A country that challenged my preconceived notions of what the Middle East was like and completely floored me with its hospitality.
Jordan. The jewel of the Middle East. This gorgeous little country neighbours some of the most volatile countries of the world, but manages to be the picture of hospitality and kindness. I arrived in Jordan in 2013 and it truly changed my life.
In my first twenty minutes in the country I went walking by myself to find an ATM. I turned a corner and an armed man in a police uniform saw me and started towards me. Immediately, I panicked. I’m not proud to say it, but I thought this man was walking towards me to arrest me or interrogate me and I had no money or ID on me.
I froze, rooted to the spot as he walked right up to me and proudly said “Welcome to Jordan”. That was it. This man had left his post, stopped his day, just to welcome me into his country. That pretty much sums up the Jordanians. They’re incredibly warm. They’re the kind of people that would welcome you into their house for dinner with their family. And whilst I was there, they did. Many, many times.
Combine that kind of hospitality with the wonder of walking through the ancient city of Petra, the arresting feeling of floating in the Dead Sea and the magic of sleeping under the stars in the Mars-like landscape of Wadi Rum. It’s a pretty compelling argument to discover this incredible place as soon as possible.
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