Why I went to Oman

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March 12, 2014
On the road: Las Vegas to Denver
April 24, 2014

Why I went to Oman

why i went to oman
why i went to oman

 

Oman is a country off most travelers’ radar. It’s a tad isolated on the end of the Arabian Peninsula and suffers from its geography. It is often wrongly lumped into a group of unstable, unsafe, war-torn Middle Eastern countries. This is unfair and incorrect.

 

Oman is a peaceful country and a safe and secure destination for travelers. It’s a friendly place with an extraordinary landscape that should be witnessed by more foreigners. It’s also got a fascinating culture and people who are curious and willing to share their way of life with outsiders.

 

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What do you know about Oman?

 

I’ll be honest. Before I traveled to Oman, I knew little about the country. I had traveled through Syria, Lebanon, Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, and Egypt back in 2007 and I found those countries fascinating. Although it was safe enough when I was there, you can’t hide the fact that that part of the Middle East is a turbulent and at times, insecure place. Oman is different.

 

How different? I wondered. Is Oman an oil and gas rich state like the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, with high rises and luxury shopping? Or is it more like Yemen, a place I have long been captivated by (but never been to)? Will it be filled with foreign-born workers? And will those migrants be treated humanely? Will it still have a rich cultural heritage and strong traditions? Or have they been lost in Oman’s push to modernize? How about the desert landscape? Does the country have issues with water shortages?

 

These were the topics I was most interested in learning about as I arrived in Oman for the first time.

 

why i went to oman

 

 

How I got the opportunity to travel to Oman

 

I got my chance to visit Oman as part of a photography Project by Oman in Focus. This Muscat-based photography studio invited a number of international photographers, including Juno Kim, to the country. The objective was simple: travel around Oman, shoot photos, put Oman on the map with social media exposure, and prepare for a photography exhibition. It was an honor to be part of this group of photographers and I was grateful for the chance to see Oman.

 

In ten days we got a great introduction to this country, ranked 45th on the global peace index. We crossed inhospitable mountains in Land Cruisers, visited remote villages, toured old forts, swam in springs, watched sea turtles make their way home, and encountered endless smiles and handshakes of Omani people.

 

As I post more from Oman, you’ll find the articles here: Posts from Oman

 

oman in focus

 

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Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno
Stephen Bugno has been traveling the world and writing about it for the better part of 15 years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad magazine. He blogs at Bohemian Traveler and edits the independent travel magazine GoMadNomad.com. He most recently set up a tour company offering authentic, small group tours at Unquote Travel. Follow him on Google +, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

2 Comments

  1. Wonderful! I too am making a journey in a few short weeks to Qatar, another Middle Eastern country off most traveller’s radars. I’m very excited about this prospect and can’t wait to see what I will learn about a country I admittedly know very little about, just like you and Oman. It’s such a cool idea to invite people like you and Juno to share photos like this. I bet their tourism is going to take off!

  2. Thanks Colleen, hope you enjoy Qatar. Interested in hearing how that differs from Oman.

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