Jordan Part I: An Introduction

Lady Melbourne in Jordan

‘You went where?’

‘Is it….safe?’

‘Why are you going to Jordan?’

These are just some of the immediate reactions I’ve experienced when talking about visiting Jordan. I suppose from an Australian viewpoint it is a long way away, and it’s nestled pretty much smack bang in the Middle East bordering Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. When you articulate it, the ‘Is it safe?’ question seems quite sage.

Before I write about my trip, I thought an introduction was in order so I can answer some of those questions and put the trip into context.

Here goes…

‘You went where?’

Jordan, officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is an Arab kingdom in The Middle East, on the East Bank of the Jordan River and extending into the historic region of Palestine. Jordan borders Saudi Arabia to the south and east, Iraq to the northeast, Syria to the north, Palestine and Israel to the west, sharing control of the Dead Sea with the Israel. I’ve sourced my information for this piece from the Jordanian Tourism Board website.

‘Is it….safe?’

Short answer: very. Long answer: make a cup of tea.

Jordan has followed a pro-Western foreign policy and maintained close relations with the US and UK. Relations between Jordan and the Persian Gulf countries improved substantially after King Hussein’s death in 1999. Jordan is also one of only two Arab nations to have made peace with Israel.

So with all of that in mind, Jordan itself is perfectly safe. In the main part it’s tension in the region that tends to make some of its neighbors unsafe but this is absolutely based on the circumstances at the time. For example, the situation in Syria is dire at the moment, and Jordan has accepted roughly 1.4 millions refugees since civil war erupted in 2011.

‘Why are you going to Jordan?’

I was invited as a guest of the Jordanian Tourism Board(JTB) along with five other Australian journalists. Since the civil uprising in Syria in 2011, tourism in Jordan has rapidly declined. With tourism being one of their major economies, Jordan is hosting foreign media to showcase the country to a broader audience.

On a personal level, once I found out how safe it was I was completely intrigued with Jordan. The ancient culture, archaeological ruins, food, culture and of course fashion seemed like something that I couldn’t really say no to.

I’m thrilled to be able to showcase my journey through Jordan with you over the following week, I hope that it inspires you!

  • It is amazing to read your wonderful words about Jordan.

    I have been there for my internship, 2,5 months, last year. Spending my time in the eastern desert (west of Azraq), great scenery and a unforgettable experience. After my internship I was fortunate to be able to enjoy all other wonders of Jordan, such as the beauty of Jerash, Petra, Amman, Madaba, Wadi Rum and Wadi Musa (and many more places) and to enjoy a dip in the Dead Sea.

    I feel very lucky to be able to come back to Jordan this year, this year my stay will be a bit longer: 4 months!

    Jordan is a very friendly and safe country with an amazing culture, extremely hospitable people and lots of great food.
    Due to the fact that Jordan captured my heart, I am currently running a blog which is aims at raising awareness concerning the protection of Jordan’s breathtaking environment.

    Eager to read more about your journey in Jordan, have fun and take care.

  • Emma

    Was busting to know your answers to all the ‘why’s’ to Jordon. Am satisfied now. I recently visited Tunis, which as a destination alone, does not appear regularly on ones itinery…but I gotta say…was absolutely fascinated by the history, blown away by the unique difference of culture & solid inherit family honor. A worthwhile visit also.

  • **Jordan, doh!

  • A colleague of mine visited Jordon late last year and it looks gorgeous. Can’t wait to read about your experience.

  • People asked me the same thing when I travelled to Syria, Jordan and Egypt. We travelled through these countries a couple of months before all the revolutions started. We had an unforgettable time and the memories and connections we made will last a lifetime. “Inshallah” the fighting in Syria will end soon. It breaks my heart to know the situation is so dire there at the moment.

  • I’ve been fortunate to have been to Jordan, traveling around and it’s the most beautiful country, stunning scenery, friendly, hospitable people and the food is fantastic. I’d go back in a second! :o) Xx

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