Destination: Desert. We Are Moving to Oman!

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There are big changes ahead. Carsten and I are finally escaping the urban jungle of NYC and moving to – of all places – Oman! Carsten has been hired as a scuba instructor/ canyoning tour guide and I am in for the adventure of it all. I don’t really know what to expect and would love to hear about your experiences and advice about living in the Middle East.

Moving to the desert was the farthest thing from my mind when we started researching scuba destinations, but I am very excited about experiencing a different sort of beauty. This move has made me think fondly of the best trip I’ve ever taken: Visiting Morocco with five friends in the winter of 2005. There is something about traveling abroad with a group that, when it works, is the most fun you’ll ever have. These are some of the photos I managed to scrounge up from the trip.

In the middle of our whirlwind tour of Tangier, Marrakech, and Fez in 5 days, the six of us managed to pile into an old Mercedes Benz taxicab for a 9 hour ride to the edge of the Sahara. The only guests at the hotel, we were treated to a midnight feast of couscous with chicken tagine and let outside to meet our very own camels. Trekking across the desert by moonlight under the star-filled sky of the Sahara was one of the best moments of my life. We spent the night in canvas tents, sipping mint tea and watching our Berber guides play the conga drums, and awoke to watch the sunrise over the dunes.



  1. Matt Landers

    While missing that Morocco trip remains one of my biggest regrets, at least I know that you brought my hat and gloves to the Sahara! And I am THRILLED to read about your adventures in Oman. Please, please do send me a postcard. The letters and postcards you used to send are amazing and I still have them all. And, of course, I will return the favor if you send me an address. Good luck IJfke!

  2. Ang

    How exciting Ijfke!!! when do you leave?
    Matt, we missed you in Morocco, it was not the same without our amazing tour guide!
    Ijfke, keep me in the loop of your adventures! good to see these pictures, I still have the ones you took and gave me!

    • Matt

      Ang – I have no more contact info for you – I’d love to catch up some time. E-mail me at mwlanders (at) gmail sometime!

  3. Elisa

    Ahh memories! Do you remember how many shooting stars we saw that night in the Sahara? And how all the stars seemed so big and bright, they looked more like fireworks that could fall on us at any moment. Such an amazing trip! 🙂 I can’t wait to hear about all your adventures in Oman, I hope I can visit!

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