I’m starting to think the world is a more marvellous place than I had originally imagined. Every new destination traveled, seems to unravel another little treasure this earth has to offer. I feel like a broken record, as I haven’t found something that has disappointed me, or hasn’t taught me something thus far.
Places like Peru, Nepal, South Africa etc, have really stuck with me, but now Jordan has crept into my life like no other. Never have I learned so much. It was not a culture shock per say, just a shock of how uneducated I truly was about certain aspects of the world.
In this day and age it is really hard not to be influenced by media and the masses, and with that comes pre-conceived notions. When reading this, please know, I do understand the difference between nations, and I have a general understanding of politics in the world and the issues surrounding them. This post is specifically about one country, Jordan, and my experience in it. With that statement, I ask that you take your pre-conceived notions about the Middle East, and remember that each country stands alone.
Jordan is a country stuck in the middle of the Middle Eastern turmoil. Egypt is to the west, Syria to the north, Saudi Arabia to the south and Iran to the west. I get it; the location is not the most appealing at this time. Even with that, I have never felt so safe and peaceful. It is an absolute shame that most people will never have the pleasure of venturing into this part of the world. Jordan is a sparkling gem in a dark coalmine. There is so much history, so much to learn and so much to see!
I had minimal knowledge on Islam prior to this trip. I’m actually embarrassed with my lack of knowledge- but came home enlightened. Like any topic of religion or politics, there are extremes, and just the right balance. Jordan is a well-balanced country. It has one of the highest rates of education, one of the lowest crime rates and perhaps the highest rate of friendly people in the world. Speaking of people, I really believe that the best thing about Jordan, beyond all the beautiful sights, is the amazing people. It is a week since I’ve been home and I’m still trying to figure out how to write about Jordan. I know I loved it, I know I love the people- I just don’t know how to put it into words. Perhaps I’m speechless.
To disregard this place as a top travel destination is a huge mistake. I have experienced so much, and learned so much; I am trying to figure out how I can go back and experience even more.
Where else in the world can you have a real Indiana Jones adventure, and visit wonderful Petra? Walking through the winding Siq, catching the first glimpse of the most amazing structure possibly in the whole world; to then realize that is only the beginning. At every step something else had amazed me. I didn’t even know there was a monastery atop a cliff. Nor did I know only 10% of Petra has been uncovered. Then beyond Petra, you have incredible landscapes and scenic deserts such as Wadi Rum, that perhaps highlight the best sunsets I had ever seen. Not to mention the Jeep adventure through the desert is so much fun! With that I even got to check off an item of the list, and spent the night at a Bedouin camp! Oh and need I mention the Dead Sea. Although probably one of the hottest places I have ever encountered, I can’t think of any other place in the world where you can just carelessly float in the sea.
I can’t change anyone’s mind about the world, but I do know one thing- to be afraid of it, you are essentially closing your mind to endless experiences and opportunities. Jordan needs to be seen- so do yourself a favour and go see it!