Sketching Sites: Aqaba, Jordan from the Art of Exploration.

In the Spring. Sun Blazing, the Red Sea, still, cool with Spring. I sit over Cafe Salaam, coffee, freshly roasted with cardamom and a handful of roasted nuts, wedged between an abundance of potted sage and a crumbling banister. This is where I sketched one of my favorite pieces of art. just on the Red Sea in Jordan, working on my Novel. q

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Interview with Maria Rochelle

What an immense pleasure it was joining fellow author Maria Rochelle in what became quite a revealing conversation… A discussion on travel, literature, writing, life, love and losing oneself in the beautiful madness of all things.

How To Tagine: Your Recipe to Taste, See, & Smell Morocco. Feat. The Ethnic Spoon.

It was 2012. While the rest of humanity prepared for the Mayan Apocalypse, I was in the process of selling off ALL my belongings, the profits of which went towards a one-way ticket to Africa and a few months of vagabonding to, you know, "figure out my life." While researching my first stop --a little … Continue reading How To Tagine: Your Recipe to Taste, See, & Smell Morocco. Feat. The Ethnic Spoon.

On the Road Less Traveled : A Personal Essay on the Path of Most Resistance and the Adventure That is Life.

Don't be victimized by the culture of fear. Our planet is waiting to be explored, to reveal it's secrets to you, to me, to any who dare ask, it will expose you to the raw truths of life. To the quarks of distant cultures and alien tongues. To disgusting foods and delicious cuisines, to dangerous and countless blessings. Nicholas Andriani's personal essay on travel, adventure, and taking the Road Less Traveled whether that means hitting the Sahara or striking up a conversation in a coffee shop. It's all an adventure.

Sketching Sights: Istanbul, City on the Edge (Art. Travel. Writing. Islam. Architecture)

The Bosphorus splits Istanbul in two parts. A rift in the madness of Europe and Asia, drifting between bodies of fresh and salt water cooling the heated passion of a most ancient urban jungle. The hot, hot, heat of human movement generates organized chaos as this great strait, this rift, cushions the blow, keeping this … Continue reading Sketching Sights: Istanbul, City on the Edge (Art. Travel. Writing. Islam. Architecture)

Prologue to a Memoir: A Rough Draft, a Novel, a Working Confesson.

A strange thing happens when you begin to contemplate the end. It’s as if setting such a definitive goal opens the world to endless possibilities: a phone is buzzing,

From the Rooftops of Granada — an excerpt from my manuscript for ‘The Outsider.’ A Confessional Memoir/Novel on Identity, Love, Travel and Revolution in the Arab Spring.

I mean, it's not cheating if nothing happens. Oh, but emotions run deep. Which begs the question: What’s worse, an emotional or a physical affair?

NaNoWriMo : Into the Wild

Earlier this year, I set a goal to finish a solid draft of my memoir and to achieve this mission i'm going into the wild, er, offline... A MONTHLONG period away from social media, the internet, ethernet and all those nets, in an archaic approach to finish this labor of love that i'm damn excited … Continue reading NaNoWriMo : Into the Wild

Rally For A Two-State Solution

Last weekend I took part in a polarizing protest. And, I want you to know, dear reader, before proceeding, that I hold no anti-muslim nor anti-semitic sentiments. My opinion is neither religious (for some they sure have made it out to be) nor ethnic (for some they sure have made it out to be). I'll let my … Continue reading Rally For A Two-State Solution

On Arabic Sweets and the Middle East: Kunafa and the Secret Recipe!

kunafa recipe travel blog explore and adventure to aqaba jordan middle east

All of these things are true... I had been in Jordan for several weeks and my love affair with Arabian sweets had reached a lofty peak. In fact, I would begin and end each day with a platter of pastries, smothered in honeys and syrups that would flood through heaps of pistachios on my plate. Then it happened... I … Continue reading On Arabic Sweets and the Middle East: Kunafa and the Secret Recipe!

Sketching Sights: Galata Tower (Istanbul, Turkey)

Like a great minaret, the Galata Tower represents so much more than meets the eye. Built in 1348 as the re-imagining of an earlier structure the tower has gone from hosting inmates, as a prison, to holding great secrets as an observatory for the astrologer Takıyeddin Efendi. What's more, Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi the 17th century aviator... if you … Continue reading Sketching Sights: Galata Tower (Istanbul, Turkey)

Islamic Art: An Exhibit

It's safe to say that the visual arts have always been an extremely inspirational medium to me. This is especially true when it comes to Islamic Art. The heavy use of geometrical forms and the rhythm of mingling patterns that move in harmony with passages from the Quran. Traditionally, many schools of Islamic thought have … Continue reading Islamic Art: An Exhibit

My First Guest Post: Uncovering the Shores of Aqaba

I've met some great people through this blog, twitter and other social media outlets. One person in particular stands out as someone whom I feel especially lucky to have met, the talented creator behind For The Intolerants, JoAnna. JoAnna and I have a lot of similar interests, as do many travel bloggers; exploring exotic lands, … Continue reading My First Guest Post: Uncovering the Shores of Aqaba

Hookah of the Magic Bowl

For several months the hookah served as an icebreaker as I worked my way around the Middle East. Embracing the culture, I learned to appreciate the traditions and social norms attached to this symbol of community. While the beginnings of this exotic device are unclear, several sources from the 16th century mention a "water pipe" … Continue reading Hookah of the Magic Bowl

Sketching Sights: Hagia Sophia

Istanbul, Turkey Stay tuned for next weeks post on my visit to the Hagia Sophia. A little history, modern romanticism, photos... all that good stuff. Yallah, bye!

8765.81 days later…

Foolproof calculation suggests that I'm in fact 24 years old. 8765.81 days to be exact! Birthday celebrations always bring to mind the activities of birthdays past and the miles in between, many of which were spent among family back in Texas or as most recently over brunch with loved ones. A year ago however you … Continue reading 8765.81 days later…

On the Road

So this is where it all began. On an archaeological dig out in Jordan I found myself spending a little too much time wandering aimlessly through the country. After the longest, sleepless, most bone chilling night camping out in Petra I found these beautiful creatures. Running through the narrow Siq I was more than ready to get back … Continue reading On the Road