Isn’t It Iranic?

The taproot of the tree of civilization, Iran. While the USA is an entity less than a quarter a millennium young, Iran’s recorded history bows back 5000 years. At its height, about 500 B.C., Persia controlled more than 2.9 million square miles of land spanning three continents, east into India, south to Egypt, westward to […]

Dhows, Souqs, and Mosques of Oman with Atlas Obscura

Explore the treasures of Oman, from the dunes and oases of the desert to a vibrant coastline rich in fortifications, historic port cities, and tropical gardens. February 26th -March 5th, 2018 Combining breathtaking natural beauty with a well-preserved cultural heritage, the Sultanate of Oman is one of the most overlooked tourist destinations in the Middle […]

Nevada: Stories from the Road Teaser

They say there are no shortcuts to any place worth going. I’m about to head out on a storied road, an adventure-filled and romantic road that winds the long way through the backside of Nevada, from Las Vegas to Reno. Yes you could fly this connection in minutes. You could drive the freeway in a […]

Where in the World Are You? Quest #35

Where are you? You’re in a land of 10,000 tales. A state of mind. The most mountainous state with over 300 ranges, and the driest state. You’re in a place that celebrates no fences and makes no judgments. What an otherworldly place! A lot of trekkies make a pilgrimage here because this is the place […]

Brian Monnin & The Galapagos Kids

Some years ago I put together a book, Paths Less Traveled, for which I dispatched well-known authors to adventure destinations and asked them to write of their experience. Tom Robbins reported from Tanzania; Bobbie Ann Mason from New Zealand; Edward Hoagland from Yemen; Roy Blount, Jr. from the Amazon, and on. For the Galapagos I […]

The Hills of Mars (Saudi Arabia)

Madakhil Camp, Madain Saleh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In the high-sandstone cliffs of Al-Hajar there are slot canyons more spectacular than anything in the American Southwest. This is part of the UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site at Madain Saleh, featuring enormous tombs reminiscent of Petra in Jordan, which makes sense as they were connected to the […]

Richard’s Picks: Best Hotels in the World, Spring 2016

In the early days of Expedia.com, our business strategy was based on the agency model; taking a small commission on every hotel booking. Problem was, it usually cost more to process a booking than the commission brought in, so what we lost in margin we made up for in volume. Then a brilliant colleague proposed […]

Puerto Rico’s Central Region / Porta Cordillera

The Cordillera Central is a land of innocence, of new beginnings, of fertility, of pure, clean water and abundance. This is a place unfit for civilization, but the fruit of the tree of adventure is plucked here. From its lodges, to its caves, it ziplines to its trails, adventure is the vitalizing element here. Adventure […]

Puerto Rico’s South Region / Porta Caribe

Ponce, Puerto Rico’s second-largest city, was founded in the late 17th century. The city experienced a commercial boom in the 19th, then declined so quickly that no one had time to tear anything down. The center of town is crowded with wedding-cake colonial mansions, arrayed in a procession of balconies, balustrades, and bas-relief. The Island’s […]

Puerto Rico’s West Region: Porta del Sol

We interview Tomas Ramirez, owner of Combate Beach Hotel, a former pharmaceutical executive who fell in love with the West and bought this boutique hotel on the beach. He speaks to the laid-back, chill nature of the region. The Island’s Relaxed and Laid-Back Side To stand at the edge of the sea; to sense the […]