“You’re going to Jordan?!”
“Why would you travel to the Middle East?”
“Aren’t you scared?!”
These are just a few of the questions I received when I told people I was given the opportunity to travel across Jordan for nine days. The reactions ranged from befuddled to downright nervous.
I have to admit, I didn’t know much about Jordan before I came here. I had seen photos and heard stories, but my knowledge was limited. My small amount of research before I left for my trip could not begin to prepare me for this experience. Y’all, I have been blown away by this diverse, beautiful, and holy land.
From the moment our plane began it’s descent over Amman, I knew this was going to be unlike any destination I had visited.
In Amman I visited the beautiful King Abdula Mosque…
…attended mass at St. Peter and Paul Greek Melkite Catholic Church…
…was wired by Arabic Coffee…
…had a history lesson at The Jordan Museum…
…wandered around a Roman Citadel…
…and ate my weight in hummus.
By the way, that was just the first day!
Five words to sum up my first impressions of Jordan:
Touring across Jordan, we traipsed through green fertile river valleys, pink deserts, sparkling blue seas, and dry, red mountaintops.
The people of Jordan have been as diverse as the geography, and every bit as welcoming. There is a beauty and an intentionality in each interaction. During a conversation, there is no doubt about it, I am a human to be valued. It’s both refreshing and awe inspiring.
Picture this: I’m sitting on the patio of the Kempinski Resort Aqaba watching women in hijab selfie on the beach, a pair of bikini clad sisters in wide-brim hats and round sunglasses talk emphatically next to lounge chairs, a man in swim trunks laughing with his hijab-wearing wife while following their two babies. We are all listening to the waves, the wind, and a Pitbull song ring out from a passing boat. The view from my plastic grey bowl of a chair includes the Red Sea, Jordan, Israel, and Egypt.
The people, the history, and the landscape of Jordan combine to create a beautiful culture, a welcoming country, and an experience unlike any other.