The first international trip is always a memorable experience for anyone and my first foreign location happened to be Jordan!
Can you dream of a place you have never seen?
Blimey! Jordan is exactly that very dream you would never imagine your first luxury/ super cliched place/ first firang land experience to be.
Well, honey! I feel very blessed & fortunate to have explored the uncharted corner of the Earth in my first affair with the international trip.
There were lot of firsts..
When I heard of the place for the first time, when I voyaged into my online journey ‘things to do while in Jordan’ for the first time, when I boarded the international flight for the first time and when I finally set my first foot in Jordan – that something called heart kept exploding out of excitement & nervousness all along the journey.
..and boy, the first time feeling is child-like. It is adorable, it is oddly a new you. It weirdly made me feel like a Pataka. Exploding yet refreshing.
Well, a Desi Pataka to be precise. Feeling more alive with curiosity to explore and know the new culture and get immersed in the land of Jordanians and.. (breathe in slowly) feel like one of them!
But to be honest, it was the intensity of my enthusiasm, discovering and learning about myself that made this trip a thrilling sensation and I continue to relish that in full glory.
If you have read my previous article, by now you would have forgotten that my name is Priyanka, but is Zingy! C’mon I kept barking and attested a self certification that I am a Zinger!
So you as a reader, keeping that in mind, imagine and feel this – every moment this Zingy spent on thinking, researching, experiencing, comprehending, perceiving, discovering this journey was divinely mad.
Firstly, as an Indian girl hailing from a very protective Indian family (because clearly my family and folks were concerned) and to the rest of the world who are not aware of this, would like to walk you through the information on safety here.
On a geographic location point of view, Jordan is surrounded by Syria, Israel, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Palestine and because of this placement, Jordan usually does not get its fair global view. Jordan is a progressive nation in an otherwise conservative Middle East. The country’s tourism and government related social media pages are creating a new identity for Jordan! It is a developing country with genuinely kind and generous people.
Things to experience
Let us first speak about all things love –
As a vegetarian, I was bombarded with comments like, shizzz man there is nothing for you to eat there! But Bro, you got all the facts wrong! Let me give you some real deets here.
- Fattet Hummus
- Falafel – (Read – Mark Wien’s Jordan Food recommendations )
It is safe to say, you will come back with extra pounds after some good food in Jordan!
Dine well, while you are in the food nation! You cannot be sad in this country, because the food here is heaven.
Let’s say, I was in grade 3 when I first read about the Dead Sea in the ‘Did You Know’ section of Children’s Digest magazine. I know it sounds funny, how I vividly remember reading this.
Can I tell you something more funnier? For the record, I even remember the cartoon that was used for this fact, they parodied a man floating on the sea while reading a book. But evidently, it is the famous way of getting a picture clicked in the Dead Sea!
This astonishingly beautiful black avatar you see is called as, Dead Sea Mud therapy.
The seldom spoken perk of the Dead Sea, apart from calling it the highly salinated and DEAD, it’s the lowest point on Earth, you breathe the purest form of air and the sunshine here is ultraviolet filtered.
Good to know things – For a person who doesn’t know to swim, Dead Sea is a wonder!
Bucket list item – Check!
Places to see
The capital city of Jordan is Amman. It is the urban center and the only city in Jordan that is ginormously inhabited compared to any other city in this country. In the past, Amman was called as Philadelphia. Well, one of the very sweet drivers was my Wikipedia here!! 💛
A beautiful morning walk in the Amman city and met lots of Jordanians, one thing they kept telling me is, ‘We love Indians’. (Hum tho aise hain, Bhaiya!!) 💛
Petra is famously known as the lost city to the rose city to the rock city, this entire wonder place is carved from sandstone cliffs.
Petra was built by Nabateans, the northern Arabian tribe. They are one of the nomadic Bedouin tribes. This place is still a mystery to many. I was hopelessly happy and curious to know the story behind each carved rock. Even if you get lost here, I assume you still would be happy! Petra plays with the natural light and is vibrantly coloured with every shade of red.
This wonderland was rediscovered by a Swiss explorer in recent years, hence the name, The Lost City.
Here is to a happy child in an almost lost city, may be!?
Wadi Rum – Welcome to Mars!
The Wadi Rum landscape is something different from anything that the Earth offers and nor in the wildest dreams would anyone ever imagine heaven to look like this. No vegetation. Just plain dry landscapes. Every 5 minutes, the landscape changes from grey to white to red. You read it right!
To those days where I felt like walking into Sunshine!
The Beduoin Community in Wadi Rum
My stay at Wadi Rum was all about the Beduoin family.
Dedicating this article to the Beduoin community, to my host Eid Hamdan & family in Wadi Rum who were very kind and welcomed me with the utmost warmth. I chose to have an authentic experience with the Beduoin community, hence I opted for Eid’s family through Airbnb.
As most of the reviewers had written pertinently about Eid, he was exactly what I had imagined, his family was JUST PURE KINDNESS. So prior to the completion of my trip, I made a point to gift Eid’s wife an Indian Saree which I had already carried from India (brownie points here)! And boy, she loved it. Unfortunately I couldn’t drape her one.
Eid & family were waiting at the Rum village to receive me, as I was shivering to death with the weather showing 1°C, this clearly was not a pataka wala moment for me.
I lived in a Beduoin tent with his family and the cute kids ended up calling me Bianca! Like whaaaaa!? The dumb charade way of interacting with these kids was clearly my ‘Mera Naam Joker, wala feeling’!
Sultan was the hero of my Wadi Rum chapter, a really sweet host whose English accent was the cutest!
You can choose to live & experience in Wadi Rum, that goes from a basic tent house (the one I lived in) to a luxurious bubble house (the one Elon Musk lived in).
And oh man, this place is gorgeous to the eyes. Magnificent is the apt word. But straight from the shoulder, the heavenly touch to this place was brought to me by the Jordanians. These Arabs of Wadi Rum speak from the heart.
But as a ultra-loyalist to travel and exploring, take me at face value while I say this; Jordan was an incredible country to experience rich food, to explore the unexplored part of the world, to hear the untold stories of the Middle East Asia, to see their unique culture and I would not be wrong if I say, I really met some good-hearted Jordanians whom I will never forget for their kindness and hospitality.
I can go on and on and write more, but friend, go live some more!
I came back with pocket full of memories, a truck load of experiences & feelings, which I will blabber more in detail when we meet! Okay? 😀