Hey friends! If you’re new to my lil blogging corner, marhaba (welcome)! I’m Jenny, but you can call me Jen. I like blasting folk music in the mornings, blow too much money on coffee and tea, own a collection of plastic succulents because I kill the real ones, enjoy reading works of classic literature greats like C.S. Lewis, and feel most at home when I’m outside with a camera. Currently, I have less than one year left of navigating life at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado where I get to learn about the neato places depicted on my wall map every day. The Middle East in particular is where my heart would eventually like to end up. But to be completely honest, my future is still stocked full with question marks (maybe you can relate). That’s why I’m here in Jordan—to learn and grow and find a sense of direction following graduation.
My expectations for study abroad with CIEE Amman have been absolutely shattered in every way so far—I’ve fallen head over heels for this country and its way of life. Weekdays are spent in class while most weekends are reserved for excursions outside of Amman. The last one, organized by CIEE, was an overnight trip to Wadi Rum and Petra.
We departed for Wadi Rum early Thursday morning and arrived at our campsite hours later where local Bedouins welcomed us with traditional Jordanian cuisine for lunch. With full bellies, they lined up all 50 of us to wrap our heads in Bedouin head scarves (called kufiyas, worn for protection from the hot sun and blowing sand) before loading us up in the beds of their 4x4 jeeps. I'm convinced there's no better way to fully experience the desert landscape featured in Star Wars, The Martian, and Indiana Jones than driving at high-speed during golden hour. We made two stops along the way to hike up massive rock features with insane views that go for miles. I think it's these kinds of precious moments that are too difficult to adequately describe in words, so I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
As if the day couldn’t get any dreamier, we were dropped off in the middle of the desert to be greeted by dozens of camels waiting for us. Each of us was assigned a camel for ourselves before touring more desert land as a large caravan until we arrived at our final destination: the perfect sunset overlook. I hiked to the top alone and stood speechless, entirely possessed by awe and wonder as I watched the final glimpses of evening light reflecting off the sand. Afterward, we walked back to camp and gathered for a relaxing evening of dinner, dancing, shisha by the fire, and stargazing.
And just like that, we were on a bus early the next morning headed for Petra. Our group embarked on a guided tour of the lost city, stopped for lunch on site, and immediately took off for the uphill hike to the Monastery. 64 flights of stairs and 30 buckets of sweat later, we made it to the top, and boy was it worth it. Photos could never do the City of Petra justice. The sheer scale of the Treasury and Monastery alone is something worth witnessing first-hand. Nonetheless, I attached some photos below for kicks and giggles.
I think that just about covers one of the best 24 hours of my life! Time is FLYING here in Jordan and one of my favorite ways to soak up every fleeting moment is by sharing them with you digitally. Thanks for following along with me on this journey, friends! Stay tuned for so much more to come.
All my love,