Back in July 2017, pre-covid obviously, my sister and I had the opportunity to visit Jordan. In the center of the Middle east between the shit that is going on in Israel, Syria, Iraq and Saudi-Arabia lies the safe haven that is called Jordan. It may not seem like an obvious travel destination such as Italy, Thailand or the United States but I promise Jordan will take your heart just like it took mine. Keep reading to find out why you need to consider Jordan as your next travel destination.
I am in Wadi Rum, a desert valley in southern Jordan. Today we are visiting this Bedouin Camp and spend the night in the desert. We are completely isolated in a fortress of pink sandstone mountains and orange sand dunes. During the day it’s well over 40 degrees Celsius. I am wearing long pants with a top that cover my shoulders. My tour guide helpes me wrap a scarf around my head to prevent the sun burning a hole in my head. ‘This is how the Bedouins wrap their scarf’ he says, and I can’t help but feel a little bit like one of them. I imagine living here. Not dealing with the daily stress that comes with having a full time job, responsibilities, etc.
I cannot get over how beautiful it is here. Everything looks straight out of a painting. The sun goes down and a light breeze hits my face. It is starting to cool-off a little. This is the magic of the desert that I have read about in books but never thought to experience in real life.
The night sets in and a blanket of a million stars appear. I have never seen anything quit like it. Emotion takes over and I can feel a tear running down my face. I don’t know exactly why I am crying. Maybe it is because the earth never fails to surprise me or maybe it’s just because I feel so fortunate to be able to experience what feels like a miracle.
The lost city of Petra
The next day we visit Petra. Petra is one thing that has been on my bucket list for quite some time. The ancient city of the Nabatean Kingdom inhabited by the Arabs in ancient time, with structures carved out of sand stone has to be one of the most impressive things of this entire trip. We pay for the tickets, pass the entrance and the adventure awaits. My first impression is that the remains and ruins look a lot like the ones in Rome. Apart from the fact that here in Petra is a lot more sand an a lot more camels. Tourists pass me in what looks a lot like a carriage, but with a donkey instead of a horse. Camels walking everywhere you look.
We walk for miles and take pictures of all the impressive excavated remnants. I feel myself and the rest of my travel group waiting anxiously. There is a certain tension in the group. The Treasury or “Al-Khazneh” in Arabic is believed to have been the Mausoleum of the Nabatean King Aretas IV in the 1st century AD.
It is what we have been waiting for and we are not sure when we will arrive there. It is one of the most elaborate temples in Petra. Sure I saw it in pictures and read about it in travel books, but is a different feeling knowing I am about to witness something so remarkable I will treasure (pun intended) for the rest of my life.
Meanwhile we are walking through the Siq, a long, narrow chamber lined with towering cliffs. The views are breathtaking and it’s the perfect introduction to the beauty of Petra. I am walking through the Siq for what seems like forever, twisting and turning and wondering if I’ll ever make it out.
Then after another corner, it suddenly is there in its full glory. Certainly there are many magical moments in Petra and all over Jordan, however seeing the Treasury appear in that rose gold light for the first time was overwhelming. I am completely lost for words. I feel a bit emotional realizing I am actually in front of this majestic world wonder.
After reading two of my favorite stories about this trip I hope I have peeked your interest in considering Jordan as your next travel destination. I will leave the rest for you to explore and experience yourself. Personally I love that there is so much to see and do. It is one of the most extraordinary trips I have made. As much as I enjoyed telling you guys this story, you guys need to save some coins and book that trip ASAP, post-covid ofcourse ;).
Have you traveled to Jordan already? What was your favorite thing? Or if by this story you want to go, where in Jordan you want to go?
Please let me know in the comments!