Where the Kids Roam

Ranking the UNESCO World Heritage Sites

(well, 81 of them)

The definitive ranking to all UNESCO World Heritage Sites™ we’ve visited. All photos, good and bad, by us. 

Jump to...


In the heart of Old Delhi, where time stands still and history whispers through the ancient alleys, the Red Fort emerges like a resplendent jewel, a jewel that has a bunch of guys that will follow you around, forming semi-circles, and making you want to leave after 15 minutes. We lasted 17 minutes – still a record. 


Robben Island, once a crucible of injustice, unfolds its chapters like pages in a history book written with both tears and hope. Come to reflect, tour the grounds, and question why the penguins are all dressed up in tuxedos. Wedding? Some formal ball?  

Robbeneiland, Africa, Robbins Island, Mandela
Robbeneiland, Africa, Robbins Island, Mandela
Table Mountain Africa


In the heart of Rajasthan, where the sands of time are infused with the vibrant hues of tradition, there lies a city that unfolds like a hot mess where you’re constantly asking (begging?) for a bathroom and muttering to yourself – “Did the viper really just bite that dude or am I hallucinating?” 


In the heart of Tuscany, where the golden sunlight embraces the rolling hills and whispers through ancient olive groves, there lies a real tower that must be invisibly held up by thousands of ridiculous tourists each day. 


In the heart of Zanzibar, where the ancient whispers of the Indian Ocean cradle a labyrinth of winding alleys and storied archways, there sits a terrifying town where you can still feel the horrors that once took place (Like that time I accidentally ordered pineapple on my pizza, but worse. Worse things. Way worse things. Like, super way worse. But like that.). 


In the aquamarine cradle of the Caribbean, where the sun’s golden kisses meet the depths of cerulean majesty, there lies a wondrous assortment of obese Texans on golf carts. 


In the embrace of Honduras, where the verdant hills cradle the secrets of ancient civilizations, there lies a sanctuary of storied splendor – Copán. Copán, a great complex where men were ritualistically slaughtered for things like wearing grey, zippered, cargo capri short pants (see photo). 


At the heart of Elvas, where the past converges with the present, stands the star-shaped Forte de Nossa Senhora da Graça. One has to wonder how defensively effective this fort was, however. My guess is, not very…as we waltzed right on through the front gate, undetected. 
Unesco Spain


In the maritime embrace of Lisbon, where the Tagus River whispers tales of seafaring adventures and the golden light of the sun plays upon the cerulean waters, stands a sentinel to Portugal’s Monument to Discovering the Instagram Selfie — the Tower of Belém. 

lisbon portugal torre de belem with kids
lisbon portugal torre de belem with kids
lisbon portugal torre de belem with kids


In the warm heart of Africa, lies a stunning freshwater lake full of cichlids. Getting to these mouth-brooding fish, however, proved challenging. It involved traversing venomous snake-infested terrain in an oarless dugout land canoe while sporting an ironic mustache and a bad haircut. 10/10 recommended. 


As the morning sun caresses the city’s rooftops, Vienna awakens in a gentle ballet of classical splendor. You will not see the city awaken, however. Your child will be jetlagged the entire time. Sure, you may see the city in the wee hours of the morning when everything is closed. And you might get out midday with your zombie child for some photos of them looking dead-like in the stroller. But you definitely won’t see the city awaken in a splendor. 


Where the African sky cradles the land in a vast azure embrace, there stands a solitary titan veiled in clouds and crowned in eternal snow — Kilimanjaro.  The brave will spend a week climbing the menacing mountain. The bold will take mere days. The smart ones, however, will just take the heated, indoor escalator with the cute little Starbucks in the middle. 

Kilimanjaro Africa
Kenya, Africa


As the sun begins its descent behind the endless line of tour buses, casting a dire shadow upon the reddened walls, the Alhambra swells with tourists like an engorged, well…umm…tourist after the midday, all-you-can-eat-buffet. 

alhambra Granada with kids
alhambra Granada with kids
alhambra Granada


This otherworldly realm, sculpted by the hands of time and nature, unfolds like an enchanting fairy tale woven into the very fabric of the Anatolian plateau. People will tell you they fly hot air balloons here. But those people are all a part of some big, sick joke. Lying to make me feel bad about booking five nights here and not even seeing a glimmer of anything hot or airy or balloony anywhere. Shame on those people and their lies I tell you. Shame. 


As the first light of dawn graces the lunar landscape, Mount Teide, a colossal sentinel of fire and stone, emerges from the morning mist. The ancient volcano, appeased only by a virginal corpus, will lead to an uncomfortable discussion whereby you discover your spouse of 15 years and the mother to your three children is not, in fact, the virgin you have been patiently waiting for all these years. 

Gran Canaries Spain island with kids
Gran Canaries Spain island hiking with kids
Gran Canaries Spain island with kids


Wandering along the path that winds through tussock-covered slopes and rugged lava fields, the Tongariro Crossing unfolds as a journey through a living canvas. The fact that someone died on the path the week before will factor heavily in your decision to continue your climb through the thick clouds and oh my god why did we do this again? 

Tongario, New Zealand


As the morning sun bathes the Pyramid of the Magician in a warm glow, Uxmal emerges from the verdant embrace like a celestial city. If you’re lucky, like us, you can catch it with almost zero tourists and almost 1,378 snakes that you almost step on. 

Uxmal Mexico ruins unesco
Uxmal Mexico ruins unesco
Uxmal Mexico


In the heart of Tanzania, where the sun-kissed plains of the Serengeti give way to an ancient caldera cloaked in emerald hues, there lies a natural amphitheater of wonder — the Ngorongoro Crater. Your guide will continuously tell you how dangerous even the water buffalo are in and around the crater. You will have too much wine one night and stumble into a herd of said buffalo when searching for the bathroom in the dark. How and why were they in our camp? What if they stampeded our tents? Why can everything kill you here? Did I just imagine this? What was in that wine? I’m not even sure I’ve been here now that I think of it. 

giraffes Kenya Africa
Ngongoro crater, ATanzania, frica
hippos Kenya Africa


In the Baltic embrace of Estonia, where cobblestone streets weave tales of medieval splendor and the spires of historic churches touch the sky, there lies a time-worn jewel — the Historic Center of Tallinn. It is only accessible via ferry from Stockholm – a ferry patronized solely by Finnish truck drivers, Russian prostitutes, you, your wife that keeps disappearing, and your small children. 



In the sun-drenched heart of Portugal’s Alentejo region, where the golden plains stretch into the horizon and the whispers of history resonate through time, there lies a city steeped in medieval grace — Évora. The Chapel of Bones, within the Church of São Francisco, becomes a poignant message to your young children about what happens to kids when they don’t listen to their parents. 

Evora portugal temple with kids
Evora Portugal with kids
Evora Portugal with kids


These archaeological marvels, hewn from the living rock and guarded by colossal statues, unfold like majestical ode to the gods, a symphony of ancient artistry set against the golden canvas of the desert sky. What’s crazy is how they painstakingly moved Abu Simbel – stone by stone. It’s like when I ask my kids to pick up their Legos. It’s brick by brick. A slow, laborious process. Almost an insurmountable task to them. 


Valletta, a city where the echoes of chivalry and baroque splendor linger in the sea breeze, invites the modern wanderer to step into its historic embrace. Valletta, Malta, is actually one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Just look at all the people in our photos! 

Valletta Malta
Valletta Malta with kids


In the heart of the Himalayas, where the whispering winds carry the essence of ancient traditions and the fluttering prayer flags paint the sky with hopes and dreams, there lies a city of timeless charm — Kathmandu. The Sadhus of Kathmandu will not only let you drape their luscious locks of over your balding pate, they will encourage it. Your wife will roll her eyes. 

katmandu nepal pagoda temple
katmandu nepal guru dreadlocks painted face


In the heart of Bali, where emerald rice terraces cascade down the undulating landscapes and the fragrance of frangipani blooms dances upon the tropical breeze, there exists a cultural ecosystem so intricate, so harmonious, that it unfolds like a sacred dance — the Subak system. What no one is brave enough to tell you, is that the Subak system will not safeguard you from an intense earthquake that will knock out your Internet and cause your spouse to have to walk an hour each way – in the pouring rain, after midnight – to an all-night Internet cafe just to meet her legal deadlines. 


This UNESCO World Heritage site, adorned with unique trulli houses and steeped in the timeless charm of southern Italy, becomes a living canvas where literally every place is just a store selling trinkets or someones house that you think is a store so you enter it, wander around for awhile, and ask for the price of certain items (e.g. a lamp or television) before realizing you’re not actually in a store (and that would totally explain the person napping on the couch). 


At dawn, as the first rays of the antipodean sun grace the porcelain shells of the Sydney Opera House, it emerges as a celestial vessel anchored in the harbor. You might think it’s a good idea to get wasted at a German biergarten before attending a nighttime opera, but, alas, it is very much not a good idea. Snoring apparently “ruins” operas for haughty taughty people I was told on my way out. 


The Amalfi Coast, a masterpiece of nature’s artistry and human ingenuity, invites the modern wanderer to step into its sun-kissed embrace, outrageous hoards of tourists, and $120 beach loungers for rent on a rocky, not-so-great beach. But at least you can tell everyone on Instagram you went. 

Ravello, Italy


At dawn, as the first light of the Iberian sun caresses the ochre walls of the Mezquita, Córdoba’s historic soul comes alive. The Great Mosque, a jewel of Islamic architecture, stands as a testament to the Moorish reign over Al-Andalus. Honestly, other than my youngest child constantly lying on the ground of the mosque and having people step over him while his parents were too busy with trying to enjoy themselves, I’d say this was the perfect little day. 

Cordoba Spain
Mosque-cathedral Cordoba Spain with kids


In the high embrace of the Andes, where the equatorial sun kisses the cradle of history, there lies a city that literally takes your breath away — Quito. At an altitude of approximately 2,850 meters (9,350 feet) above sea level, your heart might just explode out of your damn chest if you walk a flight of stairs. This constant fear of death makes you feel alive. 


Emerging from the verdant embrace like a stone sentinel of antiquity, the archaeological wonder of Tikal unfolds like a living testament to the Mayan people. At dawn, as the tropical sun fails to emerges from the clouds, you’ll wonder why you woke up so early to ride the back of an overcrowded pickup truck where you managed to get your fingers pinned in between the cab and the bed as the truck slowly and painfully drove up a potholed, hilly road where the only thing that managed to subdue your howler monkey-worthy cries was the small strand of dignity that somehow, inexplicably, you had been hanging onto for years. 


In the shadow of Egypt’s timeless peaks, where the sinuous trails of the Sinai Peninsula carve through the rugged terrain like ancient tales etched in the sand, lies a realm of sacred serenity — the St. Katherine’s area. The Burning Bush, a botanical wonder that stands as a living relic of biblical lore, does not work on Sundays. You may show up on a Sunday wishing to speak to Mr. Bush, but that will be a mistake. Learn from my mistakes. I’m still disappointed about this one. 


Dubrovnik, in the far reaches of Westeros, and home to King Joffrey Baratheon, invites the modern traveler to breeze through the ancient alleys and behold every vista that unfolds from the city walls. King’s Landing, unfolding like a cinematic panorama that blends seamlessly with the coastal splendor, shines like the glory of our good King. All hail King Joffrey! 


Budapest, and within it, the Buda Castle Quarter, invites the modern wanderer to traverse its historic realms. In every stone of the castle walls, every whispering breeze along the Danube, and every panoramic view that unfolds from the heights of Castle Hill, Budapest unfurls its story. It’s a story mostly about cold. Cold this California boy cannot handle. I am not an overly dramatic person, so when I say it was a cold that made me want to die, I mean it. 


At dawn, as the first rays of sunlight caress the facades of San Miguel de Allende, the town awakens in a cascade of warm hues. We thought this was the best time to hold up our child and see if there were any takers. Hopes dashed, we decided to raise her as our own, start a college fund, feed her, etc. Sigh. 

san miguel de allende mexico with kids
san miguel de allende, Mexico, kids baby


Istanbul. This metropolis, where minarets punctuate the skyline like celestial spires and the call to prayer resonates through the narrow alleyways, unfolds like a grand tapestry woven with threads of history, culture, and the vibrant pulse of modernity. What’s most cool about the city is how I still hold the record for most Raki consumed and most flights missed in one week (unrelated records, I swear). 


In the heart of Portugal, where the Douro River unfolds its sinuous dance between terraced hills adorned with verdant vineyards, there lies a city that whispers tales of old-world charm and fortified elegance — Porto. Porto is an incredible city to visit. But the first time we went, we accidentally went to Oporto, instead of Porto. It weird, because when we eventually went to Porto, we found out it looks basically identical to Oporto. Like, right down to all the buildings, museums, churches, restaurants, and stuff. Really weird. They should, like, merge these two cities or something. 

Porto Portugal church blue tiles kids
Porto Portugal kids
Porto Portugal church blue tiles


This fairytale capital, where Gothic spires pierce the sky and cobblestone lanes weave tales of kings and alchemists, unfurls like a medieval tapestry, inviting the modern wanderer to step into a dreamscape of enchantment. If you’re desperate for culture in Prague, be sure to check out the “Piss Sculpture” (aka “Proudy”) for thought-provoking entertainment. 



At dawn, as the first rays of sunlight grace the pastel façades of colonial mansions, Antigua emerges in hues of ochre, rose, deathly grey (toxic plumes), fiery red (lava), and ghostly white (death). Totally recommended as the last place you’ll ever visit. 



In the realm of architectural poetry, where stone and imagination entwine in a dance of whimsy and wonder, there stands a singular visionary — Me (But Antoni Gaudí is a close second). 
Barcelona Spain gaudi
Barcelona Spain gaudi
Barcelona Spain gaudi


In the heart of the Yucatán Peninsula, where the echoes of ancient whispers linger in the warm breeze, Chichen Itza emerges as a sacred testament to the splendor of human ingenuity and spiritual reverence. It’s important to note that the restoration efforts have been a subject of intense discussion and debate among archaeologists, as there are differing opinions on whether or not the Starbuck’s was located at the top or bottom of the pyramid. 

cenote Mexico water hole
chichen itza ciudad, Mexico, pyramid ruins
chichen itza ciudad pyramid, Mexico


Everest, or Sagarmatha in the local tongue, stands as an icon of resilience, a challenge embraced by those who dare to defy earthly limits. I only have one word to say – acclimatize. If, for some reason, the airline loses your luggage and puts you days behind in your hike, you still need to acclimatize, dummy


Humayun’s Tomb is often considered the prototype for the Taj Mahal. Much in the same way that I am considered the prototype for Brad Pitt. I kid. I’m more like a poor man’s Nic Cage. But here’s a bold statement…ready for this? I secretly think Humayun’s Tomb might in some ways be even better than the Taj Mahal. 


As dawn tiptoes over the cerulean waters, Venice awakens, bathed in the soft glow of morning light. The labyrinthine canals, like liquid veins, weave through the heart of the city, carrying the echoes of a bygone era. Your car rental, like a sinking ship, bobs and gasps for air, carrying the echoes of your suitcases to the canal floor. Really should’ve taken a boat here. 


As the sun begins its descent, Rio Carioca becomes a city of holy-shit-we’re-gonna-die, a celestial carnival (but with more bullets). The Christ the Redeemer statue, now towering over the blood of the innocent, stands as a warning beacon to all tourists that have made the mistake in thinking this beautiful paradise was actually safe.

Brazil Christ redeemer


I feel weird with this entry, because, like, literally this is our home. This is where we live. It’s strange to show complete strangers where and how you live. Yes, our home is ornate. Yes, it’s historic. Yes, tourists keep waking us up. No, we’re not supposed to be here. Let’s change subjects, please. 

Alcazar Sevilla Spain tiles


In the heart of Amsterdam, where history glides upon the ripples of time, the Canal Ring unfolds as a symphony of enchantment. Created purely out of jealously for Venice’s canal system, some might call the Dutch petty, insecure (and significantly better at building canals than the Italians). 

Amsterdam canal with kids
Amsterdam with kids
Amsterdam canal with kids


In the embrace of the Giza Pyramids, where the earthly and the celestial converge, one cannot help but feel a profound connection to the locals who will follow you around and grab you and try to sell you useless things and purposely jump in front of your picture and mock you and yell obscene things at you and pull your wife’s hair and lie to you about secret entrances and lie to you about anything and everything else.


In the heart of Jordan’s desert expanse, where the sun paints the sandstone canvas in hues of amber and rose, Wadi Rum unfolds as an otherworldly symphony. And you haven’t lived until your Bedouin guides smoke too much hash and leave you alone in the desert, not knowing if anyone will return to collect you. 


As twilight descends, the Seine becomes a liquid mirror reflecting the kaleidoscope of Parisian life – kids that are too young to smoke cigarettes smoking cigarettes, pickpockets, Africans selling Asian-made trinkets, Serbians conducting illegal (and rigged) gambling, old women in real mink coats, union members striking. Ahhhh, comme c’est romantique.


In the bosom of Portugal, where the verdant hills of the Sintra Mountains cradle an enchanting secret, the town of Sintra unfolds as a floral tapestry. Highlights (with time estimates): taking a wrong turn on the Sintra one-way roads (1 hour), getting locked inside the Moorish Castle after-hours (30 mins.), standing in line to see a hole in the ground at Quinta da Regaleira (45 mins.).  

Pena palace with kids
Pena palace Lisbon with kids


As the morning sun kisses the terracotta roofs and the waves serenade the shore, Cinque Terre awakens from its slumber. Fun fact – no one knows how many towns Cinque Terre has. Is it four? Six? No one knows. 

Cinca Terra, Italy


As dawn delicately brushes aside the night’s veil, the first light of day dances upon the mirrored surface of the crystal-clear lakes, each liquid jewel reflecting the swarm of wasps that will bite (sting?) you mercilessly.


In the sun-soaked embrace of southern Italy, where the cerulean sky meets the shadowy silhouette of Vesuvius, Pompeii unfolds as a time-worn palimpsest—a city entombed in the ash of antiquity, yet vividly alive in the echoes of its own demise. Man, if these walls could talk. I bet they’d say – “run,” right? I mean, right?


In the heart of southern Africa, where the Zambezi River etches its sinuous course through the verdant embrace of the continent, Victoria Falls stands as a majestic testament to the untamed grandeur of nature. The shear number of ways to die here is impressive. My favorites are accidentally slipping over the falls and (I assume) bungee jumping from what looks to be the world’s most dangerous and hastily constructed bungee jump (if you’ve been here, you know what I’m talking about). 


In the cradle of Renaissance splendor, where the Arno River mirrors the timeless beauty of centuries past, Florence emerges as a living canvas adorned with the hues of artistic brilliance and architectural grace. I consider Florence a starter city for Americans. It’s safe. Everyone speaks English. They have pizza. They have ice cream but call it gelato. Yada yada. It’s basically perfect. 

Florence skyline, Italy


In the embrace of the Andean highlands, where the whispers of ancient civilizations ride the mountain breezes, Cuzco stands as a living testament to the indomitable spirit of the Inca people. And I, a very short man, in Cuzco, stand head and shoulders above the native people. Ergo, I highly recommend Cuzco. 


In the cradle of Athens, where people breathe down your neck like the whispers of the Aegean winds, the Acropolis rises as a celestial crown levitating amongst, at minimum, 13,498 people. Have I mentioned it’s crowded? Very crowded. Pro tip: visit during a global pandemic. 

Athens, Greece


Ascending the serpentine path of the City Walls, where fortifications defy the vertiginous terrain, Kotor unveils its panoramic grandeur. The Bay of Kotor, fjords carved by geological artistry, becomes a cinematic backdrop—a stage where the drama of mountains meeting the sea unfolds with breathtaking beauty. Kotor is the perfect example of some place that blew us away because we almost literally knew nothing about it. It reminds me how I approach my job/life each day – unprepared, unknowing, blown away by the simplest of things. 

Kotor Montenegro summer with kids
Kotor Montenegro
Montenegro summer with kids


In the heart of Vietnam, where the Thu Bon River gently cradles the reflections of ancient lanterns, Hoi An unfolds like a silk embroidery—a city that wears the threads of history with grace. And, my goodness, THE BEST opium dens. My kids still ask about them. 


The crown jewel of Iguazu National Park, the Iguazu Falls, unveils itself like a grand spectacle orchestrated by nature. Here, water from the Iguazu River reaches some sort of precipice and then, just, like…falls. And people are apparently really amazed by falling water. So, here we are. 


Known as the spiritual heart of the continent, Uluru is not just a geological wonder but a living tableau where the essence of indigenous culture and the raw beauty of the Outback converge. Now, a stupid joke that will forever get me in trouble: If Uluru is so sacred that they don’t want you to climb it, why are there chain handrails naturally running all the way up it? Huh? Explain that to me! I told you it was stupid….


In the heart of East Africa, where the endless horizon meets the boundless sky, the Serengeti unfurls as a sprawling canvas of life—an ancient theater where the drama of the wild plays out in a ceaseless cycle. My mother-in-law once stuck her head out the window here to get a better look at the lions that were pacing just outside our vehicle. I thought that was really bad until she later slid open the van door to start walking up to a nearby rhino. Pro tip: don’t take your MIL on safari. 

Savannah grass fields Africa
cave painting Africa
zebras savannah grass fields Africa


In the highlands of Central Mexico, where the echoes of ancient civilizations reverberate through the ages, Teotihuacan rises as a monumental testament to human ingenuity and cosmic reverence. The question, however, of whether human sacrifice occurred at Teotihuacan remains a topic of scholarly debate and has not been definitively established. Yes, burial sites containing sacrificial victims, including individuals with signs of violent deaths or ritualistic treatment, have been discovered. Yes, murals and iconographic elements depicting sacrificial scenes have been discovered. But, hey man, it’s 2024, we’re not allowed to speak of such things. I say we make human sacrifice great again. 

teotihuacan ruins Mexico city with kids baby
teotihuacan ruins Mexico city with baby kids
teotihuacan ruins Mexico city with kids baby


In the northern reaches of Vietnam, where the land and the emerald waters conspire to create a dreamscape, Ha Long Bay unfolds as a celestial masterpiece—an ethereal ballet of limestone karsts and jade-green waters that captivates the senses. Best place I’ve ever been stung by a jellyfish, hands down. 


Sunset bathes the Namib Sand Sea in warm, amber tones, casting long shadows across the rippling dunes. The desert, now a realm of tranquil beauty, becomes a sanctuary where the shifting sands seem to whisper ancient secrets to those willing to listen. The only problem is when we set up our beach blanket and umbrella someone came and set theirs up RIGHT next to ours. Like, seriously? Who does that?

Kalahari desert Namibia kids
Kalahari desert Namibia kids
Kalahari desert Namibia with kids


Nestled on the rugged western coast of Norway, where mountains embrace the sea and fjords carve through the landscape, Bergen emerges as a captivating tapestry of history, nature, and Nordic charm. Known as the rainiest city in all of Europe, it did not rain once in the five days we were there. Using my fancy lawyer logic, I sez it’z no longer the rainest city in all of Europe and everyone who says otherwise is lying. If you visit, take shorts, lots of sunscreen, and no umbrellas (you won’t need one). 


In the heart of the American Southwest, where the earth’s ancient layers are laid bare in a geological ballet, the Grand Canyon stands as a majestic testament to the raw power of nature and the eons-long dance between rock and river. If you ever get the chance, do the rim to rim hike/camp. If you’re smart like me, you’ll do a portion of it without water and have to end up getting a hotel room on top of the South Rim with your uncle’s credit card. 

grand canyon Arizona pregnant with kids
grand canyon Arizona with kids
grand canyon Arizona pregnant with kids


In the heart of the rugged desert of Jordan, where the ochre sands conceal an ancient secret, Petra emerges as a city of whispers—a rose-red marvel carved into the very heart of the mountains. The first time we went to Petra, my wife made me promise we’d never go back (because of the heat and harassment). The second time we went to Petra, my wife made me promise we’d never go back (becuase of the heat and harassment). I’m really looking forward to what she says about the third time. 


At the first light of dawn, the Sassi di Matera, the city’s famed stone districts, awaken to a symphony of warm hues. In the mid-20th century, Matera gained international attention due to the dire living conditions of its inhabitants, particularly those residing in the Sassi districts—ancient cave dwellings carved into the limestone rocks. “Come for the 5-star, luxury hotels, stay for the leprosy” remains the city’s official tourism slogan. 


In the heart of the Sierra Nevada, where granite giants touch the heavens and waterfalls cascade in nature’s grandeur, Yosemite National Park unfolds as a sanctuary of awe. I am currently on year six of a 36-year waitlist for a campsite here. It’s going to be a retirement gift to myself. Can’t wait. 

Yosemite hiking with kids family
Yosemite hiking with kids family


As dawn illuminates the city of Xi’an, the Terra Cotta Warriors awaken from their earthen slumber. Rows upon rows of life-sized soldiers, officers, and charioteers stand in stoic formation, their meticulous craftsmanship revealing the artistry of ancient China. One intriguing fact about the Terra Cotta Warriors is that each warrior possesses distinct facial features. One sad fact is that, despite these sculptures being only around 2,000 years old, they are not at all diverse, inclusive, and representative of the world’s population. Shame, shame. Do better, China. 


In the heart of the American West, where geothermal wonders breathe life into the earth and wilderness unfolds in panoramic grandeur, Yellowstone National Park becomes a living canvas—a testament to the untamed beauty and primal forces that shape the natural world. Don’t forget to drink all the free, rust-hued, scalding hot, bubbling, sulphuric water the park provides (don’t actually do this, obviously). 

Yellowstone hiking with kids
Yellowstone bison
Yellowstone river view


In the heart of Java, where the tropical air carries echoes of ancient chants and the emerald landscape cradles a sacred secret, Borobudur stands as a majestic testament to human devotion—a colossal mandala of stone that transcends the realms of time. Here, thousands of selfie-taking Italians gather for sunrise shoots, ironically all leaving just before the light actually gets good. 


In the cradle of ancient myth and geological marvel, where the celestial hymn of Olympus mingles with the earthly whispers of Pindus, Meteora rises like a symphony of stone—a sanctuary suspended between heaven and earth. Here, lonely monks patiently wait for benevolent Instagram drone operators to break the maddening peace and quiet with intrusive propeller blades spinning and video cameras zooming. 

Meteora, Greece
Meteora, Greece


In the vast expanse of the Pacific, where the emerald embrace of equatorial waters cradles an archipelago born of volcanic artistry, the Galápagos Islands rise as nature’s opus—a living symphony of biodiversity set against a backdrop of crystalline seas. Iguanas, blue-footed boobies, giant tortoises – they all taste like chicken, in case you were wondering. 


In the heart of Thailand, where the Chao Phraya River weaves its liquid tapestry through the land, Ayutthaya unfolds like a forgotten chapter in the book of time—a city of mystical ruins that whisper tales of a bygone empire. Fun fact – both my very pregnant wife and small child almost got heat stroke the day we were there. Fun! Take sunscreen (and shade, but maybe not your pregnant wife and small children). 


In the heart of Cambodia, where the lush emerald canopy of the jungle cradles the vestiges of an ancient empire, Angkor Wat rises like a celestial hymn—a symphony of stone that echoes through the corridors of time. No horses were killed in the making of these photos. Okay, maybe one (pictured). 


As the first light of dawn tiptoes across the horizon, the Taj Mahal unveils its pristine grandeur, bathed in the tender glow of morning’s embrace. The Taj stands as an enduring sonnet to love’s eternal flame and almost rivals that time I got my wife some flowers and a greeting card from the gas station for Valentine’s Day. 


Machu Picchu is renowned for its sophisticated dry-stone construction. The precision with which the stones were cut, spread out over the kitchen table, edge pieces put together first, sorted by color, and then fitted together over the holidays is a testament to the advanced puzzling skills of the Inca civilization.


In the heart of China’s vast tapestry, where the ancient echoes of dynasties linger on the whispers of the wind, the Great Wall emerges as an eternal guardian—a serpentine behemoth, undulating across the mountains like a colossal dragon, its stones and bricks bearing witness to the passage of centuries. Small children will also openly relieve themselves on the Wall. It doesn’t matter how many times you see it, it still shocks. Every time. It’s, like, wait, is that child really taking a shhhhhh…yup. Wow. 


Amidst the endless expanse of the South Pacific, where the whispers of the ocean breeze carry the tales of ancient seafarers, Easter Island emerges as a mythical sanctuary—a testament to the resilience of humanity and the enigmatic allure of monolithic sentinels standing against the vastness of the sea. Perhaps the most spiritual place I’ve ever encountered is the quarry, where the Rapa Nui carved out the massive moai. Many unfinished. Civilization here, civilization gone. Such is life.