Jordan: Wadi Rum

Hello and welcome back! In my last blog I said Ajloun was my favorite place so far in Jordan. I truly did not believe the beauty of the rolling hills covered in olive trees could be topped. However, at this point in my travels I can confidently say that it has, in fact, been replaced as my favorite. In my latest adventure, I finally got the opportunity to make my way south and experience the beauty of Wadi Rum.

We started our 4-hour journey from Amman to Wadi Rum around 8am. The first half of the drive was certainly nothing remarkable and was empty for the most part. Unfortunately, the barren landscape was littered with an abundance of trash and long forgotten structures. As we got closer to our exit, the terrain began to morph into a more mountainous type and the sand changed to a burnt orange color. While signs of life were still few and far between, from the road I was able to see several caravans of camels making their way through the harsh countryside. This was my first time seeing wild camels and I was absolutely ecstatic!

Finally, after a good while on narrow desert roads, we arrived to our camp. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but it also didn’t have to be. The view of our surroundings was more than enough to make up for the vacant camp. We dropped our things off and decided it was time to scale the nearest rock formation. The exploration of the area was the best part and something that I will never forget: no limitations, complete freedom of choice.

Just before sunset we got in the bed of a truck and took off deeper into the valley. The expansive landscape was incredible. These ranges of rock formations were not completely connected and it was a true marvel to see each and every one of them as they stood peppering the sand in the most randomly orchestrated way. Again, with each new angle came a completely new picture. The heat was no longer a factor as nightfall was quickly approaching.

Early on into the tour our driver took us to a sand hill. The grade on this thing was pretty much impossible and at one point I was definitely on all fours trying to reach the top. Although I felt like I was dying, the view from the top was the most breathtaking of all. The sand in the shadow was cool and I would also just like to mention that this was definitely the softest sand I’ve ever experienced in my life! While I won’t bore you with a sappy metaphor about the struggle of that hill and how it correlated to my struggles here being alone, I will say that getting to the top was triumphal for me in more ways than one. We sat at the top for a while before making our way down, sinking to our knees with every step in the downward direction.

Finally, it was time for sunset! Our driver took us to the most gorgeous look-out spot for this. We scaled a few of the rocks to get a better view and wow. I don’t know if I will ever see something as awe inspiring again as that sunset was. The reds of the sand and rock and sun melted into one to create the most incredibly composed picture I’ve ever seen. What a blessing to experience something the majority of people never will.

We went back to our camp and ate dinner. Traditional Jordanian food was exactly what we needed after a day of adventuring and exploring the vast landscape. The rest of the night was filled with conversation and with personal reflection. I sat in my tent at bedtime surrounded by the silence of the desert and for the first time since being here, I felt completely content with my decisions that landed me in Jordan. Fear and doubt have a funny way of manifesting and getting in the way of truly amazing experiences. Push through and don’t give your reservations room to breathe. Things always have a way of working out and there is no reason to allow anxiety to overshadow your dreams. My trip to Wadi Rum was a good reminder of that for me and I genuinely cannot wait to go back and experience the discovery and beauty of the landscape all over again.

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