Posts By iylana

Costa Rica has always been a popular vacation spot and now that we've been, we can see why: it's easy, laid back, and fun! We were looking for a short trip where we could unwind from the craziness of our full time jobs and relax at the beach, while also getting a little adventure in. Costa Rica is the perfect…

You hear it over and over again, but packing light is truly one of the keys to a successful vacation. It means getting to your destination faster, not having to worry about losing your luggage on the flight, navigating public transportation easier, less sweat, less trouble. Here's a few tips to help free yourself from the burden of an overpacked bag.…

I'll be honest, our first two trips to Istanbul, we weren't all that impressed with the cuisine we were eating. That probably has to do with the fact that we kept ordering the same dish, kebap, hoping it would be similar to the incredible Persian kebap Shane grew up with. But once I got ahold of Biber Dolması, I feel…

This past winter we spent three weeks in Israel and Jordan, an itinerary that for many includes the famous carved city of Petra. We all know it from Indiana Jones, but few could tell you what it actually is. So if you've found yourself planning a trip to Petra without really knowing anything about the area, I highly recommend picking up…

From ancient cities to hot diving spots, Jordan has something for everyone and is definitely worthy of a place on your bucket list. After spending a week and a half visiting this incredible country, we've come up with the top 15 reasons to visit Jordan: Wadi Rum is definitely an out-of-this-world experience. Here's our adorable bedouin hosts treating us to some music and…

Amman is the first stop for many travelers heading into Jordan. Having crossed the Wadi Araba land border from Israel, we traversed the country from South to North, ending our journey with a single day to explore the capital city before flying out of Queen Alia airport. Built on 20 or so hills, Amman isn't the most pedestrian friendly city,…

The eastern arm of Jordan is a large, nearly desolate desert that few tourists venture into. What they're missing out on is a handful of hunting lodges and retreats built by the Umayyad rulers in the late 600's, that together with the Azraq Fort have come to be known collectively as the "desert castles". A few of these structures are situated…

If you're a woman planning a trip to the Middle East, you've undoubtedly questioned what is acceptable to wear. Visiting in the summer means it can be quite tricky to keep cool while staying modest (check out my Egypt packing list for ideas on that). But if you're visiting in winter, it's easy because you'll want to be bundled up anyway!…

Imagine digging a foundation for your home and coming across ancient mosaics that had lain undisturbed for more than 1,000 years. When 90 families moved to Madaba, Jordan in 1880, this is exactly what happened. As part of a Christian minority, these families were relocated to escape the oppressive circumstances of their village in southern Jordan. Imagine their delight in finding fragments of a Christian…

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