I have just returned from Jordan, an Arab kingdom bordered by Saudi Arabia to the east and south, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north, and Israel and Palestine to the west. In the midst of surrounding turmoil, not surprisingly, people have the misconception that Jordan isn’t a safe country to travel to. Similar to my Iran travels last year, many friends were curious and have asked me, “Why, Jordan?”
Well, here’s something personal to share. The country Jordan was introduced to me 5 years ago by my ex-boyfriend who was living and working in Qatar, and Jordan was his frequent holiday destination at that time. He loved Jordan so much that he visited the country 3 times during his 4-year stint in the Gulf, and most of all he loved the 2,000km drive from Doha to Amman via Saudi. He spoke so much about Jordan that it got me intrigued, and of course, we had plans to travel there together but he was posted to Africa (the downside of working for an oil & gas company) and after some time, we parted for good.
However, I never forgot about Jordan. Images of Jordan that I saw from TV programs and travel articles remained in my mind. Since I enjoy reading about history, heritage and culture, I was drawn towards pictures of the well-preserved ancient ruins of Jerash, the vast and rocky desert of Wadi Rum, the Holy Land that is important for three major religions in the world (Christianity, Islam and Judaism), the contemporary art scene in the capital city Amman, and of course, Petra.
After travelling to Iran with my sister in 2015 which was my first venture into the Middle East, I became more confident. Coupled with multiple solo trips to India and South East Asia during these past 5 years, I felt ready to explore the Middle East again in 2016, and this time, I was determined to go to Jordan – solo.
I spent 9 days in Jordan, and here’s a snapshot of my adventure:
Explored art galleries in Amman
And the ancient ruins of Jerash
Admired beautiful mosaics in Madaba
Remembered biblical stories at Mount Nebo
Inspired by Petra and gradually overcame my fear of heights
Mesmerised by the wonders of nature in Wadi Rum
And of course, met lovely and friendly Jordanians!
The other question that I was often asked, “Is Jordan safe?” My response is a resounding YES!!
Despite the regional political chaos, Jordan is indeed safe and is working hard to put a positive image of their country forward. I’m not spinning a tourism board spiel but my own personal observations tell me that there is an air of tolerance in this country. In addition, as a solo female traveller, never once did I feel unsafe, threatened, hassled or unwelcomed in Jordan.
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