But there’s another element to this, one that is very specific to the magical trip I’ve just taken: Oman is home, perhaps, to the kindest people in the world. And I was very much in need of kindness as I traveled around the Sultanate—it’s been a trying year for me, albeit a very successful and travel-filled one.
Some of the last Oman photos I took were at the waterfall in Wadi Darbat near the city of Salalah, and it was here where two of my fondest encounters in Oman occurred. The first was with a local man, who barely spoke English, who was selling watermelons in the parking lot. His face exuded such a sweetness that I actually drove for several kilometers so that I could get change for my 20-rial note and buy fruit from him.
The second occurred as the sun was setting behind the waterfall, though to be fair it was with a person who can only partially claim to be Omani.
“My wife and I are doctors from Bangladesh,” he explained as he showed me some of his own pictures of Oman. He continued his story after we’d both put our cameras away, noting that they’d taken their kids on a road trip from Muscat to the Dhofar region in order to visit some other Bangladeshi doctor friends who were working there.
Although he shot with equipment that was far higher-end than mind, and took photos that were truly beautiful in their own right, he was incredibly humble. He even took the time to send me a private message on Instagram, which I received right as my flight back to Bangkok was taking off.
I spent much of that flight, even though it was overnight and I should’ve been sleeping, looking back through my Oman pictures. Many of them spotlighted nature and scenery, in spite of what I said about people-shots earlier in this post. Certainly, I had the kind people of Oman on my mind as I decided which ones I’d be showing you here.
As I clicked and scrolled and zoomed in and reflected, I realized that my road trip around Oman had been just what I needed, both in terms of destinations like the Empty Quarter and the rocky peaks of Jebel Shams, as well as the rest of the wonderful people I met.
From specific individuals like the attendant at Muscat’s Mutrah Fort, who allowed me to watch sunset there without buying a ticket, to random people that greeted at me as I traipsed through famous Nizwa Fort, as if they knew that the antidote for the balls-to-the-wall year I’ve had was a simple smile.
To the five joyful young men, soldiers and public sector workers from Muscat, who invited me into their beach tent at a coastal spot just west of Sur, and who cooked for me, smoked me out and included me in their celebration as if I was one of them.
More than visually chronicling my own journey, I hope these pictures of Oman will inspire you to take your own. So I’ll shut up now and let you enjoy them!