Three years ago, I went to Jordan to visit my family and to touch base with my roots. It was the most enriching traveling experience of my life. Not only did I revisit mosques that I hadn’t been to in years, I met new people. I attended a beautiful hadra—a religious poetry reading with a rhythmic, trancelike dance—and I discovered the beauty of the country Jordan for the first time since my childhood. The Muslims at the mosque were open-minded, compassionate, and gregarious—after talking to one woman for five minutes, she gave me an invitation to a henna party (a wedding festivity a few months before the wedding reception/rehearsal).
After a few weeks in Jordan, my family and I took a tour bus to Petra. I loved it. The Rosy City was beautiful and the people who worked there were gracious and sagacious. One girl was selling necklaces made of camel bones and other natural artifacts—and she was only eleven years old. She had to sell the jewelry in order to support her small, poor family (most people in Jordan who are poor don’t receive any government or state aid). Also, I rode camels near the entrance of the Rose City; honestly, camels are more fun to ride than horses. Not only are they easier to sit on, but they are more communicative with the rider.
Then, the tour bus took us to Beit Ali Desert Camp in Wadi Rum Road, Wadi Rum, a great tourist attraction for those who want to meet true Arab nomads (Bedouins). Everyone on the tour bus had an option to sleep in the tents, as the Bedouins did, or to sleep in a hotel. My family and I decided to go with the latter. However, we didn’t miss out on any of the festivities—children literally at the age of twelve to fourteen drove us in jeeps around the desert. It was the scariest yet most exhilarating experience ever—they drove fifty or eighty on the dirt path, taking curves and hills in stride. I’ve been on the scariest roller coasters—I’ve even done extreme bungee jumping at Great America—and both roller coasters and extreme bungee jumping has nothing on the jeeps in Wadi Rum.
That summer, my trip to Jordan was unlike any other trip. I truly enjoyed it because of the diversity of people we met on our various travels. We met people from San Francisco, California at Wadi Rum; also, we met genuine Bedouins and we ate their amazing authentic food. I would recommend this trip to anyone.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.