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This Adventuress is off to Jordan!

visit jordan

Wadi Rum, image Mohammad Asfour

It has literally taken all my self-control to scream out this news to the world, but I can’t hold it in any longer; I’m going to Jordan!

For the curious minded, Jordan is in the Middle East, next to Israel, underneath Syria, and to the left of Saudia Arabia. In case you were wondering, it’s NOT in Syria, and Damascus is NOT in Jordan, so no need to have a heart attack (mom).

In three weeks, I will be cozily tucked in on a long flight to Amman with only my Kindle, iPod and Tylenol PM for company hurdling towards the trip of a lifetime.

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Lonely Planet

But what to expect?

Isn’t Jordan dangerous?

Over the past few years I have developed a surprising interest in the Middle East. For the longest time Europe held the number one place in my heart, and it still does for the most part. But somewhere out of the blue, somewhere between hiking in the mountains of Morocco, to sailing down the Nile to getting lost in the spice markets of Istanbul, I fell in love with this area of the world.

So different and so misunderstood, every time I head to the Middle East, I get more curious and discover new things, and I learn that everything I thought I knew was wrong.

But I want more. I want to see it all. Though I don’t believe in bucket lists, preferring goals with a purpose; but I think I will go ahead and shout it out loud here on my blog (hoping you all will hold me to it) that I hope to visit all of the countries in the Middle East by the time I’m 30. That’s do-able, right? (NO ONE TELL MY MOM, PLEASE!)

visit jordan

Petra, Jordan

Upon reflection, what surprised me the most about the Middle East is just how just how different it is from what is forced down our throats in American media.

Terrorists this, Taliban that, Arab insurgents over there, Muslims who kidnap Christians everywhere.

REALLY? Think hard, do you all really believe that that is indicative of the entire Middle East? If so, that’s very small-minded and you should be ashamed.

America by and large generalizes the Middle East as a foreign and dangerous place, and of course some of it is well-deserved. Parts of the Middle East are volatile and unsafe, parts are war zones. But not all, and it’s important to remember that.

Jordan isn’t Afghanistan. Amman isn’t Baghdad.

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To hold a huge region of the world accountable for the actions of a few, no matter how damaging, is not cool. With several of the most dangerous cities in the world located in the United States, with astonishing amounts of gun violence and crime (have we forgotten about Sandy Spring already?) I really don’t think we as a nation are in much of a position to be pointing fingers.

Since being invited to Jordan, I have researched a lot about safety there, and realized that it’s considered to be one of the safest places in the Middle East, with little violence or danger. I think I’ll mostly be worried about packing enough sunscreen

Expectations

For those who know me well, I always root for the underdog. By its location, Jordan has been looped in with its neighbors in terms of both negative backlash from uprisings in places like Egypt and the civil war in Syria. Poll in, how many of you have been to Jordan, want to go to Jordan, or even have had Jordan on your radar as a possible trip? Be honest.

Over the past two years, a lot of travel bloggers have traveled to Jordan, but when I think about people I know personally who have been who aren’t bloggers or journalists, it’s less than a handful. But from those people who’ve been and lived there, I have heard nothing but good things! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me!

visit jordan

The Dead Sea image John Vicory

What I am hoping to get out of this trip is both a better understanding of the history and culture in Jordan and the Middle East, an endless ocean that generally leaves me with more questions than when I started, as well as a better insight into traveling to this region nowadays as a young mouthy blonde American girl.

Just like with Turkey, I can’t wait to showcase Jordan as a great introduction to the Middle East, and as a safe destination, especially for women. I will also eat ALL THE FOODS. Must go buy more leggings.

A note on dreams 

For me, this trip means so much more than 10 days in the Middle East. Being invited to Jordan by Visit Jordan symbolizes that my dreams are coming true.

Why? I have been blogging for three years now, but until a year ago, I never realized its full potential of my site.

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Last September I met the Visit Jordan folks at the Bloghouse in Spain, a week that changed my life. That was the week that I realized not only was blogging my passion, but that I might actually be able to make a career out of writing and travel. Since then I threw all my effort into my site. I work full time and spend the rest of my time on my blog, writing and editing every single day for the past 8 months.

As I flew home a few days later, I remember thinking to myself, one day that will be me. One day I’ll go to Jordan too. If that isn’t any indication that dreams do come true when you work your ass off and never give up, I don’t know what is.  

So a special thanks to Michael Hodson, Michael Tieso, Stephanie Yoder, Cailin O’Neil, and Kate McCulley for helping me, letting me badger them with inane questions, pointing me in the right direction when I was lost, and most of all, believing in me. Thanks a million.

visit jordan

Ok, enough jabbering and philosophizing, I know you guys want me to dish the details, right?

My Jordan Journey

I can’t give away all my secrets, but let’s just say this trip is going to be EPIC. Here are 5 things I am really looking forward to. Be sure to follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to keep up with my adventures while I am in Jordan.

Have you ever been to Jordan? Have any tips for me? Is Jordan on your dream travel list?

Visiting the ancient city of Jerash

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Finally getting to visit Petra

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Image

Sleeping in a Bedouin tents under the stars in the Wadi Rum desert

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Snorkeling in the Red Sea

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Visiting the Dead Sea

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Image Mohammad Asfour

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*All images are from the Visit Jordan Pinterest page, unless otherwise noted

54 Responses to This Adventuress is off to Jordan!

  1. Kirsten April 5, 2013 at 2:52 am #

    Congrats! My grandparents and I are planning an Israel/Jordan trip – Yes, I travel with my grandparents lol – so I’m excited to hear your thoughts on it :)

    • Liz April 6, 2013 at 1:18 am #

      sounds like you have awesome grandparents! I’m jealous!

  2. Kara Blythe April 5, 2013 at 3:24 am #

    How exciting! I am so happy for you! Can’t wait to hear all the details about your trip — I definitely want to visit Jordan someday myself. Thanks for being an inspiration for other wannabe travel bloggers!

    • Liz April 6, 2013 at 1:18 am #

      awe thank you :)

  3. alicia April 5, 2013 at 3:33 am #

    Awesome! I can’t wait to read your posts & live vicariously through your travels!

    • Liz April 6, 2013 at 1:17 am #

      wahooooo adventures!

  4. Ian April 5, 2013 at 6:09 am #

    Ok..have been following your blog for a little while now and have reached the stage of being so super jealous that I had to comment. Jordan is going to fab, have always wanted to go in fact is top of bucket list..enjoy it and am looking forward to reports. By the way the blog generally is great am loving getting my travel mojo back from all your adventures

    • Liz April 6, 2013 at 1:17 am #

      Thank you so much Ian! Next time come with me ;)

      • Ian April 6, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

        Don’t tempt me!! We are off to Spain instead. Hope you do manage to get to NZ some time soon. I may be a tad bias as living here but it is an amazing country

  5. Emily April 5, 2013 at 7:24 am #

    Wow, congrats! It looks like it will be an incredible trip. I’ve been to Israel but really want to see Jordan and more places in the Middle East. Can’t wait to see all your posts about it!

    • Liz April 6, 2013 at 1:19 am #

      Thanks Emily! I want to go to Israel one day :)

    • A.Fares June 28, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

      Hi

      I think you willbe amzed how wonderful jordan is to be visited nature history and culture

  6. Jess Lee April 5, 2013 at 9:26 am #

    You’ll have a great time in Jordan. Wadi Rum is the best natural wonder I’ve ever seen; it feels like you’re on the moon. Be sure to try mansaf while there, and nuts from the markets in Aqaba (I assume you’re going if you’re headed to the Red Sea).

    Jordan’s not unsafe at all, even for a ‘mouthy blonde American girl’ – tell your mum not to worry! You probably won’t experience harassment like you did in Egypt, as Jordanian society just doesn’t condone it.The people there are incredibly friendly and outgoing, and if you speak some Arabic (I think you mentioned that you do in an earlier post), they’ll love it. Just be prepared for it to pull you into many conversations about politics!

    • Liz April 6, 2013 at 1:17 am #

      I’m so excited to chat with locals! I can’t wait to see the Wadi Rum, it looks amazing!

  7. Mike April 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    This trip looks incredible! I completely agree with what you said about the American media portraying a blanketed view of the Middle East. It’s kind of sickening when you think about it. Someday I definitely want to visit the Middle East, so I’m really looking forward to hearing everything about your Jordan trip. Also, a huge congratulations is in store for succeeding in your goal of blogging!!!! I can guarantee that you won’t stop here though!

    • Liz April 6, 2013 at 1:16 am #

      totally agree, so frustrating

  8. Trevor Huxham April 5, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    This is going to be amazing!!! Take ALL the pictures and eat ALL the food, pleaseeeeeee.

    Also, do you engage in “travel hacking” for cheap plane tickets or do you somehow manage to get good deals? Secrets don’t make friends…hahahhaha

    And I agree with you that the whole region is often unfairly lumped together, stereotypes and media images in all. I think part of the problem is that we group countries from Morocco to Oman (even Iran) under the undescriptive “Middle East” term, a Western-centric term that seems kind of silly since you can go south from Spain and enter the Middle East in Morocco :P Maybe North Africa, Southwest Asia, and/or the Arab/Muslim World would be better terms?

    • Liz April 6, 2013 at 1:16 am #

      I’m a serious travel hacker! I need to write a long post about it! I will EVERYTHING NOM NOM NOM!

      Thanks for noticing my point about the Middle East, I feel really strongly about it, I feel like it gets such a bad rep when a lot of it isn’t true

  9. Cassandra April 5, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    Yay, enhorabuena!! A friend of mine went to Jordan and I was soooo jealous of his outdoor adventures and especially his photos from Petra. Contrats!

    • Liz April 6, 2013 at 1:14 am #

      Thanks Casey! I can’t wait :D

  10. Nikolas April 5, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    Hello. I’m Nikolai. I would like to publish a guest post (with one link) on your great blog – youngadventuress.com.
    Could you please give me the price for the placement of it?
    Thank you and I look forward to your reply.
    Have a nice day.

  11. H.D. Lynn April 5, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    I loved your posts on Turkey. I’m looking forward to your reviews of Jordan. The pictures of Petra make me super jealous. It just looks so majestic and badass!

    • Liz April 6, 2013 at 1:20 am #

      I love that! So majestic and badass <3 best quote ever!

  12. Alex @ ifs ands & butts April 5, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    I love hearing about your dreams coming true! Your hard work pays off, clearly. It will be a spectacular adventure. My friend goes there yearly, and while she is middle eastern, she says it’s perfectly safe. Happy travels!!

    • Liz April 6, 2013 at 1:13 am #

      Thanks girly xx

  13. Kim April 5, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    Wow, what an amazing trip that will be! I actually know a few people who have been to Jordan, and they all say incredible things about their experiences there! It legitimately is on my list. I’m jealous!

    • Liz April 6, 2013 at 1:12 am #

      Yeah, I’ve only heard good things too, can’t wait!!

  14. Sara McBride April 5, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    Your blog is amazing. You’ve been doing excellent work all these years and you deserve this trip. Enjoy the heck out of Jordan. I can’t wait to read your posts. Petra is #1 on my current bucket list.

    • Liz April 6, 2013 at 1:12 am #

      Thanks so much Sara xx

  15. Amanda April 5, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    Ahhhh so jealous! I’d love to go to Jordan! Seeing Petra is high up on my bucket list.

    • Liz April 6, 2013 at 1:12 am #

      Me too! I can’t wait! I’ve been thinking about Jordan for almost a year now :D

  16. Seattle Dredge April 6, 2013 at 4:19 am #

    YAY, I’ve been so excited for this trip and reading this is making it even harder! haha. Caaan’t wait for all the adventuring, eating and seeing a bunch of bloggers floating around in the Dead Sea. See you there :D

    • Liz April 6, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

      Can’t wait to meet you :D It’s gonna be an epic trip, I just know it!

  17. Milly April 6, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    Oooohhh well done! That is going to be one amazing trip – I can’t wait to read your posts about it!

    • Liz April 6, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

      There will be lots of posts, I promise :D

  18. Megan April 6, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    congrats liz!!! jordan will definitely be a great place to rock those sundresses ;)

    i have a growing fascination w/ the middle east. mainly because lebanese food is one of my favorites. it’s strange what draws me into a place.

    im glad you’re working w/ the tourism board there. ill be honest, i currently have very little desire to go to jordan mainly due to the overexposure it has received on the blogosphere. every blogger that has gone covers the destination in the same exact way and it has appeared so boring and bland to me that i dont even take the time to read about it anymore. im glad they picked you to go because i know youll offer something fresh and new…which will certainly entice me on the destination once again. cant wait to read about your trip when youre back and while youre there! <3

    • Liz April 6, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

      I know the feeling, I was really surprised how much I loved the Middle East, I feel like it’s a big secret or something – no one knows how awesome it is bc of it’s negative rep in the news.

      So glad you pointed that out. Jordan has definitely gotten a lot of attention on blogs and I have already started brainstorming how I am going to showcase it :D

  19. Sara April 6, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    So exciting! I’ve been curious about Jordan since Adventurous Kate posted about it awhile back. Can’t wait to live vicariously through your posts! :-)

    • Liz April 6, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

      Yeah! I remember reading about it from her, I need to go back and reread her stuff :D She has always been a big help and inspiration for me

  20. Conquistadora Careese April 7, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    You go girl!!! As much as you help sooooo many people you MORE than deserve this :0] Can’t wait for the posts to come!

  21. Megan April 8, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    I am beyond excited to read all about your adventures in Jordan! I, too, have recently become fascinated by the Middle East, and sadly I haven’t been yet! But the culture is so drastically different than anything I’ve ever experienced that it’s really intriguing. (The closest thing I’ve ever experienced was in Durban, South Africa–there’s a huge Muslim population there.)

    Also, I’m heading to the Bloghouse in Toronto this year, and can’t wait to learn from everyone as you did last year. It’s awesome to see that great things came of it for you! Makes me feel hopeful about my future as a travel blogger as well. :)

  22. Jeremy Branham April 8, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    Congrats on the Jordan! While lots of bloggers have visited, I really appreciate you telling the story behind your trip. So glad you are getting this opportunity. I know you will have an awesome trip. Look forward to the posts and photos!

  23. Lauren April 9, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    Thank you for highlighting that not all areas in this region are dangerous! I would love to travel to the Middle East one day but my mom is (also) so afraid of me going there. I plan on showing her your posts on Turkey (and posts to come on Jordan!) to prove that not all countries in the area should be lumped together, and that solo women travelers can venture out safely too! I can’t wait to see this new adventure unfold :)

  24. Mariah April 11, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    I am so jealous of this trip! One of my close friends is from Amman (he now lives in Memphis) and I have been begging him to take me to visit his home country. I’ve also only heard good things. Enjoy your trip, can’t wait to see pictures!

  25. Addie April 12, 2013 at 5:08 am #

    I used to date a Saudi Arabian and you are so right about the Middle East. There are so many beautiful places and the majority of Americans only listen to what they hear, so glad you are opening up people’s minds by posting. I’ve been to Turkey but never made it to Jordan. I’m so very jealous!
    With your Middle East trip make sure to check out Mecca (of course) and Jeddah ooh and Oman- very underrated and near the top of my list to go and see. Since these are all collectivist cultures it’s always best to go with friends from there- without them you will never fully see all the countries have to offer. Good luck and Safe travels!

  26. ian y June 14, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    We too are travelling to Jordan in August and have the same amount of anticipation and excitement as yourself.
    We are experienced travellers and have found wonderful places and people in most places we have discovered.
    I hope to read of where you have been, and hope you can pass on tips on what we can see and especially the food you found delicious. have a good trip and enjoy every minute

  27. Klonopin June 24, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    What a stuff of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious familiarity on the topic of unpredicted emotions.

  28. Garry July 1, 2013 at 8:30 am #

    Nice clicks ! Jordan is very safe and adventurous place to visit. There are lots of great attractions to see and enjoy. Petra city is my favourite. I really love this place.

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    Exceptional blog page listed here! And your internet site quite a lot right up speedy! What exactly sponsor do you think you’re the employment of? Am i allowed to buy your internet marketer url for ones host? I personally need this site crammed as quickly as you ; )

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