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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.