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Archaeologist Jens Notroff is Living in His Golden Age of Travel

Jens Notroff is a German archaeologist based in Berlin. His work takes him to corners of the world where tourists don’t typically roam. Most recently he returned from working along the Turkish-Syrian border. He’s also a traveler and refuses to believe that the “Golden Age of Travel” is behind us. Jens joins Without A Path to share his experiences as an archaeologist, traveler, and sketch artist.

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Top 10 Travel Experiences of 2016

Wadi Rum sunset in Jordan

I’m sure nobody wants to hear this, but 2016 wasn’t all bad for me. At times it would be easy to sink into the growing collective despair. Then again, I find it perfectly healthy to reflect and take stock of the good things that happened over the past year. Truth be told, 2016 was not a bad year in terms of the things I care most about, those being travel and hearing and telling stories. Over the course of these 12 months, I covered distances as far as Alaska to Jordan. I learned about indigenous tourism and finally set foot in a corner of the globe that continues to be thoroughly misunderstood by people from my North American background. I personally feel better educated to share the stories I’ve heard to continually do my part, as little as it may be, to make people less terrified of one another.

Below are 10 of my top travel experiences of 2016 complete with a snippet from the article referencing said experience. Yes, it’s a bit like when a TV sitcom assembles a clip show as a cop-out for an episode, but I hope it’s clear that my intentions are noble.

I also hope it’s clear that I’m not sharing these to brag or incite envy. Rather, I’m sharing them in hopes you might feel compelled to either follow in my footsteps to some of these destinations or to simply recount the positive aspects of your year. Continue reading

international / jordan / middle east / travel

A Traditional Jordanian Dinner with A Piece Of Jordan

a-piece-of-jordan-family-petra

There are a number of ways to experience a different culture, but few beat dining with a local family.

I was in Petra in the midst of a 10-day trip around Jordan when an invite came for dinner with the founder of A Piece Of Jordan, a community-based tourism project. Basically everyone who’s going to Jordan already knows to check out the Indiana Jones temple from The Last Crusade. I’m of course talking about The Treasury, an incredibly elaborate stone temple constructed by the ancient Nabatean Kingdom around the age of the Hellenistic and Roman Empires, which is why the carving looks partly designed by a Greek architect.

Hiking those ancient ruins went down as one of my personal favorite travel experiences, something I’ve already gone on about in a little travel narrative video I put together on the trip. But what solidified that visit to Petra as truly memorable was dinner with Steph Altwassi and her Jordanian family.

I met her in the hotel lobby, unsure of how much English she spoke. (My Arabic went as far as “hi,” “bye,” and “thank you.”) Then something surprising happened. Continue reading

international / jordan / middle east / travel

Jordan: Inside the Calm Neighbor of the Middle East

Take everything you think you know about the Middle East and put it to the side. Better yet, shred it, because what you think you know is probably some cartoonish stereotype you saw on cable news.

Ready? Good. Because this is Jordan. Continue reading

international / jordan / middle east / podcast / travel

Why Jordan is the Destination to Visit in the Middle East

Some North Americans might think travel to the Middle East is dangerous, but Jordan is an obvious exception to that rule. On this episode of Without A Path, Joe recounts his trip to Jordan with Laura. But first, they review the latest travel news, including how travel has changed from one generation to the next and travel bloggers flocking to Minnesota for TBEX.

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