5 Ways to Transform and Travel: Sultanate of Oman
Updated: Jun 15, 2020
Guest Post by Erin Coyle
Are you looking to travel to somewhere unique and unusual? Are you tired of having the same
travel experiences? Are you looking for a new location that is not a place you would normally
travel to? Are you looking for some me time and just need to relax and recharge? I have just the
place for you that will solve all these questions.
The place I want to talk about is The Sultanate of Oman. This amazing country is near the UAE
and Saudi Arabia. It is well known for its pristine beaches, amazing desert, hospitality, hiking,
snorkeling, and camping.
There is something for everyone in this charming country. Most people have heard of the capital Muscat; however, I suggest you drive south two hours to Sur, which is a charming coastal city.
Photo Credit: Erin Coyle
Sur is the capital of Ash Sharqiyah and in ancient times it was an important shipping port. Sur also produces these large wooden boats called Dhows and you can still find people making them. I can attest to this quaint city because I have lived here now for almost two years teaching English in a foundation program at a college.
Before I give you some ideas for traveling and transforming, I want to share with you some of
my travel experiences.
Photo Credit: Erin Coyle
Erin's Travel Highlights
Prior to living here, I taught English in China for five years. I explored so many cities while I lived there. I have always had a passion for travel. I have done adventure travel in New Zealand, solo and group travel around Southeast Asia, explored parts of Europe, and I have even booked trips with tour companies because I just did not have time to explore on my own.
I love learning about culture, trying new food, wandering around, meeting locals, getting lost and just appreciating what I can learn when I travel. I always keep a journal and take tons of pictures, so I remember what I have experienced!
Now coming back to Oman. You might be skeptical when I say this is the place you need to
visit, especially Sur. But trust me, you will be glad you took the plunge when you book your
ticket here. You can travel solo, with friends or family.
Sur has allowed me to slow down, appreciate nature, learn about local culture, and has allowed me to forget stress and worries, especially when I am in the desert because there is no cell phone service!
Many visitors pass through Sur on the way to see turtles and go to the desert. But if you have
some extra time, stay three or four days so you get a chance to recharge and learn to appreciate
the simple things.
You will be glad you took this time for yourself. So here is your list to transform while you are here.
5 Ways to Transform and Travel in Oman
1. Experience Heritage and Culture
Do you like to learn about a culture when you travel? The Shipmaster Museum is a must when
you come to Sur so you can learn about Omani heritage and culture. Badr, a local Omani man
owns the museum and has collected items over the years and has won many awards.
When you enter, the first thing you see are doors – one of my favorite things in Oman. As you make your way inside, you can find books, traditional pottery, and clothing. Do not forget to go upstairs and enjoy the views from the traditional majlis where you can relax and enjoy the breeze.
A majlis is a sitting area and you will see this in all Omani homes. It is common to have a majlis for guests on the side of the house before entering the main area. Here you are usually offered drinks and snacks. When you finish, take a minute to enjoy some coffee.
While you are enjoying your coffee, this is also the time to ask Badr all sorts of questions about
Omani culture. A tidbit regarding coffee – when you want more coffee you should hold your cup
out looking as if you want more. But if you are finished you should shake the cup and that means
you do not want any more coffee or Qahwa as they say in Arabic.
I should also remind you that it is considered impolite if you do not try food or drinks if someone offers it to you. The Omanis are known for their hospitality and it is always a highlight to take some time to sit down and enjoy what is being offered to you. I have always experienced this hospitality, whether I am wandering around Sur, hiking, camping or even walking on the beach!
2. Admire Door Craftsmanship
This second way might seem strange but trust me you will learn to appreciate this craftsmanship