In just a few days, I will be taking a flight from Madrid to Amman, the capital of Jordan.
Jordan is one of my favorite countries in the world and I believe, though I might be corrected on this by friends with better memories than me, that this will be my fifth trip there.
Simply put, Jordan has some of the nicest and friendliest people in the world. It is a country that I think will always hold a deep emotional connection for me because of things I have experienced and people I have known that have indelibly painted their warmth and love into my soul.
And the best thing about that thought — it isn’t even 1% hyperbole.
I’m headed back to Jordan to do more work with another set of folks I have come to love, the wonderful people at Cox and Kings. Hopefully you recall that I worked with them on some video content last year in Peru and I will doing some of that same work for them, in conjunction with the Jordan Tourism Board (more friends of mine, in case you aren’t sensing a trend today), over the next few weeks.
In a few weeks, I’ll be posting videos to my YouTube channel from this trip — please click over and subscribe if you haven’t already, which you can do with just an email, you don’t need a YouTube account. Although I have been to Jordan a number of times, I have never shot video there, nor any time lapse, so I’m particularly excited to go back to a place I know so well and do the things I now love to do.
When non-travel blogging friends of mine ask me for advice on places to visit, Jordan is on the short list of my recommendations for a variety of reasons.
First, I love the Middle East. I love the culture. I love the people. I love the food. Mostly, I love the climate (though there are a few exceptions there). I love the history. It is one of my favorite parts of the world. Unfortunately, you can’t go to some of the places there that I dearly love, most obviously Syria. And although things have improved since I wrote this post about Egypt a few years back, I’m still don’t personally recommend it to friends.
Not that you should travel to Jordan as the “only remaining alternative” in the Middle East. Far from it. Even if the region was 100% peaceful and safe (and to be clear, Jordan is completely safe and peaceful), I’d still have it on my short list of countries to visit.
Why, you ask further?
Iconic sights. Petra is simply one of the places in the world that you need to see before you die, along with Machu Picchu and Angkor Wat and some others. Aside from Petra, the Roman ruins at Jerash (photo above) are some of the best preserved in the world. The Dead Sea is, well, it is the Dead Sea — everyone has heard of it and everyone should float in it. Wadi Rum was the location for one of my favorite movies of all-time, Laurence of Arabia. And more. Jordan simply has a lot of great stuff to see.
Easy to manage. One other thing I emphasize to friends is how easy Jordan is to manage in a 6-8 day trip. Most every thing you are going to want to see is on the western side of the country. Transportation is excellent and distances are not vast. You can see almost every sight you want to see there in about a week, without feeling rushed or hurried.
The food. Look, I don’t write about food much because I’m simply not that good at it, but that being said, I love, love, love excellent food. You can’t do any better on the cuisine front, in my eyes, than what you will eat every day in Jordan. If I lived there I would be fat — and I strongly contemplated basing out of there at one point regardless.
It would have been a happy fat.
The hospitality. I already told you that Jordanians are some of the friendliest and nicest people in the world and it is most obvious in how they treat guests to their country. The number of people that opened the doors and hearts to me while I was there is something I will always cherish.
I couldn’t be any happier about my next few weeks. Revisiting an old friend.
And falling in love again, no doubt.