Reflections of My Jordan Journey

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.

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45 Comments
  • @mrsoaroundworld
    May 6, 2013

    What a lovely post! I loved following your trip live – absolutely stunning scenery! And glad you enjoyed it so much!! Who knows, I may go one day!

    • Leah Walker
      May 14, 2013

      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.

  • Hogga
    May 6, 2013

    love the camel pic!

    • Leah Walker
      May 14, 2013

      I only like camels from a distance.

  • Kieu ~ GQ trippin
    May 6, 2013

    Ugh, I’m so jealous! This is high on my list. I’ve been waiting for this post, for you too reflect on your trip. Stunning photos, Leah. Looks like you had an incredible time.

    • Leah Walker
      May 14, 2013

      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.

  • Richard Varr
    May 6, 2013

    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!

    • Leah Walker
      May 14, 2013

      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.

  • Clare
    May 7, 2013

    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!

    • Leah Walker
      May 14, 2013

      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.

  • Anita Mac
    May 7, 2013

    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!

    • Leah Walker
      May 14, 2013

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

  • Ash Clark
    May 7, 2013

    I had such good memories of my travels in Jordan and this brought many of them back! Love the photos Leah!

    • Leah Walker
      May 14, 2013

      Jordan was everything and more than you described, Ash. Thank you!

  • lola dimarco
    May 8, 2013

    so glad you had a great trip. it really looked like the entire group of travel bloggers did. 🙂

    • Leah Walker
      May 14, 2013

      We had a wonderful time. It was such a fun group that made Jordan even more special.

  • Joy (My Turkish Joys)
    May 9, 2013

    Gorgeous photos! Glad I found your blog through another fellow blogger. A great find!

    • Leah Walker
      May 14, 2013

      Thank you so much, Joy. I’m happy to have you stop by.

  • The World Wanderer
    May 9, 2013

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

    • Leah Walker
      May 14, 2013

      I know you would adore Jordan, Erin. It’s rugged and raw and the hiking is spectacular.

  • Julika
    May 12, 2013

    Beautiful words and photos! What an amazing experience! I can’t wait to see Jordan for myself someday!

    • Leah Walker
      May 14, 2013

      Thank you, Julika. I hope you do get to see Jordan and that you’ll have a wonderful experience.

  • Danielle
    May 12, 2013

    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.

    • Leah Walker
      May 14, 2013

      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.

  • thelazytravelers
    May 12, 2013

    these pictures are amazing, leah! sounds (and looks) like you had an incredible time! xo

    • Leah Walker
      May 14, 2013

      These are all my iPhone photos. I adore Snapseed!

  • Edna
    May 12, 2013

    “Bullied the blue out of the sky” I love that line!!

    • Leah Walker
      May 14, 2013

      Ahhh…thanks, Edna.

  • A great adventure…and incredible photos. Looking forward to hearing more about the adventure…

    • Leah Walker
      May 14, 2013

      There’s plenty more to come, DJ. It was packed with fantastic adventures.

  • Lance Wiedower
    May 13, 2013

    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.

    • Leah Walker
      May 14, 2013

      Don’t walk. RUN to Jordan, Lance!

  • Zaid
    May 13, 2013

    beautiful Article ..i would like to invite you again to visit karak,moujib valley and other places 🙂

    • Leah Walker
      May 14, 2013

      Thank you, Zaid. I’d return to Jordan in a heartbeat. Thank you for your invitation.

  • Jess
    May 13, 2013

    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!

    • Leah Walker
      May 14, 2013

      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!

  • Janine
    May 14, 2013

    Exactly as you describe is what makes each trip back worth it 😉

    • Leah Walker
      May 14, 2013

      Hey, I’ll go back any time. You know how to reach me!

  • Traveling Ted
    May 19, 2013

    Loved your Instagram photos and this post was fantastic. Jordan looks very appealing.

  • Heather S
    May 27, 2013

    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.

  • Sharzad
    August 30, 2013

    Beautiful post and pictures! Makes me want to visit Jordan!

    • Leah Walker
      September 15, 2013

      Thanks so much. It’s not hard to find beauty in Jordan. It’s around every corner.

  • Oh if I didn’t already want to visit Jordan enough, these beautiful photos make it even more tempting – love how blue that water looks! Definitely one for my bucket list!

  • Sand In My Suitcase
    August 18, 2014

    Lovely musings on Jordan! And you’re right about the country’s landscapes – Wadi Rum is striking with its red desert and cliffs. And Petra? It’s worth going to Jordan just to see Petra.

  • Grace @ Sandier Pastures
    January 23, 2017

    Hi Leah! I finally made it to Jordan last month with my teen daughter. We had an amazing time. Too bad with what’s happening lately, more and more people seems to be deleting this from their travel list. I feel lucky to have experienced Jordan when I was able to. My posts about our trip: http://sandierpastures.com/tag/jordan

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