Riding a Motorbike Through Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

My heart pounds and I shiver despite the trickles of sweat running down my back. I am hyper-alert, terrified, every sense operating on high. My ears are tuned for elephants or buffalo crashing through the bush, my eyes focusing through the swirling dust for a lion or leopard that is going to jump out of the tall grass and eat me. Not that hearing the animals in advance is going to help. By then it will be too late.

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A Trek to Song-Kol Lake in Kyrgyzstan: Yurts, Mountains, and Wildflowers

One last bit of adrenaline kicked in and propelled me to the stunning view at the top of the pass. Laid out before me was a vast grassland, a shallow valley slowly descending to silvery blue Song-Kol lake in the distance, reflecting the snowy mountains that shimmered in the bright sunlight. Behind me, I could see where we’d come from, the yurt camp that was just above ours now just a tiny white speck far, far below. This four day trek to Song-Kol lake was spectacular.

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Experiencing Ramadan in Oman

Ramadan is the Islamic holy month, and fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. This means that from the pre-dawn prayer (Fajr) to the sunset one (Maghrib) Muslims may not eat, drink, smoke, or have sex. If you’ve ever wondered what Ramadan is all about, how it works, what happens, and what it’s like to be in a predominantly Muslim country as a non-Muslim during Ramadan, read this!

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Why India Surprised Me

I didn’t get groped in India on the first day. Not once. On the second day I even took the metro, and forgetting about the women-only car at the front, crammed myself in with all the men. But no groping. One man even accidentally brushed against my forearm and then held up his hand in apology. What was going on?

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Jenny Far Away’s Travel Wish List 2017

Every year Lonely Planet publishes their ‘Best in Travel’ list for the upcoming year, and this time a reader suggested that I should make my own list! At the time he mentioned it, I was actually in the process of seriously thinking about my holidays for the next year or so, so it was timely and appropriate! Of course by just now when I’m getting around to publishing it, it’s the holiday season and everyone is shopping and making Christmas wish lists. I have one too, it’s just not stuff. So here’s Jenny Far Away’s Travel Wish List for 2017!

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Haraam! The Day I Bought Pork in Oman

I’m driving slowly along the street, looking carefully at the shop names while also dodging haphazardly parked cars and wayward pedestrians darting out in front of me. Suddenly my destination is there, on the right, and I am a little astounded that it actually exists. I park across the street and get out of the car, heart pounding, already feeling a little ashamed of myself. My face reddens a little as I walk towards the shop. I feel as if all eyes are on me, aware of what I am up to.

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Life in Sohar: Jenny Far Away’s First Impressions of Oman

Did you know that in Oman, if you run a red light, you can face a fine of 500 rials (about USD $1300) and four days in jail? Yup. They take their red lights seriously here. This is just one of the many, many things I’ve learned about life here in Oman. I’ve been in Sohar for two weeks now. I’m adjusting, slowly, and will be really settling in and doing more exploring as soon as my home is ready to move into. I can’t wait for that. But in the meantime, here are a few of my first impressions of Oman.

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