When it comes to blogging, I commit pretty much every “blogging crime” they warn you about in Travel Blogging 101: My blog posts are too long, too inconsistent, too diversified when it comes to travel style: I’ve experimented with solo travel as well as family travel; I’ve written about the looks you receive when filling up a water bottle in a public bathroom in Paris because you’re on a tight budget as well as splurging on way too many expensive coffee treats abroad.
Many things I do on this blog (and in life in general) are highly contradictory. Though, I’m convinced that — even if it might be confusing from a reader’s perspective from time to time — I’m staying true to myself by constantly experimenting. Because that’s just what twenty-somethings do. I’ll try what works, what doesn’t, and I’ll eventually learn my lesson.
So, I really hope you’ll forgive me yet another blogging mistake I’m about to make.
Back in January, I had sworn that I’d improve my photography skills a lot in 2015, especially by learning how to choose quality over quantity. Meaning: Take less, but better photos. I tried to avoid blurry snapshots and endless trial shots to get it right the first time instead. My ultimate goal was to take photos with more intention. And I was doing pretty good.
But then I got to Jordan.
I visited Jordan in April — and returned with 2,045 photos taken over only seven days. I repeat: I took over 2,000 photos in a week!
I honestly tried to take less photos, but I encountered so much beauty and uniqueness in Jordan that I just couldn’t help myself: I was simply not able to put my camera down.
And you might have guessed it by now: The blogging crime I’m about too commit is sharing way too many photos from Jordan. And trust me, it was tough enough to choose only these 8o photos as my favorite ones out of 2,000!
I know it’s slightly insane to squeeze this many photos into one blog post, but I feel like Jordan really leaves me no other chance. I hope your thumbs and/or index fingers are ready, because you’ve got some serious scrolling to do:
Amman, the beautifully chaotic capital city, a sea of bright houses that turn gold when the sun is about to set. The melodic calls to prayer, the maze-like market streets, the smell of spices and rosewater scents, the absurdly sweet taste of sugarcane juice — Amman was my first introduction to this region of the world and I was absolutely fascinated from the beginning to the end of my time in the city.
The region named Valley of Moses is home to the hidden city of Petra, although you would never guess which treasures lie beneath those hills and weirdly-shaped rocks from afar. The sunset I watched overlooking Wadi Musa was one of the most magical sunsets I have ever seen, because the colors that suddenly emerged from those desert-like rocks were almost unreal.
After a few negative experiences, I’m always a little afraid that sights I’ve been longing to see my entire life can’t live up to my expectations.
But Petra blew me anyway even more than I had anticipated: As I walked through the Siq at night with only a few candles and the starry desert sky lighting my way, I had goosebumps the entire time. I was glad it was dark when I saw the Treasury for the first time, so no one would notice the tears in my eyes. It was plain overwhelming. And returning to see the Treasury and the vast city of Petra it in the daylight the next day made the experience even better.
Neither words nor photos can adequately describe what visiting Petra feels like in real life, but photographing the light beams falling into those iconic narrow rose-red gorges leading to the lost city was definitely a dream come true as well.
The Red Sea
I was beyond excited to see the Red Sea for the first time after dreaming of visiting ever since I was a kid. Swimming in the refreshing water was amazing, but my highlight was realizing that the coral reefs can even be seen from the surface, because the water is so clear! I never would have guessed that Jordan also is such a perfect destination for some relaxing beach time as well, but it truly is and I only wish I could have stayed by the Red Sea longer!
Dana Nature Reserve
This otherworldly landscape in Jordan’s largest biosphere reserve was a surprise for me, because it was so different from what I had expected to see in Jordan: I had sand dunes in mind when thinking about Jordan before, but I learned that I didn’t know a thing about Jordanian landscapes before. Despite the ruins dating back several thousand years and uncountable protected species of plants and animals, the hikes and sunset views alone made this trip to Dana Biosphere Reserve absolutely spectacular.
The Dead Sea
It’s strange to visit a place you’ve been hearing about ever since you were a kid. I never doubted the Dead Sea existed, but I always had trouble imaging the lowest place on earth and a sea so salty nothing can live in it. After getting just a little bit of Dead Sea water in my nose and eye I finally understood though: The Dead Sea is not salty like “oops-too-much-salt-in-my-soup”, but it’s actually deadly salty — which makes it an even more exciting event to see such an absolutely unique place in real life!
The Valley of the Moon is the landscape that Jordan dreams are made of. I have to pinch myself when I look at these photos, because I can’t believe this is what Wadi Rum looked like, but it actually did. It was even better in real life! The jeep tour down the dunes and through these absurd red rock formations was definitely something that will forever be on the list of the best travel experiences in my life.