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"Exploring the Wonders of Jordan: A Traveler's Guide to Adventure Beyond Boundaries"

It all began with a desire to step out of my comfort zone and explore a part of the world vastly different from what I knew. A mix of excitement and nervousness marked my first steps on Jordanian soil. Despite the uncertainty, embarking on this journey allowed me to open my mind and heart and foster connections with my inner self, the world around me, and strangers (who quickly became friends). At the last moment, I had the pleasure of meeting my roommates— creating our Petra/Rum Famiglia below, who I quickly grew to love through endless laughter that led to tears and killer ab workouts! Unintentionally, I discovered new aspects of myself and approached experiences with a different perspective.


My Journey

Petra:

Petra felt like stepping into a realm from a forgotten time. The sun cast a beautiful glow on the rose-red rock façades as I walked through the narrow Siq (gorge)— the anticipation building with each step. And then, the Treasury (Al-Khazneh) came into view— an intricate façade carved into the stone, revealing a history that echoed through many centuries.

Hiking through Petra, while undoubtedly an awe-inspiring experience, also brought various challenges. The physical demands of hiking up and down both trails and personal expectations were all shaken. While these challenges exist, they were what made the journey through Petra a transformative and rewarding one.


Wadi Rum: Wadi Rum is a desert valley known for its stunning landscapes of red sand dunes, rugged mountains, and unique rock formations. Even if you haven’t been there, you’ve seen it multiple times (i.e., Star Wars, John Wick, The Martian, Aladdin, and Dune, among others). Don't miss out on the below musts of Wadi Rum:

  • What can I say about camel rides?? It’s a must! It’s a 25 min ride across the desert. They are very tender and gentle creatures, so show your camel a little love!! Just be mindful of the spitting and pooping.

  • Take off your shoes where the sand is soft and feel the sand on your feet. Lovely!

  • Touring on the 4x4s is fun! Especially when your driver is a little crazy behind the wheel!!

Mount Nebo: Mount Nebo is a significant biblical site where Moses saw the Promised Land before he died. It offers stunning views of the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, and even Jerusalem on a clear day. There is a memorial site and a church on the summit, which are worth exploring.



Madaba: Madaba is known as the "City of Mosaics" famous for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics. The most famous mosaic in Madaba is the Madaba Map, which depicts the Holy Land. Don't miss visiting St. George's Church to see this impressive mosaic. Other attractions include the Archaeological Park and the Madaba Institute for Mosaic Art and Restoration.


The happiness I experienced in Jordan while connecting with people was truly profound and heartwarming. Between the awe-inspiring ancient architecture and the breathtaking natural beauty, the interactions with fellow travelers and locals added an extra layer of richness to my experience. I found myself having incredible conversations with fellow travelers from all around the world. We shared stories of our journeys, exchanged recommendations, and marveled together at the stunning sights before us. We had a sense of camaraderie and a shared appreciation for our stories and what brought us to this incredible place. These friendships, born out of shared wonder and appreciation, continue to flourish through modern-day technology and future reunions in other corners of the world. Jordan gifted me not only with its historical marvels but with the lasting joy of friendship— an unexpected treasure that made my journey genuinely unforgettable.

Key Recommendations for You

Petra:

1) On arrival at the Treasury, Bedouin locals offer to take you on a short hike to a café to see the Treasury from a midpoint view for JOD 5 (~7 USD). Don't miss out like I did! (I was too busy admiring it up front). You will see the Treasury with the splendor of the Jordanian morning sun, which looks perfectly pink! 2) Start your journey by 8 a.m. to allow time to hike both trails:

1st trail- To the Monastery (Ad Deir), passing through the Roman Theater.

2nd trail- Through the Royal Tombs, this one takes you to see the Treasury from the top. Once at the top, seemingly a little daunting between rocks, you'll find a tent; you crawl in there, and it's what they call a 'café' with a beautiful view of the Treasury.


Dress Code: Layer up! I went at the end of April, and the morning and night weather was chilly and the afternoons were hot. So layer up, making it easy to stay warm, and remove layers as needed. The temperature ranged approximately between 50-78°F (10-26°C). Of course, if you’re going in the summer (more power to you), disregard this 1000%. Also, one must respect the local culture and customs when traveling. Jordan, as an Arab and predominantly Muslim country, it is important to dress modestly. Loose, flowy, comfortable clothing that covers your knees, shoulders, and scarves is appropriate... and a nice look for your photos!

Bargaining: Bargaining is a common practice in Jordan and is an essential aspect of the local culture. It is typically expected and encouraged, especially in souks (traditional marketplaces) and souvenir shops (which are gorgeous btw), where haggling is a standard part of the buying process. While some sellers may inadvertently come across as pushy or intrusive, keep in mind their intention is usually to assist you; it is common for them to show increased attention by 'following’ or ‘hovering around’ after you demonstrate interest. Use the 'walk away' technique: if unsatisfied with the price, smile, thank the seller, and start walking away. Often, the vendor will call you back and offer a lower price to keep the sale. How often do you get to haggle?? It’s fun! Enjoy the experience, and don’t hesitate to negotiate to get the best value for your money!


Currency: Jordanian Dinar (JOD) is the fourth highest-valued currency globally. Since 1995, it has been tied to the US dollar to secure financial stability and has a fixed exchange rate: 1 USD = 0.7090 JOD or, in the inverse (which I prefer), 1 JOD = 1.41 USD.


Budget: Jordan is a moderately expensive destination for tourism, but it can be affordable if you plan your trip carefully. High tourist season, typically during the spring and fall, may result in higher prices for accommodations and attractions. For me, the more significant costs were part of the tour, and here is the breakout of my expenditures:


Basic Tips

  • Greetings: Arabs are friendly, and although most speak English, I like to greet them in their local language when I travel.

    • Hello= Marhaba

    • Thank you= Shukran

  • Tipping is generally expected in certain situations to show appreciation for good service from tour guides and drivers. Amount varies and is discretionary, but a range of JOD 5-10 per day is a common practice.

  • Visa: Jordan issues a visa on arrival for 30 days to US citizens for JOD 40 (~56 USD).

  • If traveling by land, you will not have to pay any entry fees. But, when leaving the country, you will have an exit fee of JOD 10, payable only in Jordanian Dinars cash.

On a final note

Just as Petra and the desert revealed its secrets over time, my journey through Jordan prompted me to unveil hidden feelings. I interacted with the people who, like myself, were solo travelers searching for something intangible, a realization perhaps? Sharing those personal journeys allowed me to learn different ways of life, values, and perspectives. These interactions challenged preconceptions and allowed me to grow in empathy and understanding of what is foreign to me. Most importantly, it helped me find solace that I am not the only one searching for something, although I still need to learn what that 'something' is.


Traveling solo as a female in the Middle East was a rewarding and empowering experience. From the vast expanse of Wadi Rum's desert to the warm hospitality of the Bedouin people, each experience etched itself into my memory. Taking certain precautions and being aware of cultural norms and local customs is essential to ensure safety and comfort; hence, I decided to take a tour with Abraham Tours instead of planning it alone as I have for my other travels. The Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp accommodations were beautiful and very special (check out the video)! The tour groups' diverse demographics, including people from the Americas, Europe, and Asia, added to the enriching cultural experience. And I got lucky to connect with a great group of people! Our tour guide, Abdallah, was great! He is a local with extensive knowledge about our destinations' culture, history, and customs, which was a great advantage. His expertise significantly enhanced our understanding and appreciation of the places we explored. And he always made sure to ask, "Where's Brian"? So we didn't lose him again! This trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I hope you get to live it too!



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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I have a passion for exploring new places, meeting new people, and immersing myself in different cultures. Through my travels, I have discovered so much beauty and diversity in the world, and I want to share my experiences and insights with you. I believe that travel has the power to broaden our horizons and connect us to the world in a meaningful way. I am excited to share my journey with you and invite you to join me on this adventure!

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