The Working Traveller Hits the Middle East

The Working Traveller Hits the Middle East

For the next two to three months The Working Traveller is going to be concentrating on the Middle East. Why? Because that’s where we are now.

We left our home in Turkey in October and, after spending three months visiting family in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, eating cheese and shouting at our sub dial up internet connection, reached Egypt in the beginning of January.

No Camels or Horses on the Beach in Dahab, EgyptWe are in Dahab, in the Sinai peninsula, and not really doing a great deal. This town is like that. We are travel slugs at the best of times but Dahab has made us worse than usual, restricting our routine to eating, drinking a beer or two and puffing on sheeshas.

This wasn’t unexpected. Part of the reason we flew in to Dahab, instead of Cairo, was I knew the town (it’s too small to be called a city despite what the locals say) would be a good place to get some work done and guessed there would be the internet connections to do so.

The dreadful i-net connections endured in the UK have left us way behind with job posts to the Jobs Abroad Bulletin and in need of a few extra emergency back up articles for this blog. (Tonight, as I’m writing this, is a case in point. It rained in Dahab, something I suspect doesn’t happen too often to judge by the novel fuss that greeted the storm. The electricity went off, the water went off, the roof leaked and dripped onto the bed and the WiFi stopped working.) If you listen closely you may hear the world’s smallest violin playing in the background as I tell you that, in the past week or so, I have been outside the hostel twice in daylight in an effort to catch up (or fritter away time on Twitter and surfing the web).

Our journey will really begin when we head to Cairo to revisit some old haunts and explore some new parts of the city. From there we hope to travel home to Didim through Jordan and Syria. I say hope because plan would be too strong a word. We don’t have a Syrian visa and are hoping to test the opinion we may be able to get one at the border.

We had hoped to take this journey this time last year but illness and problems getting the deeds to our home meant it got cancelled.

We would like to visit Lebanon too but feel that getting into Syria twice without a visa is probably pushing it. Lebanon could be a future destination though as Turkish Airlines fly there regularly from Izmir and this would make a more interesting visa run than our usual three monthly trips to Kos or Samos.

One place I hope to visit is Northern Iraq if I can convince Deirdre it’s safe to do so. I have been keeping an eye on the situation on the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree for some time and, more recently, through the excellent work of some other travel bloggers I regularly read.

I’ve been pointing out to her for a while that Earl did this and Anil said that in attempts to sway her and was pleased to spot the New York Times recently suggesting that the region is one of 41 Places to Go in 2011.

I’m looking forward to blogging on the move. It has been a while since we took a long trip and the previous times we did so The Working Traveller didn’t exist, JAB was a monthly newsletter and our other site, the Overseas Job Centre, could be attended to as and when I felt it necessary.

Wherever we go The Working Traveller is likely to see a change of direction for a while, focusing more on us and what we are doing and on the countries we are visiting. We may still include some stuff about other regions of the globe, working abroad and general travel topics but how many, how often, I don’t know. I guess not knowing how things will turn out is part of the fun of doing something new.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Mike Lenzen

    I’m looking forward to reading about your exploits in the middle east. That area is definitely on my to go list. Maybe 2012…

    Keep us up to date on your plans for Iraq, I’m curious to see if you deem it safe to travel to or not. I’d love to check it out, but I’ll need some compelling evidence attesting to it’s safety to convince my wife Ashley.

    1. Thanks Mike, I hope you do make it here in 2012, the region is definitely worth a visit and we are looking forward to exploring more once our trip properly starts.

      I’m chipping away at Deirdre with regards to Iraq but we’ll have to wait and see if we actually make it there.

  2. Good luck in Dahab! I absolutely love it there. I visited twice in 2010 and I enjoyed just lounging by the sea at Sham’s Restaurant, lying in a pile of pillows while stargazing on the rooftop hangouts along the sea. If you ever need any tips on Dahab, be sure to let me know. If you get over to Sham’s Restaurant make sure you tell the guy that stands out front trying to get people to come in (mohammed) that Ryan says Hi! Enjoy yourself…

    1. Thanks. It is a great place. We’ve barely done a thing.

      It’s possible I was chatting to Mohammed a day or two ago (could very easily have been another Mohammed though). We’ll probably be over there in the next day or two again and I’ll say hi to him for you.

  3. Natalie

    I never knew you was in the Middle East Shane. Only just got back into routine after having it full on here so not had change to read other blogs. Looking forward to your posts though, especially on Syria.

    1. I’m particularly looking forward to Syria too, having heard so many good things about the place. Fingers crossed they let us in.

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