Reflections of My Jordan Journey
Leah Walker May 5, 2013

I’ve since left the salty air of the Dead Sea and the seemingly never-ending blue skies and mountainous, desert landscape of the Middle East, and I can’t help but reflect on the last ten days of my Jordan journey.

Red Sea Jordan Boat

Having the opportunity to visit Jordan makes me feel incredibly blessed and amazed, but I also have a touch of melancholy. This isn’t a new feeling. I always sense a bit of depression when leaving a place I’ve come to love. And I’ve certainly come to love not only Jordan, but her people, too. I’ve said it countless times, but it deserves repeating: Oftentimes, it’s not the places you go, but the people you meet along the way. And in Jordan I met some incredible folks. From my energetic, knowledgeable, and patient guide, Ibrahim, to Hussein, the wise-cracking, paradoxical iPhone carrying Bedouin, I met a cast of characters that will remain in my memory long after the sand is gone from my luggage.

Jordan Desert

My to-do list consists of 102 things that I want to experience in my lifetime, but it could easily be ten times that number. I was able to cross both items off that list on this trip to Jordan: See Petra and float in the Dead Sea. Never did I ever think that of all the things I was fortunate enough to see and do, those two items wouldn’t even make my top three experiences.

Jordan Desert

I’ve heard from several people that they never considered Jordan as a vacation destination. To be honest, I really didn’t either. In preparing for the trip, I read about the historical significance of the country, especially its importance to Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. I learned about its ancient people that roamed the lands before Christ. That information alone intrigued me. To think that I would climb Mt. Nebo and see the Holy Land just as Moses did gave me chills. History wise, the opportunity to see Jordan was akin to visiting Rome and Athens—mind blowing.

Jordan Camel

What I wasn’t prepared for was the absolute natural beauty of Jordan. Oftentimes the desert is written off as a wasteland–a sandbox–with little to offer. But, those who disregard Jordan and places like it are missing out on some of the most spectacular vistas on earth.

Jordan Dead Sea

During sunrise and sunset, the ruggedness of the terrain was softened by the glow of the sun. Some of the most vivid oranges and reds I could imagine bullied the blue out of the sky and made the mountains appear as if they were on fire. During the day, the sky looked as if it was blanketed with one shade of brilliant blue; there wasn’t a cloud to be found. At night I could see the stars, something that I’d forgotten how much I loved. Up from the earth rose giant, sandstone mountains looking as if they were designed by a talented sculptor. But instead, Mother Nature and thousands of years created them. The surrounding silence reminded me that I am but a minuscule piece of the puzzle.

Jordan Desert

Jordan may be the third poorest country in terms of water, but they are among the richest in terms of breath-taking backdrops, historical significance, and welcoming people. Rarely in my travels have I met a group so eager to show off their country. Whether I was an invited guest for lunch, wandering the markets of Amman, or hiking in the middle of nowhere, I was met with intrigue, questions, and more cups of tea than I can count. Even though I knew nothing of Arabic and oftentimes they knew nothing of English, smiles transcended any language barrier

Red Sea Jordan

And thinking back to my ten wonderful days in Jordan, I can’t help but smile.

 

I was a guest of the Jordan Tourism Board North America. In no way was influenced to write a positive review by the gorgeous landscapes, turquoise waters, or the delicious food. As always, all opinions are mine.

Leah Walker

Leah's a luxury travel and food writer who has as many stories as she does shoes. She documents her experiences whether that's in the lap of luxury or riding through a swamp in an airboat. Leah freelances and has contributor/editor roles with The Daily Meal, The Daily Basics, Bonjour Paris, France Today, Luxe Beat Magazine, Four Seasons Magazine, Forbes Travel Guide, and is a travel ambassador for Atout France USA. Leah's thrilled to call Paris home after being awarded the coveted three-year Compétences & Talents visa from France, though her talents don't extend to speaking French. Yet.

45 Comments

    1. Jordan absolutely has some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen. It’s crazy how you can be floating in turquoise water one minute and the desert mountains the next.

    1. Thanks, Kieu. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to see such an amazing place. I never would have gone on my own I don’t think. Things happen for a reason, so perhaps your turn will be soon.

  1. Leah, nice blog. Great photos… I experienced the Dead Sea last year from across the border, in Israel, from where I could see the dramatic mountains of Jordan. Wished I could have gone to Petra… next time!

    1. Thank you, Richard. I really want to visit Israel soon. Although they have some similarities, I think the differences would be fascinating to reflect upon.

  2. Oh Leah! I am so desperate to visit after reading this. It sounds amazing. Glad you met so many wonderful people – you are so right, the people always make the trip. Love this post!

    1. Indeed, Clare. People always make the trip. You could be in the most perfect place on earth, but if the people are jerks it’s not nearly as special.

  3. Oh Leah…sounds like everything I thought it would be, and then some! Had hoped to put Jordan on my travel calendar for this year, but will have to wait…hopefully 2014 is the year I meet her amazing people, experience the wonder that is Jordan and swim in the dead sea as my father did many years ago!

    1. I know you would absolutely love Jordan. It’s right up your alley. I hope you get the opportunity to visit one day.

  4. Beautiful photos and reflections! I’ve always wanted to visit Jordan, so I loved following along with you on your journey.

  5. What a stunning experience! I am one of the few who has had Jordan on my list for a while, so I’m so happy to hear such beautiful reflections on your visit.

    1. I would recommend visiting Jordan with my whole heart. If you’re even thinking about going I’d tell you to get there sooner rather than later.

  6. I can say with certainty that visiting Jordan was never on my radar until seeing you would be visiting. And now, especially after seeing your photos, I’m definitely inspired to travel there.

  7. I admit I haven’t thought much about Jordan, but I would have expected the desert to be mostly, well, sand-colored. But it looks so vibrant and beautiful in those pictures!

    1. Depending on the time of day determines the color of the desert. It changes as the sun moves and it’s as if you’re not looking at the same place. Gorgeous, indeed!

  8. This is great. Jordan has been on our list to do for so long. I even went so far to have their tourism depart send me a dvd and a bunch of brochures a few years ago. Reading this makes me think it needs to get moved to the top of the list again.

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