Category: Travel

Nahal Tse'Elim, Negev, Israel 20

Hiking Nahal Tse’Elim in the Negev

Keeping with 2017’s theme of doing shit that brings me joy, I went on a group hike again, this time to Nahal Tse’Elim, in the Negev.  I love the outdoors.  I love hiking.  And I love the sense of self-sufficiency that I’m gaining the more I explore the world around me. This hike was short (7km out and back) and non-technical. No pressure to go faster or get back by...

HaMakhtesh HaKatan in the Negev, Israel 20

Five Things I Learned Hiking HaMakhtesh HaKatan in the Negev

Hiking in the Negev in Israel is as beautiful as it sounds, and something I’ve wanted to do since we arrived a few years ago.  As our time in Jerusalem is growing short, I ditched my spouse and kids, and signed up for a group hike in the HaMakhtesth HaKaton, a small crater in the Nagev.  The Makhtesh Katan is one of five craters in Israel, and seven in the...

Free things to do in Jerusalem with kids 22

Free Things to do in Jerusalem with Kids

It’s easy to bleed money when we’re traveling. It’s also easy to bleed money living in a city like Jerusalem. Lucky us, there are lots of free things to do in Jerusalem with kids. Explore the Old City The Old City in Jerusalem is beautiful and full of history. Whether you’re exploring the Church of the Holy Supulcre, walking the Via Delorosa, or visiting the Western Wall (aka the Kotel),...

Easy Desserts - Chocolate Covered Dates 12

Palestinian Desserts – Chocolate Covered Dates Stuffed with Pecans

Chocolate covered dates are an easy beginning to my foray into Palestinian desserts.  They’re a special occasion treat, something that I’ve seen mostly in small quantities at iftars or to be sold to tourists at artisan markets.  The dates are delicious and rich, a perfect accompaniment for coffee, but not something to be consumed in large quantities. I’ve had chocolate covered dates several times now, and each time I tell myself...

Celebrating Holidays Abroad 34

Celebrating Holidays Abroad – Reasons to Love It

Holidays are tough.  For everyone.  All over the world.  I’ve been celebrating the winter holidays abroad for a long time (in 10+ years abroad, I’ve spent three Christmases in the States).  Despite that, I’m finding that as this holiday season begins, I’m more homesick than usual.  I’m missing friends and family and pumpkin spice lattes.  Which is not to say that the life of an expat is not pretty damn...

Equatorial Guinea 4

Next stop, Equatorial Guinea!

I am damn pleased to announce that I’ve accepted a handshake to be the Management Officer at Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. We’ll leave Jerusalem next April, spend several months in DC, then arrive in Malabo in January 2018. This is a bit insider baseball to those not familiar with the Foreign Service, but very briefly, just because we get jobs as diplomats doesn’t guarantee awesome postings for the rest of our...

Machu Picchu, Peru 17

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a once-in-a-lifetime hike that everyone should do. The bulk of the ruins are easy walks that can be done with toddlers or parents, and there hikes for the more adventuresome as well.  There are a million blgoposts detailing the history of Machu Picchu. Go read them. I’m going to describe our amazing day here . We woke up before dawn to take the train to Agues Calientes,...

Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley, Peru 18

Inca Ruins, Ollantaytambo

So we’d have enough time to explore the Inca ruins in Ollantaytambo (or Ollanta), we spent several nights there, using it as our base to explore the Sacred Valley.  Ollantaytambo was the site of the Inca’s last resistance against the Spanish, and sits at over 9,000 feet above sea level. Yes. That’s high. But not as high as some of the touristing we did on our way in through the Sacred...

Olive Picking at the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem 14

Olive Picking on the Mount of Olives

Saturday morning, we drove to the Mount of Olives and picked olives as Jerusalemites have been doing for thousands of years. The technique of harvesting olives is simple.  Wait until the olives begin to ripen, then rake the lives out of a tree. In our case, at the Lutheran World Federation, the caretakers had spread thick black tarps under the tree to catch the olives as we raked them. After...

Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley, Peru 20

Exploring the Sacred Valley in Peru

After almost a week in Lima, it was a relief to arrive in Cuzco and begin touring the Sacred Valley in Peru. We’d planned three nights in Ollantaytambo and one night in Cuzco. It sounded reasonable, but in retrospect, we should have added another few nights and cut short our return trip through Lima. After landing in Cuzco, we hopped in a car with the guide we’d arranged through our...