Mathiveri Island, Maldives
What a month and a half.

After leading my latest India tour in October, a friend and I went to Nepal in order to relax and catch up on work among the beautiful Himalayas. What we didn’t realize is that Kathmandu is the third most polluted city on the planet (who knew?) so our stay there knocked us down a bit, inhaling all that dusty, dirty air.

Luckily, we soon ventured up to Nagarkot, a hilltop village 30 kilometers from Kathmandu, with stunning mountain views (8 of the 13 Himalayan ranges are visible from this village), a quiet, extremely laid-back atmosphere and thankfully, fresh, clean air to breathe.

Five days here and we were back to feeling 100%.

This was the view from the balcony at the perfectly situated Hotel Himalayan Villa…

Nagarkot, Nepal - Himalayas

On to…the Maldives!!!!

From Nagarkot, we then moved on to a destination that I had always wanted to visit for many, many years.

Finally, I made it to the Maldives!

And it was out of this world. In fact, it was so out of this world that I’m going to dedicate 3 posts over the next couple of weeks to this one destination. The best part is that my visit was not some ultra-luxurious, ultra-expensive experience. It turns out that visiting the Maldives can absolutely be done on a budget.

Yes, surreal tropical islands, gorgeous white sand beaches, some of the best snorkeling I’ve ever seen anywhere, excursions to swim with manta rays and dolphins in the wild (where you’ll be the only people around), flavorful Maldivian food and so much more can be had for an absolute fraction of what you think it would cost. I really had no idea this was possible, but it is.

Check this out…a short Youtube video I made from the stunning white sand beach on Mathiveri Island (I’ve never seen clearer water!):

Pretty sweet I must say. Again, more posts coming real soon about visiting this paradise on a budget! 

Right now I’m in…Oman

Oman was one of the last Middle Eastern countries I’d yet to visit and with cheap flights from the Maldives to most destinations in this region, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I just arrived yesterday and while it’s a short four day stay, I’m curious to discover some of what this country is about.

So far, Muscat, the capital, is unlike any other city I’ve ever seen. A sprawling collection of neighborhoods spread out over the desert and leading right up to the sea. In a few minutes I’ll be heading out for dinner, tea and shisha at a local cafe along the water, near the old city. Let’s see how it goes!

And I will say this…every single person I’ve encountered since my arrival in Oman (airport staff, taxi drivers, waitstaff, people in the street and more) has been extremely kind and helpful. So much so that it really sticks out in my mind as a defining aspect of this visit so far.

Wandering Earl on Instagram

On a separate note, yes, I’m finally on Instagram (@WanderingEarl)! I’ve been posting random daily photos from wherever I happen to be in the world if you want to follow along. (Of course you do!) I’m actually about to post a photo of the impressive Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque here in Muscat.

Have a wonderful rest of your week!