Jordan is spectacular. You must visit.
I have a giant travel aspiration document stored on my computer. It’s called ‘Places to Go’. It not only contains a list of places I will visit, it calculates how long I need to visit each places, includes a list of sites to see for each city and the travel time between each destination. By my calculations, at this rate, I can complete my list by 2026. It keeps growing, however. I update it weekly when Instagram shows me a new places in the world that I simply must visit. Or when a friend inconveniently relocates to a destination that is not on my list and I simply, must, visit them.
For years, Petra (and Jordan) weren’t even on my list. I knew of them, but I didn’t consider them priority. I’d already seen incredible temples in Egypt and surely Petra wouldn’t be that different? Jordan only came to mind as a convenient place to visit because during our South East Asia trip, we had travel time remaining and didn’t want to spend it freezing in the very North of the Asian countries: Japan, China, Mongolia or Russia. We decided to save those countries for the spring season, when the cherry blossoms are out in full force (and, if you want to get super specific, I need to save Taiwan and India for March when they have national festivals and Burma is crazy expensive to fly into at the moment, so I’m waiting for another year when the prices drop).
The Middle East therefore seemed like an excellent idea. “The Middle East”, I thought confidently “is hot”.
Wrong. So very, very wrong. The Middle East apparently has the capacity to be freezing. The Middle East snowed. In Jordan, they literally had a four day cold-snap, resulting in a blizzard: on the four days that we visited.
I was so underprepared for the cold, that I had to wear almost the exact same outfit for over a week. As depicted through pictures 1-3.
My friend Kim moved to Jordan over a year ago. She didn’t know it was cold in the Middle East either. No one thought to tell her. She bought 1 jumper. Fortunately, she had soon increased her warm clothing cupboard and leant me two giant mittens. Which I loved. And subsequently lost, one at a time over the next 48 hours. I have no idea how. Do you remember the old nursery rhyme, “the three little kittens, that lost their mittens”? I feel less judgemental of the kittens. It’s so very easy to lose mittens. Maybe mittens are destined to be lost. Who has all these lost mittens? A gypsy in Petra definitely has one of mine.
Back on topic. Why is Jordan awesome?
So beautifully Middle-Eastern. It looks like Agrabah. It has mazes and zigzagging stairways. Random poles lying about that you could leap over buildings to flee the palace guards… (Dear America, please don’t bomb Amman by thinking that it’s Agrabah).
- The Dead Sea
THE DEAD SEA. First of all, from the Dead Sea – I can see Israel. Second, you can float in it. Not at the temperatures we went (it was snowing 20 minutes down the road), but you can and this is important to some people. Third, when you are at the Dead Sea you are standing on the Earth’s lowest elevation point (1407 ft below sea level). How amazing is that! Fourth, it’s beautiful!
Spectacular, spectacular Petra! Within thirty minutes of our 6-hour visit, Petra had become one of my favourite places in the entire world. You can be inspired by my photo essay here. Walking through the canyon crevices alone is peaceful, romantic, inspiring and leaves you feeling awestruck. It’s a feeling that can’t be described in writing. Which is why you Simply. Must. Go.
4. Everything else
The beautiful town of Wadi Musa, hot springs, delicious food, Wadi Rum – a valley cut of sandstone. There is so much to do in Jordan.
Jordan was such an incredible experience. I usually don’t want to go back to places I’ve already seen but I would go back to Jordan any day. So, have I convinced you to move Jordan to the top of your bucket list?
P.S. I wasn’t even going to write this because it wasn’t at the forefront of my mind, but in case you have any security concerns. Jordan is largely safe. Jordan is surrounded by conflicting countries but monitors it’s own security closely. We had absolutely no security concerns including when we walked around at night time and caught public transport. For more advice, check Smart Traveller which will currently show you that Jordan is on the same level of security advice as France and Belgium and that you shouldn’t go near the borders of Syria and Iraq – but why would you want to.