Why I Traveled To Yemen For My Vacation

Why I Traveled To Yemen For My Vacation

By |2016-07-21T23:46:37-04:00April 30th, 2013|Yemen|156 Comments

Travel to Yemen - Burra Mountains, Yemen

A few weeks ago, I decided that I needed to take a vacation. I just needed to get offline for a while and take a short break from the blog. I don’t take such breaks often but a little time away every now and then sure seems like a wise idea in order to keep me fresh and motivated as much as possible.

So, I began brainstorming potential vacation destinations, thinking long and hard about where I should go…

Perhaps a simple hut on a white sand beach or a quiet mountain retreat? Maybe some picturesque European town or Melbourne, Australia, where many of my friends live?


After talking with my good friend Anil from FoxNomad.com and discovering that he was also up for a blog vacation and a unique adventure, I remembered a particular destination that we had both been interested in traveling to for quite some time. And that was all it took. In an istant we settled on what, at least to us, seemed like quite an ideal place to visit.

Off we went…

On April 20th, at 2.30am, our flight from Istanbul landed at Sana’a International Airport. I obtained my tourist visa sticker from the visa counter, passed through the immigration inspection and collected my backpack. I then took a deep breath before stepping outside into the dark unknown, with the simple words that the immigration officer had said to me while stamping my passport playing over and over again in my mind. All he had said, with a big smile on his face, was…

You have curly hair. Welcome to Yemen. Thank you for coming here.

Sanaa, Yemen

Travel To Yemen?

I know, it’s probably not the destination that most people would think of when they decide to take some time off from work. Not only that, but if you take a moment to look at the websites of almost every Western government, I’m quite certain that the various warnings you’d read would convince you never to step foot in this country…ever.

US Government: “The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the high security threat level in Yemen due to terrorist activities and civil unrest. The Department urges U.S. citizens not to travel to Yemen. U.S. citizens currently in Yemen should depart. The U.S. Embassy in Sana’a remains a restricted staffing post. As staff levels at the embassy are restricted, our ability to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency remains limited and may be further constrained by the fluid security situation. The security threat level in Yemen is extremely high.”

UK Government: “The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Yemen and strongly urge British nationals to leave now. If you don’t leave the country now while commercial carriers are still flying it is extremely unlikely that the British government will be able to evacuate you or provide consular assistance. The situation in Yemen remains volatile with continuing unrest and violent clashes. The threat of an escalation of violence and disorder remains. There is a high threat from terrorism throughout Yemen. Terrorists continue to threaten further attacks. There is a high threat of kidnap from armed tribes, criminals and terrorists.”

The question then becomes, “Why would I travel to Yemen? Why would I spend 9 days in a country that appears to be so dangerous?

The answer is easy. This is my drug, it is my ‘high’. Traveling to these kind of destinations, destinations that few people know anything about and that fewer people seem to visit, regardless of whether or not they seem safe, brings me the most satisfaction. It also provides me with the most interesting and eye-opening of experiences by placing me far out of my comfort zone, something that is difficult to reach these days after 13 years on the road.

As most of you know, I want to see the world with my own eyes in order to gain a better understanding about the cultures and people that call this planet home. And with the blog, I am then able to share my experiences in an attempt to break down the collection of inaccuracies, assumptions and misunderstandings that we all have about parts of the world we are really not so familiar with. This is why I travel.

And as simple as that may sound, that’s exactly why I went to Yemen.

My Guides in Yemen

This is also why I have traveled to Lebanon, Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan. It is why I like to spend so much time in India and Mexico and why I lived in Romania, traveled around Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia and so on.

Do I now claim to be an expert on Yemen just because I just spent 9 days there? Absolutely not. But what I do claim is to have seen a decent amount of the country, to have spoken with a good amount of local people and to have gained a much better understanding about this part of the world. And I also have a much better idea as to whether or not this country is a good destination for travelers, something that I will discuss in more detail in the coming weeks.

(I do want to mention that our trip was organized by the wonderful people at Eternal Yemen, a local tour operator based in Sana’a. The reason we used a tour operator is because it is much harder to obtain a tourist visa without going through one and in addition, given the limited tourism infrastructure, you can’t travel independently to many destinations. The only option is to have a driver and guide take you around and you need to obtain travel permits as well. We chose Eternal Yemen simply because of the positive reviews we found online and their impressive service during our email interactions with them. And after meeting the owners and their staff, I would definitely recommend them to anyone thinking about visiting Yemen as well.)

What Is There To See In Yemen?

I must admit that before I traveled to Yemen, I knew almost nothing about what I would find there…turns out I could have stayed for 9 months and probably still not seen it all. In the end, I had to skip many places that I wanted to see and believe me, the list of worthy destinations to visit is remarkably long for a country that sees not even a trickle of tourists passing through these days.

From the mesmerizing old city of Sana’a, to towns and villages such as Shibam, Kawkaban, Manakh, Mahweet, Al-Hajarah, Tawila and more, many of which are perched in the most improbable of locations and appear to have changed little in hundreds of years. There were the colorful canyons, the lush green valleys stretching as far as one can see and the Burra and Haraz mountain ranges, all of which offer landscapes that literally seem out-of-this-world.

Al-Hajarah, Yemen

And I haven’t even mentioned Socotra Island, a truly isolated and alien-esque Yemeni island located in the Indian Ocean, where we spent 3 days, an island that can only be described as a place you MUST see with your own eyes in order to believe it. (Just wait until I write more about this place…for now, here’s two photos to give you a small taste!)

Socotra Island, Yemen

Dragon's Blood Tree, Socotra Island, Yemen

The above destinations, combined with dozens of cups of tea per day, afternoon qat sessions with the locals (chewing a mildly intoxicating leaf for hours on end), military checkpoints, armed escorts, food ranging from superb to bizarre, the most beautiful beaches on Earth, laid-back people, wedding celebrations, two strange flights, barely existent roads, hiking and camping, kaleshnikov guns, talking with students and teachers in remote schools, conspiracy theories, maze-like markets, traditional music and dancing and so much more, turned this trip into one of my favorite trips I have ever been on in all of my travels.

Sure, some things abut Yemen confused me, some things made no sense to me, some things certainly were frustrating or did not align with what I believe is right in this world. But as a travel destination, especially one that manages to truly open the eyes of visitors to a land, culture and people that few of us are at all familiar with, Yemen could not have been better.

Burra Mountain villages, Yemen

Why Did I Keep Yemen A Secret?

To be honest, I was a bit scared. Since I was not fully aware of what the actual safety situation would be for a foreigner, and after reading the government warnings I listed above and hearing such mixed reports about current security issues, I thought it best to keep my whereabouts unknown in order to be as safe as possible.

Was it safe in the end? Well, I’ll dedicate an entire post to that topic soon. Right now, all I’ll say is that I am extremely happy I traveled to Yemen and I never really felt as if I was in any real danger at any time during my trip. In fact, I wish I could have stayed for a much longer period of time.

This is probably why, as I sit here on the rooftop terrace of my guesthouse in Istanbul right now, where I flew to from Sana’a yesterday morning, I often find myself lost in thought, quietly repeating the word “Yemen” dozens of times in a row. Yemen. Yemen. Yemen. I honestly cannot believe that I was just there, that all of the experiences and interactions of the past 9 days actually occurred.

It will take some time for me to process everything that happened but I do know that I have so much I want to share about this trip and I can’t wait to tell you about it all!

What do you think of when you think of Yemen? Do you know much about the country? Any questions?

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  1. Eliza November 16, 2018 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    Hi! I’m going to Yemen to work for an aid organization in the beginning of 2019. What’s the situation for western women there? Did you see any?

    • Derek November 17, 2018 at 6:23 pm - Reply

      Hey Eliza – I definitely did not see any western women there. You will definitely need to take great care while there.

    • salem December 25, 2018 at 2:08 am - Reply

      Hi Eliza- there are western women working here in Sana’a and even yemen local women

    • Nikos February 28, 2019 at 6:48 pm - Reply

      Hi eliza. how do you plan travelling to Yemen, when no commercial flights are landing there due to the civil war?

  2. Mario November 10, 2018 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    Interesting article. I find it a little egocentric to go to a country with serious safety risks. As soon as something happens a lot of people get involved and a lot of money has to be paid. All for the “high” of one single traveller.

    • Derek November 11, 2018 at 8:48 am - Reply

      While I understand that, there is also benefit in traveling to these places, benefit that goes beyond a simple ‘high’. It’s learning about and showing a country to others that basically gets no attention. Also, the people we met were extremely happy to interact with foreigners and to share time together, something they don’t get to do often. Such cultural interaction, especially when a country and its people gets so little attention or positive press, is quite valuable. It’s that kind of interaction that I believe could solve much of the world’s problems. Also, as experienced travelers to such regions, we certainly know how to limit the risks. I would not recommend traveling here if you haven’t been to such regions before.

  3. Hussam September 19, 2018 at 4:17 am - Reply

    Wellcom to yemen any time after war stop try to visit aden city 🙂

  4. Qais Ali April 7, 2017 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    Yemen is a wonderful country with wonderful and gracious people. The most hospitable of people you will ever encounter are Yemeni’s. I was born there and came to the U.S as an 8 year old. I have been back there many a times and every time has been a wonderful experience and journey. As of this moment Yemen is not a place you can travel too as they are in the middle of a war both from inside and outside the country. We are hoping that things will get back to normal soon and we can start to rebuild and make Yemen a must see destination for all people.

    Long live Yemen (Arabia Felix) and its people!

  5. Malek January 1, 2017 at 1:16 am - Reply

    I am a 38 male from Brooklyn NY who’s parents are from Yemen. I first went to yemen at approx. 6 years of age. I got so sick that I couldn’t fly back. I then returned to yemen at the age of 26 not knowing how to even speak arabic. The third day I got to Yemen I got married by a woman my mom picked . I went to learn my culture which was the best thing I have ever done. I became so humble after drying in yemen for 10 months .I wish I stayed longer. I didn’t get to see everything and my heritage is from that country . I am now happily married with my with and 3 great kids . Not sure it’s for everyone. but if you like to explore Yemen is the place to go . I can tell you a lot more about the culture .

  6. Destiny Boone December 14, 2016 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    I really want to go to Yemen, but I can’t find flights? Do you know where to look for flights, and how much the average round trip ticket/person would be coming from Texas?

    • Derek December 15, 2016 at 8:48 am - Reply

      Hey Destiny – It’s not possible to go there right now as they are in the middle of a war unfortunately and they are not issuing tourist visas as a result.

  7. Noor Nasser January 12, 2016 at 7:36 am - Reply

    Great article! Yemen looks amazing. How safe is Sana’a, inside the walled city?

    • Wandering Earl January 14, 2016 at 7:11 am - Reply

      Hey Noor – It was quite safe when I was there but these days I’d say it isn’t safe at all unfortuantely.

      • Noor Nasser January 15, 2016 at 8:02 pm - Reply

        Thanks for replying, Earl. Its a shame that such a beautiful country is in such a difficult time.

      • Gill January 17, 2016 at 7:25 pm - Reply

        Hi I lived in Aden 57/58 when I was about eight, then again in 66/67 through all the troubles when I was seventeen, my father was in the RAF, I have many photos and loved every minute I spent there, I would dearly love to visit again, my memories are the best ones of my life.

        • Sharman September 5, 2016 at 7:50 am - Reply

          I lived in Aden 1958/60. My Dad was RAF officer and we lived at Khormaksar in a guarded compound. My parents were posted there again in 1964-1966 but my brother and I were at boarding school so we only went for vacations. My mother worked for a bank and was there when a grenade was thrown through the window. I remember only going to school in the morning because it was so hot and many outings to the beach at the officers club. I had a great life of privilege but even at 8 years old was very aware of the immense poverty and hardship for many Yemenis. It would be good to connect to share memories. Thanks Earl for your blog. It is good to read news of the area. Refreshing change for mainstream news of drone strikes, bombed hospitals and all the killing that seems to be part of life in Yemen now.

  8. […] Why I Traveled to Yemen for My Vacation from Wandering Earl explores a destination for which I particularly want to see Socotra Island. Wandering Earl candidly discusses why he went: […]

  9. Cath September 23, 2015 at 12:45 am - Reply

    Such a wonderful article, can’t wait to head there by myself. And I feel for you, like literally, I can feel the emotion behind the words.

    Thank you.

  10. Rafael July 25, 2015 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    Do you know why is it so hard to find flights to Sana’a?

    • Wandering Earl July 26, 2015 at 12:26 am - Reply

      Probably due to the current situation with all of the fighting and bombing happening in the country.

  11. walid seraj July 24, 2015 at 5:51 am - Reply

    thank you very much . I am yemeni and live in yemen .yemen is very beatiful .you are welcome.

  12. Leah May 14, 2015 at 9:24 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for this post. I am from Detroit, Michigan in the states. I lived in Aden, Yemen in the summer of 2013 and from October 2014 until January 2015 when we got evacuated due to the situation.
    I was teaching English there, and my experience was absolutely unforgettable, inspiring, eye opening and humbling.
    I’m so glad you had a positive experience. If you have any questions about it, or what’s happening now politically, I have many contacts and close friends who are giving me updates in this cruel time of senseless war and power plays.
    The country is so beautiful and really should be exposed more for the beauty it has.
    I think you get my email in the post.
    Thank you again,

    • Emily July 30, 2015 at 10:12 pm - Reply


      I’m from the U.S. too and also taught English in Yemen! I lived in Taiz and left in March because of the situation. I was there for a year, it was an amazing experience! I’m hoping to be able to go back some day.

      • Samantha December 3, 2016 at 5:11 pm - Reply

        What took you both to teach in Yemen? It’s a place I have always wanted to visit, and I have been so sad to follow the news there during the war. Do either of you have any information on what it is like now? Or how people are doing there? I have read a few news articles, but just wondering what people think on the ground level.

        • Emily December 28, 2016 at 6:29 pm - Reply


          I was interested in the Middle East in general, and heard about a language institute that I could teach at through a friend. I ended up teaching at an international school instead of the language institute, and I miss it so much.

          I don’t have a whole lot of information about what’s happening now, but last I heard there was still a lot of fighting and bombing, particularly in Taiz. I believe a lot of people have moved to rural areas where it is safer, but many people still are having a lot of trouble getting access to food and medical care.

          How did you become interested in Yemen?

  13. Rafat April 26, 2015 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    Thanks for talking about my wonderful country to me that’s like the best state at country in the world I’m wishing to go to yemen but because of the war I cant

    • Dana September 7, 2019 at 8:48 am - Reply

      I looked up Eternal Yemen- and put myself on a wait list to travel there until after the conflict. I wish I could have taken the opportunity to go there before things really took a turn for the worse. I am like you- I feel so discontent with any travels that don’t take me a little out of my comfort zone

  14. Tareq April 2, 2015 at 10:16 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I was born in South of Yemen (Aden) and left when I was young (13 years old, I am now 46). I would like to return to visit as a tourist since I never had a chance to see much of it. With the War at the moment is hard but hopefully I will do it. Thank you for inspiring me.

  15. Kayle March 18, 2015 at 11:20 am - Reply

    Reading this article makes me feel like backpack traveling to Yemen like right NOW! As to why you chose Yemen, your reason is humbling.

  16. Musaed March 5, 2015 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Hi. Thank you for the text about my beautiful country.

  17. Eduardo October 4, 2014 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    Since it seems you love dangerous destinations, Venezuela would be a really good destination for you, Caracas, its capital has been called “the murder capital of the world”. It also has really beautiful scenarios, including jungles, snowy mountains, Caribbean beaches, plains, big cities, the largest slum in latin america, the tallest waterfall in the world, the ice cream shop with the most kinds of ice cream flavors flavors (even shredded meat), etc etc… I think you would really enjoy it! and the people and food are nice too!

  18. […] I started researching how I could travel to Yemen, I must admit that I assumed it would not be possible at all. Given the strongly worded government […]

  19. ikinga August 4, 2014 at 7:33 am - Reply

    I agree, I am am a Romanian, I moved to Italy and I travelled everywhere in Europe. For my first travel outside Europe I went for… Yemen. I did not experience any threat in Sana’a, I felt safe. As for Socotra, is a paradise, I cannot think about a place that could be better. Endless amazing beaches, like nothing I have ever seen before. And the mountains with the strange trees are incredible, with natural pools where you can swim.
    Thanks to our guide I’ve managed to take a picture in front of Yemen Gate where few people ever had access, you can check it out on my flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/14771273142/
    As you can see… it’s an amazing place!

    • Hasham Ali October 13, 2014 at 6:42 pm - Reply

      That is beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  20. ART July 7, 2014 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    Very interesting and informative post. Yemen seems like a very fascinating place to travel, I hope I can make it there some day. Its amazing how the places that get such little attention and that no one really knows about, can actually turn out to be some of the most fascinating, beautiful places to visit.

  21. jehan July 5, 2014 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    hi Earl
    i can’t say how interesting your post is. i have to admit that you are so brave person that you ignored all the warning statements and visited Yemen. thanks for sharing your experience, thanks for all the positive words about Yemen, and thanks for visiting our country. i wish to read about your next visit to Yemen in better conditions.

    • Wandering Earl July 7, 2014 at 2:36 am - Reply

      Hey Jehan – Thank you for that comment and I also hope to visit Yemen again in better conditions. It really is an amazing country with so much to offer!

    • Rakoon March 24, 2018 at 4:14 am - Reply

      You wrote this post in 2014 and you have mentioned that Yemen is on war. What about now ?

  22. Josh May 26, 2014 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    Yemen, as a result of Western media’s focus on terrorism-related topics, is now one of the most misunderstood countries (I’d even go so far as to say civilisations) in the world.

    Visually it is unbeliveably impressive. Just take a drive through the mountains of Al-Heyma, Hajja, Al-Mahwit and you will see terraces etched into the mountains which have been cultivated by generation after generation for hundreds of years. Houses perched on the edge of mountain tops.

    The people are very warm, delightful, charming, and hospitable. I have been fortunate enough to travel to several parts of the world, and no where have I met a people so friendly and open as Yemenis. They are truely so excited and happy when they see a foreigner speaking their language, tasting their food, visiting their sites, appreciating their heritage, and perhaps even chewing gat!

    I don’t want to appear too idealistic in my view of the country, because it obviously faces extreme hardship and many of the people really suffer, especially now. But I really feel that people should learn more about this place, much like the author of this article has done. The experience of going there, if you can, will really change you.

  23. SALEH May 24, 2014 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    Thanks for all participants in this post . Definitely , Yemen is very nice country with remarkable places . I am a Yemeni guy from Sana’a , I willing to help , guide ,provide information for anyone interesting in Yemen . just contact me .
    Wishes ……

  24. Signe-Hilde May 10, 2014 at 11:22 am - Reply

    Hello! Sorry for jumping in on the conversation, but I’m planning to go to San’a this summer as well, so I’m interested in tips and advice on going there. Harriet: Let me know if you want to travel together (since I’m a lone girl as well) !

  25. Harriet May 6, 2014 at 12:04 am - Reply

    love you blog btw. you ve done a really good job. i love it 🙂

  26. Harriet May 6, 2014 at 12:02 am - Reply

    Just one more question: I am looking at eternal Yemen.com right now and apparently there are lots of positive comments towards this travel agency. I would like to join the tours offered there so that i can see a bit more other than Saan. I won’t be dealing with the driver and the guide alone, right? Tina, the operator, will put me with other tourists and travel together right? THat would be awesome if i can travel alone with others tbh. Thanks.

    • Wandering Earl May 8, 2014 at 8:23 pm - Reply

      Hey Harriet – Actually, you would probably be on your own simply because there aren’t that many tourists going to Yemen. The chances of others being there at the same time and wanting to do the same itinerary is a bit slim unfortunately. If you want to send me an email, I can give you another option that you might like 🙂

  27. Harriet May 4, 2014 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    I am thinking of my three-week vacation in the summer and I was first attracted to San’a last year. After years of travelling to middle east, I think I am ready for Yemen. I have read the replies below about solo woman traveller. I admit I have a second thought here. But i am wondering, after a year, is the situation for solo woman traveller has slightly improved? It will be Ramadan when I travel. Is it true that no tourist companies will be opened for business then? According to a traveller’s sharing below, women has to cover up the hair as a rule for muslim, like in Iran, otherwise they will be shot at. True?

    • Wandering Earl May 5, 2014 at 1:26 pm - Reply

      Hey Harriet – You definitely won’t be shot at for not covering you hair. I know foreign females who live in Sanaa and they don’t generally cover their hair, although sometimes they do put a scarf over their hair in certain areas. That’s about it.

      As for the situation, it really doesn’t have to do with being a female traveler. The situation can be tricky for all travelers. You just need to do some research and in the end, you would want to pretty much stay inside of the old city of Sanaa and not really leave that area.

  28. Ahmed Malik April 29, 2014 at 10:22 pm - Reply


    I plan on traveling to Yemen (within the next 12 months); please let me know who took you around the country or what travel agency in Yemen you used for the tour? I would like to use them for my trip as well.

    Many Thanks,


  29. Ghamdan March 13, 2014 at 9:49 am - Reply

    Perma , I am from Yemen. I live in Sana’a –the capital of Yemen. It is nice to come here. I totally agree what Mr. Wandering Earl mentioned. The regions you can go is limited, because of some security problems .Also public transportation is not allowed for foreigners and is not good option to move across places. The public transportation system services is not good. For hotels, you can find cheap ones between $30 – $100 per night. I advise you not to come here these days. It is not safe for foreigners .We have security problems even around Sanaa ,but you can go to Socotra Island directly .It is safe .If you decide to come other places in Yemen contact me , I will help and advise you.


  30. prema March 12, 2014 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    Yemen has been on my wish list since I was wee but nobody and I mean nobody has wanted to go there with me…I’ve been called all kinds of names for wanting to visit this country. I am fascinated by the architecture.
    This July/August, I might have just convinced my husband to go along with me.
    Is 4 weeks too long? How much should I budget for? We usually use public transport to get around and look for reasonably priced hotels, clean and comfortable. About $40 – $60 per night.
    Look forward to your reply.

    • Wandering Earl March 13, 2014 at 9:04 am - Reply

      Hey Prema – Four weeks would be a long time in Yemen, especially since foreigners are not allowed to visit too many places. You have to pass through many checkpoints and you are only allowed in certain regions that are deemed safe for foreigners. Also, you are generally not allowed to use public transportation. The guards will not let you through the checkpoints if you are on a bus. You need to have a licensed driver who can obtain the necessary permits for you to travel to parts of the country so this is not the kind of country where you can simply travel around by bus unfortunately.

    • Kay April 20, 2014 at 11:35 pm - Reply

      Hey Perma,

      I am from Yemen and will be visiting the country in July/August for the first time in almost 15 years and I am only staying for 3 weeks, 4 weeks will be too long for you as the places to visited are limited now. I was told a lotttt has changed. I contacted a travel agent in the country and he was hesitant to take me to areas demed “unsafe” for forginers even though I am tacnacly a Yemeni by birth.
      Keep in mind Ramndan this year will start jun 29th and end around July 29th. It will be followed by the Eid holiday. This means it might be hard to find a travel agency that will work during Ramadan and during te Eid holiday. Check on that before you buy your tickets. Also, if you wish to visit Socatra island you will have to avoid visiting during the monsoon season (early jun to late October), I am so bummed about not being able to visit the island and can’t change my travel dates for family reasons.

      In regards to hotels, if you are looking for the local experience I was told there are couple of hotels in the old city that are used a lot by tourist that will cost between $25 to $30 a night, breakfast included. I did read some mix reviewed about them, so keep that in mind when booking and don’t take too many valuable items with you, and if you did try to keep them on you.

      Yemenis are such a friendly people, they will welcome you to their homes even if they don’t know you, they love having visitors ( at least that what I remember, I hope that is one of the things that has not changed over the past 15 years!)

      Have fun.

  31. Robert February 27, 2014 at 2:47 am - Reply

    Yes, right now play it safe and wear an Abaya. Yesterday we had 2 Russian women shot in Aden for not wearing one. The situation here at the moment is that we have about 5000 crazies giving 24 million seriously excellent people a bad name.

  32. […] wanderingearl.com […]

  33. Abdul February 3, 2014 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    Hey Earl!
    I am so glad you decided to go to Yemen for your vacation. I was born in Yemen, and left to california at a vary young age. Now i go to see the country at least once every two years. I’m here now and it’s been a wonderful experience. It’s so sad to see the way this country is viewed in the western cultures. They talk about it being so dangerous, but in reality it is not as bad as they make it look. I’ve met some of the most kind people of my life here, although it is in great poverty, these peoples hearts and intentions are very clean. I am here in yemen now, I reside in my home in Sanaa, I hope more people decide to come see this breathtaking country, as it never ceases to amaze me. If anyone decides on planning to come i would be glad to show you around, as i have been here many times. My E-mail is [email protected]
    -Thank you Earl for your blog has indeed brought peoples attention to see this unknown land.

    • Wandering Earl February 5, 2014 at 5:47 am - Reply

      Thanks for that comment Abdul and I certainly hope to make it back to Yemen at some point myself!

  34. Best March Travel Experiences February 2, 2014 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    […] Socotra, Yemen – Visit the Alien Island: This isolated island off the coast of Yemen has grown some of the most unique landscape and life forms on the planet.  March is generally considered the best month to visit with the clearest ocean visibility while the plants are still green. Visiting Yemen […]

  35. heba January 14, 2014 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    I’ll be going on a business trip to yemen next week and im a female… I’d like to know what do the females wear in yemen is it like jeddah that we have to wear abaya? And the weather there how is it?

  36. Jerry January 14, 2014 at 3:31 am - Reply

    I went to Yemen in 2007 and 2008 for the biz trip and I have a great memory of Yemen. This place is a jewel in the Peninsular for sure. Hope your Scotra trip is going well.

  37. Ghamdan January 8, 2014 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    Did you chew Qat ??

    • Wandering Earl January 9, 2014 at 5:07 am - Reply

      Hey Ghamdan – Yes I did try the qat.

  38. mo December 31, 2013 at 1:35 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing your experience! I’m going there this summer 3 months from now. I was born there and raised in Canada. I haven’t been there for almost 9 years and I’m looking forward on sharing My experience back with your when I get back :-D. Any ways thanks for sharing and wish me luck!

    • Wandering Earl January 2, 2014 at 5:52 pm - Reply

      Hey Mo – I wish you a great trip over there!

  39. Isa December 29, 2013 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl,

    Thanks for sharing your experience! I plan to go there in February for 3 months to improve my Arabic and learn more about Yemenite culture (I spent 3 months in Palestine this summer).

    How was Sanaa?

    • Wandering Earl January 2, 2014 at 5:57 pm - Reply

      Hey Isa – Sanaa is absolutely beautiful although, at the moment, it is a bit unstable. I’m not sure I would recommend going for 3 months right now.

  40. adam mofat December 17, 2013 at 3:23 am - Reply

    so how much did it cost you the 9 days trip lodging airticket.
    how much will it cost me if go cheapo I just want to visit hospitals and apply for jobs at hospitals and just see sanaa and the mountains

  41. Ozmil November 17, 2013 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    Thanks for writing such an interesting account of your time in Yemen. My parents are from there and we are recently considering travelling there once again. How safe would it be for a person to travel to Aden. I have limited to no Arabic speaking skills, is this a problem, do the people treat you differently. Is there “al-Qaeda” floating about that might kidnap me?

  42. Anna Bailey November 6, 2013 at 6:54 am - Reply

    You’re absolutely crazy suggesting to this woman it’s ok solo in Yemen. This is a very strict Muslim country. Any western women traveling solo are regarded as only one type of woman. This is simply a society who are not exposed to the liberal values and lifestyle in the west. I have travelled extensively in non ‘western’ countries the past 22-years and have made many solo voyages throughout India amongst other destinations. Yemen IS NOT for solo females IF your actual goal is to have a relatively relaxed & carefree visit to this extraordinary corner of the globe

    • Anna Bailey November 6, 2013 at 7:05 am - Reply

      I recently travelled extensively in Yemen spending a total of 21-days then another 5 on socotra
      It’s a truly extraordinary destination and unlike ANY other I’ve visited
      In saying this as a solo woman the voyage would be complicated & I found it necessary to wear a full headscarf & most days the robe. These people see very few westerners & even fewer women. You are generally regarded as a loose woman & consequently travel is not only difficult but dangerous
      One destination I felt necessary a good companion (my husband) and a solid wedding ring

    • Wandering Earl November 12, 2013 at 5:24 pm - Reply

      Hey Anna – That’s not necessarily true. I know of several solo females that have traveled here without any issues. Most of them had local guides or at least a local driver and despite being a conservative country, they were treated very warmly and with respect. According to their stories, which reminded me of the female travelers I met while traveling in Pakistan, they were treated like ‘honorary men’, simply meaning that they were allowed to do what a male traveler would be able to do and were treated with the same respect. It might not be everyone’s experience but so far that’s what I’ve heard from the females I’ve been in touch with who did travel there recently.

  43. Gary Yeates September 18, 2013 at 5:41 am - Reply

    Forgot to mention, I’m just about to push out a blog on Yemen myself on thegreyglobe.com

  44. Gary Yeates September 18, 2013 at 5:40 am - Reply

    I went to Yemen about 6 years ago and it was a travel highlight. It’s simple raw Arabia with an unfortunate global profile. If you get a chance, take a peek at my portfolio on
    I have some reasonable shots of Yemen.
    Nice blog by the way.

  45. Ashgan June 22, 2013 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    Hi im from yemen and go every 2 years i <3 my country and proud!!going in 2 weeks sooo.excited to be there again and meet some of my cousins and aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandads and lnog lost families love yemen soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!!! 🙂 😀

  46. Mufaddal June 11, 2013 at 3:00 am - Reply

    It’s my first time to come across your blog and it has definitely caught my eye!! i have been to yemen twice, the first time was on my wedding which took place on the mountains of haraz in a magical village called Hutayb. i stayed for a month with my in-laws before i returned back to Kenya(my hometown) with my wife, i was there last year again, for 2 weeks, my in-laws live in old sanaa, near the Great Mosque. You just cant get enough of Yemen, wish you all the best in your journeys and i’ll be checking out your blog 🙂

  47. sara June 1, 2013 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    I have never blogged about being in yemen. I went twice in 2001 as I was ‘going out with’ a yemeni man. I was almost 21. First time I went out for 3 weeks. We started in Sana’a and wound our way to Aden, where we would live. We visited shibam, khokoban, manacka, kocha, ibb, taiz and aden, as well as my boyfriend’s village in the mountains called Yafai. What an amazing experience and I just LOVE that I got to visit such an amazing, friendly, fascinating place. The second time I went out for 2 weeks and lived in aden as I would when I moved there. I sorted a teaching job, learned to drive on their roads. His mother also came, to show me how to be a good yemeni wife. Well, that’s where I hit a wall. Cooking, cleaning, catering for the men, shopping for the best gat and getting totally lost in local dialect, as well as having no social life, at the age of 21, saw me return to the uk and never look back. I’m still so glad I did it. And glad my parents let me come to that decision on my own! I’ve seen things so few travellers outside of yemen have seen and I’m so pleased I have! Your blog has reminded me of this wonderful country, so thank you! I look forward to the rest of the series!

  48. Nathan DePetris May 28, 2013 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    Travel to Yemen has long been a dream of mine. The architectural originality and intelligent use of native materials has always intrigued me. Maybe someday soon. Thanks for haring this great story.

  49. Jacqueline May 17, 2013 at 2:40 am - Reply

    I thought about choosing Mexico for my first real solo trip before I embark on a RTW trip. Now, I’m wondering if I should consider the Middle East first. I’m very fond of the culture but with the (unfortunate) political situation going on, it seems that it might be wise to go sooner than later. Yemen looks stunningly beautiful in those pictures.

  50. Irene May 13, 2013 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl, sound exciting… I will travel on a budget (as every traveller 🙂 How much money do I need to make it with a guide? Thanks a lot

    • Wandering Earl May 14, 2013 at 8:04 pm - Reply

      Hey Irene – It all depends on how long you will stay and if you want a driver and guide or just a driver. But for just a driver, you could plan on something like $500 USD for a week, maybe including some meals and accommodation.

  51. […] I started researching how I could travel to Yemen, I must admit that I assumed it would not be possible at all. Given the strongly worded government […]

  52. Bama May 9, 2013 at 3:48 am - Reply

    Yemen has always been high on my list due to its medieval houses and rugged terrains. Even, the world’s first skyscrapers were built in Yemen out of mud, or so they claimed. Anyway, there are only a few bloggers out there who have traveled to Yemen and I’m glad now I have one more source about the country to read. Looking forward to more of your stories!

    • Wandering Earl May 13, 2013 at 6:24 am - Reply

      Hey Bama – Those skyscrapers, or at least the tall mud buildings, are certainly impressive. I have not seen anything at all similar to the structures that I saw in this country.

  53. ces May 6, 2013 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    A friend of mine once work in Yemen as a nurse. She said it’s a dangerous place but then, she was able to stay there for two years. There must be something in Yemen that made her stay that long despite the threats to her safety. Your post confirmed it.

  54. […] there’s one word that I heard more than any other during my stay in Yemen, it is the word ‘qat’. And the reason that word is so important is because, at […]

  55. Yousef Hassan May 5, 2013 at 1:26 am - Reply

    I’m from Yemen, but it’s been along while since I was there. The best thing about Yemen is that the people thereare so kind and sweet. I personally as a yemeni certify on the beauty of Yemen, definitely worth at least a visit, or a longer stay, to get to know its fascinating traditions, its kind-hearted & generous people and its breathtaking scenery. If you ever visit Yemen, don’t ever forget to to pass by a city called IBB. It’s a very beautiful place to go to.
    I just wish that more people knew the positive things about Yemen. 

    I’m looking forward to your upcoming posts

    • Wandering Earl May 8, 2013 at 2:27 pm - Reply

      Hey Yousef – I do agree…the people of Yemen were extremely hospitable and kind. Almost everyone I met invited me for a meal or to stay at their house and their generosity was never ending.

  56. Traveling Ted May 5, 2013 at 12:11 am - Reply

    This post reminded me of why I visited Guyana in South America late last year. I decided I wanted to go somewhere unusual. When I started researching the country, at first all I found was travel warnings. It was amazing though and glad I went. And Yah man, Look forward to hearing more about your experience in Yemen.

  57. Missy H May 4, 2013 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    In your opinion, can I go to Yemen? Single 50 something woman, I’ve traveled all over the world, speak multiple (Western) languages. I’d be happy to use ‘Eternal Yemen’ to guide me around, but otherwise I’ll be on my own…
    Like Maria Alexandra I’m wanting to know your thoughts on travel to Yemen for the solo female traveler…

    • Wandering Earl May 8, 2013 at 2:28 pm - Reply

      Hey Missy – You can definitely visit Yemen and I’ll be writing more about the safety aspect in the next week or so. But there are plenty of solo females visiting the country these days.

  58. […] Why I Traveled to Yemen for My Vacation from Wandering Earl explores a destination for which I particularly want to see Socotra Island. Wandering Earl candidly discusses why he went: […]

  59. Sam May 3, 2013 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    How exciting! I remember you talking about wanting to go to Yemen when we were in Syria. I’m really looking forward to hearing about your experience there. One of the main reasons I like reading your blog is because you aren’t afraid to question assumptions so many people have about what is and isn’t dangerous.

  60. Andy May 3, 2013 at 5:41 am - Reply

    Incredible pics, Earl! Looking forward to your stories on Yemen…
    I think it’s a good idea to take a reputable tour guide with you in countries like that.

    However, I guess Yemen’s troubles are still tame compared to places like southern Somalia or the deep Congo.

  61. Maria Alexandra @LatinAbroad May 2, 2013 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    Gahhh, I want to go there so badly! It’s been on my list for the longest longest time.

    I wonder though… Would it be safe for a SOLO FEMALE to travel there? Given that it is easier to get a visa with a tour operator, I’m hoping not so much?

    But since you’re only with the driver and a guide… I wonder whether women can walk around without a chaperone of sorts? As you can tell, I haven’t done my due diligence 😉

    I have an even better idea: what about a wandering girl tour of Yemen?! I would so sign-up! 😀

    -Maria Alexandra

    • Wandering Earl May 8, 2013 at 2:23 pm - Reply

      Hey Maria – That’s not a bad idea and I just may offer that tour 🙂

      But you would be fine as a solo female. You can walk around no problem without a chaperone. Females are allowed to walk around on their own. I’ll be writing a post on the safety issue in the next week as well.

  62. Sarah Somewhere May 2, 2013 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    Wow! You certainly sound rejuvenated! How exciting! I must admit hearing something like this is about the only time I wish I was a guy, to be able to travel through some of these Middle Eastern destinations a little less conspicuously, but I guess your curly hair was conspicuous enough!! Look forward to hearing more about a country I know next to nothing about.

    • Wandering Earl May 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm - Reply

      Hey Sarah – Actually, from what my guide and driver said, there are just as many females traveling to Yemen as males. It’s no problem at all to go there as a female.

  63. Nathan May 2, 2013 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    I loved the mystery posts. Kept things exciting! I agree that the added excitement of going to a slightly dangerous and very unknown place is a huge draw regardless of the area. Have you ever thought about the guided tours of North Korea? Obviously now would be a bad now but, when tensions cool, would you consider visiting North Korea or possibly Myanmar?

    • Wandering Earl May 8, 2013 at 2:25 pm - Reply

      Hey Nathan – I’ve already been to Myanmar but North Korea doesn’t really appeal to me, simply because I don’t think it’s worth the money to go on a tour that is fully dictated by the government and doesn’t allow you to really see the country.

  64. Tiphanya May 2, 2013 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    The only reason why I haven’t been to Yemen now, is because the friend who invited me ther (married to a yemen girl), did it while I was pregnant. My daughter is only 17months old now, so I have to wait. But I lova sanaa architecture and you let me feel that I really have to get there and enjoy the whole country.

  65. Wendy May 2, 2013 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    I love sitting here at my desk eating my lunch reading your blogs. They take me away to a happy place while I’m getting through my 9 to 5 work day. Thank you!!
    I am really looking forward to to all the details of your trip to Yemen! Gald you enjoyed it so much!

    • Wandering Earl May 8, 2013 at 2:25 pm - Reply

      Hey Wendy – I’m happy to hear that 🙂

  66. Greg May 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Yemen has always been high on my listof places to go, especially Socotra. Looking forward to the rest of your posts.

  67. Zka May 2, 2013 at 9:37 am - Reply

    A friend of mine had been in Yemen in 99 or so. He really liked the place, but he got into trouble for driking some vodka with an alcohol smuggler. They had been chased for hours by the police. Police even fired rounds trying to stop their car. Fortunately they managed to get away. So don’t drink alcohol in Yemen, that’s the moral 🙂

  68. Good for you Earl for going there!
    You reminded me of an old French couple I met in Laos a few years ago who had travelled all over Africa by car, bike etc. I asked them was it dangerous and they responded “do not believe everything you read in the paper or from your government!

    Looking forward to future posts!

  69. Ayelet - All Colores May 2, 2013 at 2:42 am - Reply

    I love that the tour focused on spending so much time with locals. That’s always good, and maybe even more so when it’s a destination people fear visiting.

  70. Lars May 1, 2013 at 11:41 pm - Reply

    Again a new great post with really good motivations why to go. I understand your motivations completely! The thrill seeking trips make me excited to. I guess you also trust yourself more then a 100% to take steps and choices that open your eyes wide open!

    Looking forward to the rest! Cheers

  71. Wow, if only more travel bloggers traveled to such unusual places! I would love to hear more about Yemen!

  72. Nicole @ Suitcase Stories May 1, 2013 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    Ive always been curious about Yemen… I am always curious about places I don’t know much about. I look forward to your next post about it and learning a little more .

  73. Megan May 1, 2013 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    Dang, I had never even thought about Yemen much, but lately I’ve found myself really wanting to visit the Middle East. It sounds like it might be a good “intro” country to the region, and the tour idea actually sounds pretty appealing. Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much, and I’m looking forward to reading more about it!

  74. Leanna May 1, 2013 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    I cant help but like the sound of ‘Yemen’ I can say it over and over too 🙂

  75. Paul May 1, 2013 at 8:46 am - Reply


    Considering you’ve been through Afghanistan while at war, Yemen doesn’t sound TOO bad ;).

    Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to hearing more about Socotra Island!

  76. Emily May 1, 2013 at 8:06 am - Reply

    Awesome post! Have never even considered going to Yemen. Now, you’ve helped spark my interest. I’ll have to look into it now.

  77. Maria May 1, 2013 at 7:02 am - Reply

    I’m going to be so late today. I’m stuck on those first two photos… Incredible!

  78. Spinster May 1, 2013 at 5:30 am - Reply

    Now I wanna go. Looking forward to your future posts about the Yemen trip.

  79. Maddie May 1, 2013 at 3:21 am - Reply

    Wow, those photos are absolutely stunning. Never in a million years would I have thought to visit Yemen but it looks beautiful.

  80. Ellen May 1, 2013 at 1:50 am - Reply

    It’s all fun and games until someone gets kidnapped or thrown into a foreign prison. I’m glad you had a good experience and I look forward to reading your posts about Yemen; it certainly looks fascinating. But I have to ask – should we all just ignore government travel warnings? Is there a point at which fearless becomes reckless?

    • Wandering Earl May 1, 2013 at 3:51 pm - Reply

      Hey Ellen – Well, as I said, I’ll be writing more about safety and other topics in the coming weeks. I certainly didn’t claim that Yemen is a destination for everyone in this post 🙂

  81. Craig May 1, 2013 at 1:28 am - Reply

    Wow Earl!! That’s awesome. I love reading a post like this because I always compare it to how some people feel when I say I am going to Mexico. They only hear the garbage in the news about how dangerous it is and don’t understand how truly wonderful the people are. I have to admit, that I have some of this same ignorance when it comes to visiting places in the Middle East,….but then I see you going to places like Yemen and taking pictures with the locals and it reminds me that most people in the world are like us. Just good people living their lives. Thanks again Earl!

  82. RaW | Ramble and Wander May 1, 2013 at 1:24 am - Reply

    The only Middle Eastern countries that I haven’t been to are Kuwait, Iraq and Yemen. I have no plan for Kuwait at the moment but I have always wanted to go to Iraq and Yemen. There is just something about Yemen that I couldn’t really put to words. Thanks for rekindling my dream with this entry. Looking forward to reading more about your experience there.

  83. TravelBloggerBuzz May 1, 2013 at 12:51 am - Reply

    What an exotic destination! Not my definition of exotic:-) I really enjoyed the pics! I will share this with my readers tomorrow. Thank you!

  84. Alexandria May 1, 2013 at 12:06 am - Reply

    I had actually never heard of Yemen before today. It was pretty nice that you can go to destinations like that without being stopped by those kinds of warnings. It sounds like you had a wonderful time Ina misunderstood place surrounded by beauty and adventure.

    It would also scare me.

  85. Matthew Cheyne April 30, 2013 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    I think this is one of those times when I am lost for words. Wow! What a beautiful people. What a beautiful country to visit. Thank you for sharing your experiences and pictures with us thus far.

    Before I read your post I associated Yemen with a civil war, al-Queda operatives and US drone attacks and to be honest with you the place scares me and gives me the heebee jeevees at the thought of visiting there. But as always if it can be done and it involves travel, you Earl can do it and show the way for others.

    I look forward to reading your experiences in your following posts but unless the situation changes there and the travel advisories change, Yemen will still be down the bottom of my list of destinations for the forseeable future.

  86. Bishop The Eastside Nappyhead April 30, 2013 at 9:32 pm - Reply

    This was wonderful, Socotra Island looks like the types of place I would choose to hold my secret meetings

  87. kzy April 30, 2013 at 9:00 pm - Reply


    Really interested to see that you’ve been to Yemen. I really want to go there alsot. I was sort of considering a trip in December January just gone, but only got as far as downloading the visa forms. The Austerlain Yemeni consulate insited that they were still issuing toursit visas. I couldnt really justify to myself the risk in the end, or the expense and the hassle.
    If I had gone, think I would’ve kept it secret from most people too……. If it really is safe enough to visit as you did then that gives me some hope….Looking forward to hearing more.

    i’m also really keen on visiting Iran, though this also looks a bit tricky at present.

  88. Bethaney April 30, 2013 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    These off-the-radar destination really get me high too. I few years ago, before it was en vogue, I took myself off to Burma for a week to decompress from life. My friends and colleagues thought it was extremely strange but I had the most wonderful time. The local people were genuinely so happy that I chose to visit their country. Government warnings put a lot of people off countries like this unnecessarily. It’s only from travelling to these places that you can truly understand them.

  89. Steve Whitty April 30, 2013 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    Awesome! I think it’s great that you travelled somewhere of the beaten track. I look forward to reading more about your trip.

  90. Shukria April 30, 2013 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Earl, will you visit my home country of Somalia on your next mystery holiday? It’s a beautiful country and it definitely isn’t as dangerous as the media makes it out to be.

  91. OCDemon April 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    This is why I love going to out-of-the-way places too. And so far, I’ve only ever had good experiences with them. People are excited to see you, everything is new and different, and a lot better than people think. You have to go further and further to get off the backpacker trail nowadays, but I think some places will still be this way for a long time, and it’s the sort of experience that stands out.

  92. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures April 30, 2013 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    WOW!!!! What an amazing adventure! This is definitely a dream destination for me!!!

  93. Annie of TravelShus April 30, 2013 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    Ive been enamored with idea of traveling to Socotra since I read a book that highlighted it. So jealous! Cant wait to hear stories!

  94. Frank April 30, 2013 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Too cool man, I can’t wait to read about your time there! I’m really interested to hear about traveling in a country like that, one which most Westerners would most likely put in last place as a destination.

  95. Kathy April 30, 2013 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl, wow! great photos. I can’t wait to read all about the rest of your trip. Looking forward to it.

  96. Sabina April 30, 2013 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    I am extremely jealous. I’ve wanted to go to Yemen for years but haven’t made it. During my first trip to Salalah, Oman, with Yemen just a couple of hours south, I was very tempted. I would never go alone, though, and talked with my Omani tour guide about taking me there, but he was scared to do it. An Omani scared of Yemen. That told me that it actually might be dangerous, and this was almost 4 years ago before they really started having trouble. Then, on my flight to Cairo this February, I sat next to a Yemeni guy and asked him what his country is like now. He told me that everyone is carrying guns and it’s dangerous. So then I had another reason to think that Yemen is unsafe. But now I learn that you, an American, went there and ended up loving it, and this reignites my desire to go. I am looked very, very forward to your upcoming posts on this. Thanks for the link to Eternal Yemen. I am checking them out right now!

    • Wandering Earl May 1, 2013 at 3:43 pm - Reply

      Hey Sabina – Just wait for my next posts…I’m sure you’ll want to go even more!

  97. Usha Amudan (@ushaonthego) April 30, 2013 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    My junior at the University in Shanghai is from Yemen. Probably the first and only person I have met from Yemen and she is amazing!!

    Pictures look great!!! And it does look like you had an awesome time getting to know Yemen. *Adds Yemen to the “To Visit” List* :))

  98. Maia April 30, 2013 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    How interesting! Yemen was never on my radar before now. I really know nothing about that country and I’m looking forward to all your pictures!

  99. Lia April 30, 2013 at 11:47 am - Reply

    Earl, you are truly amazing! You braved through this life & explore whats being stopped. I’m starting to love you more n more as a reader and I really admire the courage you have. Thanks for going to Yemen & bringing back great photos n infos to share! Would love to visit there someday too!

    Xoxo; Lia

    • Wandering Earl May 1, 2013 at 3:44 pm - Reply

      Hey Lia – Thank you for reading along and I appreciate your kind comment 🙂

  100. Steve C April 30, 2013 at 11:46 am - Reply

    Somehow I knew you were going to Socotra when you announced that you were going to take a vacation and you couldn’t say where it would be. Thanks for breaking the ice for travels in areas such as Yemen. I’m looking forward to your further postings on this country. It’s started me thinking about risk taking and the sources of information we get on these places.

    My ex-wife’s cousin worked for the US State Department and was stationed in Yemen about 25 years ago. It was sketchy then to visit, but he had a very good experience there and recommended highly that we travel there to see for ourselves.

    I know this post is just a teaser, but you’ve already totally changed my mind about traveling to “risky” places. There aren’t many travel bloggers who have your moxie and inquisitiveness to visit a county like Yemen. Y’r da Man!

  101. Bobbi Lee Hitchon April 30, 2013 at 11:17 am - Reply

    You’re a legend! I thought about teaching England in Yemen a few years back but was completely scared off by the safety warnings. I’m eager to read your post about that. Good on ya for being brave and seeing something spectacular.

  102. Adventurous Kate April 30, 2013 at 10:57 am - Reply

    YEMEN! You magnificent bastards. I kind of thought you were in Somalia. 😉

    Very excited by this taste of Yemen — and am especially jealous that you guys went to Socotra! Looking forward to reading more.

  103. Anni April 30, 2013 at 10:50 am - Reply

    Beautifull photo’s! Curious to read your other stories! It sounds like a great experience. I don’t know much about Yemen, and it’s not on my list, so I’d love to read more.

  104. Reeann April 30, 2013 at 10:45 am - Reply

    I have not read all of your blog posts, but this is my favorite thus far. It’s thrilling. And to know with all the traveling and exotic destinations you’ve visited, you still get an overwhelming feeling of excitement and adventure from a new place is very encouraging. One of my biggest goals/dreams is to travel to an Arabic country and witness firsthand what it is like to immerse yourself in a culture so ridden with terrorism and/or terrorist groups; to see what the natives of that land see and perhaps try and understand what their life is like. What an inspiring story so far. Very excited to see future posts following this trip.

  105. Robert April 30, 2013 at 10:43 am - Reply

    I was always intrigued by Yemen, but after reading about your wonderful experience, it is now on my bucket list. Looking forward to reading more about your experiences there.

  106. Giulia April 30, 2013 at 10:41 am - Reply

    I would love to go to Yemen! My mom’s been there, and she was impressed. As a woman, she said there were some moments where she felt a bit uncomfortable, but other than that she didn’t feel unsafe, and she loved the place.
    Looking forward for your upcoming posts on Yemen!

  107. Sofie April 30, 2013 at 10:19 am - Reply

    Really curious to hear tales about your trip!
    I wouldn’t immediately think of Yemen as a vacation destination, but now that I see your pictures, I’ve got a feeling that I will when I read the rest of your stories:)

  108. Christina Gmyr April 30, 2013 at 10:16 am - Reply

    Wow, sounds like you had an incredible time and I really look forward to the rest of your posts on Yemen. You might even convince me to go there!

    All kinds of warm wishes to you! 🙂

  109. Alex April 30, 2013 at 10:10 am - Reply

    Nice post, but are you really putting Yemen in the same basket as Montenegro, Albania, Mexico, Macedonia, Romania, and Lebanon?

    • Wandering Earl May 1, 2013 at 12:50 am - Reply

      Hey Alex – That’s not what I was saying, I think you missed the point. I was simply pointing out that the reason I travel anywhere, including any country that isn’t a major tourist destination, is to see the world with my own eyes. That’s the only comparison I was making.

  110. Heidi Cabrera VelaZquez April 30, 2013 at 10:03 am - Reply

    As a graduate scholar of international relation and conflict resolution I truly believe Yemen is a wonderful place to learn Arabic language, for those who really want to be immersed in real Arabic. It’s rich in architecture & archeology and nature must be impressive. I am glad you had that chance. I wish I could spare at least 3 months to travel like you. Congrats!

  111. Phil April 30, 2013 at 10:02 am - Reply

    Awesome, Earl. Sounds like a great trip! Yemen has been on my mind as I know someone who recently returned from Socotra. He was doing a project to capture shortwave radio in the region and to learn about folk traditions on the archipelago (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/myke/shortwavemusic-2013-socotra). Saw a picture of him under one of those dragon’s blood trees when he got back and wow, those things are wild! Look forward to reading more about your trip 🙂

  112. Matthew Karsten April 30, 2013 at 9:57 am - Reply

    Ha! I knew it! Socotra. Very jealous. Can’t wait to hear more about your trip. 😀

  113. Annie André April 30, 2013 at 9:51 am - Reply

    amazing. i would love to go to Yemen.

  114. Lisa Bentzin April 30, 2013 at 9:49 am - Reply

    Okay, I was already jealous, now I am one step beyond jealousy. I am the color of pea soup, I am so jealous.

  115. Talon April 30, 2013 at 9:46 am - Reply

    Wonderful! It’s a place that has intrigued me simply because you don’t hear much about it. I look forward to reading more.

  116. Shalu Sharma April 30, 2013 at 9:42 am - Reply

    What a lovely place this Yemen. Although many countries have advised against travelling to Yemen, you went there which is quite admirable. Well done.

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