Did I mention we had a marvelous time in Jordan?
This vacation was quite the adventure. It took some personal strength and parenting guts all while taking us out of (so many) comfort zones. It took planning and spontaneity. It took intuition and trust.
But, for all of the hard things that this trip was (long travel times, jet lag on both ends, deciding what to pack for a primarily Muslim country in the middle of summer), it was one of the best things we have done.
I hope to look back at this trip when I think something is too hard, or not easy, and remember that we did this! And it was GREAT!
I now feel like we can fly anywhere with Kiki. Near or far, short or long. Layovers or direct flights. I will probably still be scared and worry about what she will do/say/scream/throw. But I know it is a finite amount of time and the destination is worth the journey. How liberating is that?
My advice to all of you waiting to plan that vacation until your tiny human is "old enough" is do it now! Traveling with kids only gets harder as they get older (they will be more mobile, require more gear/clothes/food, have more opinions, etc). Embrace your fear and your child may surprise you by exceeding your expectations.
I learned so much about the people of Jordan and the region by visiting it in person. There are some things that the TV won't or doesn't or can't tell you. But, I can tell you what wonderful souls I met and interacted with while visiting such a foreign land. I clearly wasn't a local... But I was treated with love, respect and acceptance. I had lovely conversations with strangers. We were taken into Mo's family as their own. His mother's smiling eyes and glowing personality will always remind me of the friendly Jordanian people.
Travel is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. It opens our eyes to experiences we never imagined. It reminds us of what we take for granted on a daily basis. And it stretches our comfort zones, making us more flexible and resilient. And what wonderful friends you meet along the way!
The Red Sea
Our last stop in Jordan was the Red Sea in the city of Aqaba. It was the hottest place I have ever witnessed. It felt like sitting in an oven or being blown in the face with a hair dryer at a balmy 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
But, we beat that heat by making our way to a beach side hangout on the Red Sea. The crystal clear waters lived up to this scuba diving destination's promises. Bobbing in the water made the temperatures bearable and I would definitely recommend a visit in December :)
I hope you enjoyed some of the photos and narrative from our vacation. Thank you for following along and I hope to bring you more adventures soon!