An unforgettable journey of firsts

Feb. 15, 2022

Having the opportunity to experience Jordan firsthand was a gift; it reminded me that no matter how different a place, or a culture, or people, we are also so much the same. It’s this reminder that made experiencing this new-to-me part of the world that much more magical. These are a few of my favorite photos and stories from my time in Jordan.

When arriving in Amman, the capital of Jordan, the hospitality of the Jordanian people is what you’re met with first. There’s an authenticity to it that must be experienced to be understood, and it sticks with you throughout your entire time in country. From Amman to the Wadi Rum, to Aqaba, Petra, Shobak, Madaba, and Jerash, each destination visited throughout this country has its own magic and history to share. I look back now, traveling across the desert sands by truck and by camel, to diving into the waters of the Red Sea, and floating like a buoy on the Dead Sea, and I’m still in awe of how much adventure is tucked into the borders of Jordan.

Traveling to a new destination, or new region of the world for that matter, introduces us to so many new sights and smells to entice our senses. But, in Jordan, everywhere you turn your senses are entirely consumed, and in those moments you know exactly where you are, and that sticks with you for ages to come.

Listening to the calls to prayer were some of the most awe-inspiring moments – the kind that reverberates throughout your whole body. We heard them multiple times throughout our time in Jordan, but there was one night as the sun was going down that I found it to be especially powerful. The tones of the voice calling were a perfect harmony to the purple shades created as dusk settled in, creating a uniquely beautiful audible and visual experience. One that I can only hope you’ll enjoy someday as well!

It would be a crime to discuss the senses without mentioning the FOOD – my tastebuds are still dreaming of all the incredible treats and meals we savored in Jordan. From the communal “mansaf” to the delicious Bedouin tea, there was something to enjoy every step of the way. I also didn’t realize how many variations on hummus there could be before visiting Jordan – every place we visited had their own unique spin on this popular dish, and yet each version was always so consistently fresh and delicious.

For me, part of getting to know the culture is stepping outside my comfort zone to live like the locals do – and in Jordan it led to one of the most enriching travel experiences I’ve ever had.

Throughout the tour, we had free time or “unscripted time” built in, so that we could head out to explore on our own however we liked. A few other women travelers and I decided to try out a Turkish Bath nearby, and while it was unlike anything else I’d ever done, it opened my eyes even further to the incredibly rich and moving culture found in Jordan. This became a highlight of the tour for me, as it (metaphorically and actually) peeled back layers for me to connect with local women and the women traveling with me in a completely unique way.

There’s something incredibly humbling about immersing yourself fully in the natural landscape of a new destination, and visiting Jordan did not disappoint. One night of our adventure we were lucky enough to sleep in a desert camp in Wadi Rum which, of course, led to legendary stargazing; the kind of stars you wish you could see every night, blanketing a night sky so dark, you could almost feel it’s depth. Add in the towering sandstone cliffs, and it was like being in a whole different world, surrounded by ancient stone giants.

I can still perfectly imagine the feel of the sands of the Wadi Rum between my toes; the heat of the sun on the back of my neck as we climbed to the Monastery at Petra; the bite of the wickedly strong Turkish coffee during a roadside pitstop; the cool blue water of the Red Sea; they all combine in blend that is uniquely Jordanian and reminiscent of the country itself – welcoming, warm, and soul-inspiring.