Who am I?
السلام عليكم As-salamu alaykum (peace be upon you), I am D. Michael, a teacher living and working in Muscat, Oman. I love to travel independently, find unique out of the way places to see, and interesting things to do. Welcome to my website where I share with you what I love about Oman.
As a second generation American, and expat living in Oman, I have the unique ability to straddle cultural and physical barriers which I hope to share with you.
Find out which portraits best represents me…
How I Came to Oman
In the winter of 2010/11 I made an adventurous leap of faith and applied to a teaching position in the Sultanate of Oman. When first reading the job posting I thought to my self, “where the heck is Oman, and is this a place that I can live?” After researching about Oman I found a few resources with independent travel information about Oman, and I became more intrigued. Oman looked to be an adventure for sure, and I presented my application posthaste. This was the start of my love affair with Oman and travel.
I was offered the job, accepted it, and arrived May 1, 2011 after months of waiting due to the Arab Spring turmoil. During this waiting period I was given the opportunity to better understand the unique safety of the sultanate and tolerance that is apart of the Omani culture. Basically, Oman isn’t involved Sunni-Shia divide because most Omanis are Ibadi, a denomination of Islam that is conservativly-moderate and tolerant; so I like to describe Oman as the Switzerland of the Middle East.
My new life in the third world was fully realized upon my midnight arrival into Muscat as the company representative who was supposed collect me at the airport didn’t turn up. A great way to start a new chapter in the Middle East, but that’s how it is.
Places I have Traveled
I have been fortunate enough to visit many places in the world (in no particular order):
Ireland, Netherlands, South Korea, Sultanate of Oman, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, People’s Republic of China, Singapore, Indonesia, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Austria, United Kingdom, and France.
Places I have Current Plans to Visit
I’m currently making plans to visit the Republic of Georgia in July, 2017. This place looks amazing and shares many qualities with Oman, mainly the mountainous region. I see many dirt tracks that are ripe to explore in a 4×4. I just wish a site like this existed for Georgia, because I am coming up empty in the search engines. Maybe I’ll have to make my it myself? Other places I’d like to visit shortly are Azerbaijan, Djibouti, and India. Let’s see where the year takes me.
What do I do?
I am an ardent listener of podcasts and one day I thought it would be fun to create my own based on two things I love: Oman and traveling. The podcast idea expanded into a blog to headquarter the podcast, thus Beyond the Route was born.
“Beyond the Route” and the “Sultanate” aim to support independent travel to well-known and unique destinations throughout the Sultanate of Oman, so مرحبا marhaba (welcome) to my journeys.