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Private spa at Suiran / Image via Agoda

Serene Japanese ryokan with private onsen in Kyoto

Picture yourself sitting on the tatami mats in your private room, enjoying a cup of tea. You step out on to the deck of your private garden and slip out of your yukata nightrobe for a nighttime (or daytime) dip in your private tub, surrounded by a bright green carefully sculpted and curated garden. What more could one ask for? What is a ryokan? A ryokan (旅館)  is...

Tiny towns in Istria, Croatia straight out of fairy tales

Sure, everyone is talking about Croatia these days, especially in the wake of the tremendously successful and picturesque Game of Thrones filmings. Dubrovnik, Split, Zagreb. All ubiquitous and all completely crowded. Interested in Croatia but not crowds and trends? Have you heard of Istria? Croatia is generally regarded to be composed of four regions: the famous...

Beautiful vaulted arch passageway at the Shah Mosque in Isfahan

Reflections on traveling as an American in 2020

My country’s actions weigh heavy on my heart this week. I’ve grown up during pointless war after pointless war while my country itself festers from not taking care of its own people. I realize much of my privilege in being able to travel stems from previous generations of my family serving and receiving educational benefits from the G.I. Bill. I’m...

Landscape of the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan

Where to camp with Bedouins in Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan

Welcome back to Wondrous Paths! Thanks for everyone still reading and here’s my latest in a post series on Jordan. My favorite part of my trip was the Jordanian famous red sand desert, Wadi Rum. This otherworldly desert is definitely something every visitor to Jordan should make a top priority to see. I know many people just come for Petra and leave, but it’s worth...

Blue Mosque view in Istanbul

How to explore Istanbul’s Old City, Sultanahmet

If you’re new to Istanbul, chances are you are going to be spending time in the Old City, a.k.a. the Sultanahmet neighborhood. Sultanahmet is located in the Fatih district of Istanbul, on the southeast coast of the European side.  Sultanahmet is the oldest part of Istanbul, and was historically known as Constantinople and Byzantium.  Sightseeing in...