Wadi Rum desert… oh Jordan!

The last stop on our itinerary was Wadi Rum, ‘Valley of the Moon’ about an hours drive from Aqaba.

Splitting up into three 4×4’s we headed off to the Jordanian desert for an exhilarating ride up and down the sand dunes. It was awesome. We stopped off a few times for photos (I may have rolled down the dunes…) also to explore a small cave – (I thought it was cool!) – put on some traditional rouge make up, and of course, just take in the general landscape, and feel the fine, fine sand between our toes.

Before the sunset we were taken to another spot to settled for an hour to watch the sun come down. Initially all sat together we slowly split off into smaller groups… with many of us wanting to be alone with their thoughts. Think what you will, but watching the sun set over a desert -was truly a magical and spiritually enlightening experience.

The vastness of the land around me made me feel so small, and perfectly insignificant. It gave me back some perspective, realising how little was in my control, which perhaps sounds contradictory, but it gave me a huge sense of peace, a feeling of calm. I wasn’t really that much bigger than the teeny tiny grain of sand in contrast to this epic earth of ours…. it’s funny how realising your insignificance is actually so empowering πŸ–€βš’πŸ’Ž We just have this one life – then we will all be dust, so really, don’t forget how little most things matter.

From where I was sat, there was total silence – it was absolutely perfect. I wasn’t the only one on the trip who was going through a big transition period, moving from one place in life to another – who had a lot to work out, and honestly, isn’t a desert the dream destination to spend some time to ponder over the past, present, the future?

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When we arrived people took beers out of the esky and I’d wished that I’d brought a non alcoholic one for myself. But sat there – Humpty, Rainbow & I – I realised that nothing could make this moment any better. No drink, no food – if anything they would detract from it, because it was just about me, the sun, the earth, the air gently blowing… I thought more about how as a Straight Edge (sober) Vegan, people tend to think I have a restrictive lifestyle. But aside from the fact I choose not to drink, or eat meat and dairy (I can do all these things) having less available for me, forced me to cut so many emotional ties and desires, ‘if only I could have X this would be better…’ so I feel in that sense I realised I felt freer…

Eventually I went to join some of the others and drank tea, chatted, and laughed. This too was perfect.

Heading back, we checked in to our amazing desert accommodation, Bait Ali – super cute, but spacious bungalows.

 

After another Jordanian buffet dinner I headed up to the viewpoint alone, wanting to take in the vast nighttime view around me and admire the stars above.Β  Howard came to join, and as conversation flowed we missed the singing for Sarah’s birthday (and cake) the next day… Still in time to hear some of the group singing 90s pop tunes at full volume…

The next morning I headed up again to the viewpoint before breakfast. I just wanted to take it all in, but I felt I couldn’t open my eyes and heart wide enough to capture it, to hold it all in.

Sat in the coach on the way back to Amman I felt as if the trip had gone so quickly, but when I looked back at all the places I’d seen and things I’d experienced, it seemed a really long time ago that I landed dishevelled and mentally exhausted at the airport. How quickly I’d got to know and trust and share with the other women on the trip. It was pretty overwhelming trying to take in and process everything I’d seen and felt.

 

26ef419f-62a3-4dc8-8c20-82047455bca7Jordan was everything and so, so, so much more than I ever could have dreamed of when I first decided to go – and despite being apprehensive about a female group tour for a week (I’m a very social person but prefer small groups, and tend to solo travel a lot!) it was THE most perfect way to experience the country – and the support and camaraderie was EXACTLY what my soul needed – I am so grateful to every single lady (and Omar & the guides…!!) that I was with for what they gave me.

 

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