national parks, from Zion to the Arches to the Needles at Canyonlands. They all had the best trails for hiking and beautiful nature that changed dramatically from park to park. Once there, we hiked between 4-8 hours a day depending on the trails. We got in some climbing in the Grand Tetons and did some longer repelling in the Canyonlands. Single track biking on limestone and we also went on a hot air balloon ride, which to my surprise, was anticlimactic but nevertheless worth trying, and luckily the views in Jackson were unparalleled. One particular hike worth mentioning was The Narrows in Zion, a river hike where at times we were up to our stomachs in water, altogether spending 10 mesmerizing hours in the canyon, I truly recommend it.  Some drives took 12 hours like the one from Yosemite to the Salt lakes in Utah, but having met so many people along the way, enjoyed good food and with the music on the road, this was an after thought. Each State has its uniqueness and geography, and I’m sure that in the fall or spring, these parks would be altogether different.  This is just an excuse to do it all again.  It was really difficult to select from almost 1000 pictures of 11 national parks and more than three weeks of being on the road to 44 photos, so enjoy!


Travel: Zambia. 2010

You can have a very relaxing holiday in Livingstone, Zambia, enjoy the wild life and the beautiful scenery. Or better yet, you can pump some adrenaline into your veins by bungee jumping from a bridge overlooking the Zambezi river, 111 meters high and located between two countries Zambia and Zimbabwe.


Travel: Madagascar. 2010

Back in 2010, my cousin and I decided to do some volunteer work in Madagascar. The program’s primary initiative was to protect the lemurs, endemic to Madagascar and second, protecting their habitat. We stayed mainly in Antananarivo and south at Port Dauphin. It was an amazing experience, no electricity, on a diet of rice and beans, meeting the wonderful people of Madagascar, learning the language and enjoying the beautiful nature.  There were so many kinds of insects, plants and animals you wouldn’t find anywhere else except in Madagascar.  Along with being able to pitch your own tent and washing the communal dishes, this is an experience I recommend doing at least once in a life time.

Madagascar Sifaka lemur2

Travel: Iceland. Winter 2011

Travel: Iceland. Summer 2007

If i would live anywhere other than the place where i was born, i would choose Iceland. There are so many things you can do in one small place:

  • Ice climbing on top of an active volcano
  • Snorkeling in -1 degree Celsius lakes
  • Snowmobiling on a glacier
  • Watch geysers blow up
  • Swim in hot springs
  • Walk the mysterious caves of the trolls
  • Gaze at the auroras borealis, a.k.a. the northern lights
  • Kayak along the coast
  • Watch Bjork perform live

Travel: Djibouti. 2012

Djibouti has so much potential to be a touristic place with its deserts, beaches and mountains. lake Assal, the lowest point in Africa, it is a must see when you are there.

Travel: Nepal. 2007

Back in December 2007, I visited Nepal with some friends for some photography and adventure. We hiked through the suburbs of Kathmandu, traveled across the jungle of Chitwan district on an elephant and did some paragliding in Pokhara. I think the best way to capture this beautiful country is by walking between the mountain villages, talking to people and convincing them to pose for the camera. It was a challenge, but luckily i had some candy on me to share. People, adventure, food and nature are what i look forward to the most in every trip.