One of the most convenient aspects of living in Jordan is the accessibility of travel. It is fairly inexpensive to travel internationally due to Jordan’s location between the Mediterranean and Gulf states. My roommate and I decided to take advantage of our location and, on a whim, booked last-minute plane tickets to Muscat, Oman. Three days later, we set out on a whirlwind adventure through one of the most peaceful and picturesque countries in the Middle East.
After I arrived in Muscat late last Thursday evening, completed a few last-minute phone interviews in my hotel room, and managed to get a few hours of sleep, my roommate, Clancy, and I set out on a road trip along the Southern coast of Oman. It felt surreal driving through the mountainous terrain overlooking the Persian Gulf as we blasted John Mayer and talked in an uncomfortable combination of ammiyya (Jordanian colloquial Arabic), fusha (Modern Standard Arabic), and English.
Our first stop on our road trip was Bimmah Sinkhole. While we decided against swimming, we waded into the water and chatted with locals about the differences between Jordanian, American, and Omani culture for a while. After saying our goodbyes, we set off for our next adventure.
Our second stop was a quaint, yet beautiful coastal town by the name of Fins. We enjoyed the company of goats, fishing boats, goats in fishing boats, traditional Omani architecture, secret beaches, and stunning views of the sea. Clancy and I explored the cliffs overlooking the ocean, had a picnic of apples, peanut butter, oreos, and pringles in a hidden beach cove, and hung out with the resident goats.
After enjoying a gorgeous morning in Fins, we went on to Wadi Shab and hiked several miles through the canyon. When we arrived, we took a small fishing boat down the river to the drop off point for the hike. I attempted to use my Arabic and speak with the boat driver, but quickly realized that my Arabic (roughly 80 percent ammiyya and 20 percent fusha) was no match for the Omani dialect (he laughed, I laughed, and we quickly terminated the conversation). After the mishap in Arabic, we set off on our hike through the canyon. The mountainous terrain surrounded by waterfalls, creeks, and exotic flowers and plants felt dreamlike, and Clancy and I agreed that we felt as if we were in Jurassic Park.
After the challenging, yet rewarding hike through Wadi Shab, Clancy and I ended our day watching the sunset in Sur and returned to Muscat so I could catch an important phone call.
Finally, after a full and exhausting day spent in the coastal villages of Oman, we spent our last day in Muscat and explored the old market, walked along the bay, and enjoyed a traditional Omani meal of marak dal (red lentils cooked with spices and served with flatbread) while people-watching by the bay.
Oman is truly one of the most hospitable countries I have traveled to, and its people and culture are as stunning as its geographical location. My last-minute trip to Oman is not to be forgotten and it is undeniably one of my most favorite adventures to date.