Traveling is to explore the unknown lands and to know more about what lies beneath those lands. As for me, I always say that I travel to escape more than to explore. I tend to escape norms, stereotypes, or maybe I am just really trying to escape from my old life. Whatever it is, through this, I get to know more about myself and the world (yeah, cliche). The more places I go, the more people I meet, the more I get to understand more of life and places I go.
I tend to live in a country that I visit. At least a month or more and it made me realize that life is full of challenges and opportunity which you won’t acquire if you are only bounded to the four walls of your room. There are a lot more things that we can see and learn outside our comfort zone back home.
At the very beginning of my journey, I knew that I will have to travel to places alone as traveling in groups have never satisfied me. Plus I always think that I am good at being alone. While I was traveling through the Southeast Asian countries I knew in the back of my head that there will be some places that would make me feel skeptic. One of those places is Jordan.
Jordan has always been on my bucket list. Can you imagine going to the places that seem so unreal on photos? Having 4 out of its 5 borders in conflict, I have to think carefully whether I should go or give it a pass. I maybe carefree but safety is always the first priority. The very first question that lingered around my mind was “Will it be safe to travel solo in Jordan especially for a female like me?” Jordan is one of those places about which every solo traveler feels unsure about. I was not an exception and this thought triggered my mind, too. But have you ever thought what is the reason behind it? Many of us get affected with what media portrays but the main objective of a traveler should be of “never judge a book by its cover”. And this is what I did. I just knew I have to see it before my eyes. And my worries were lessened because In2Jordan assisted and took care of me.
I did not know what to expect being back in the Middle East. I’ve been to Qatar but that will never be an assurance that I should expect the same n Jordan. One thing I’ve learned is that every country can be entirely different from the other regardless of the continent, religion, race, etc.
I arrived at Queen Alia International Airport and I was welcomed and assisted by In2jordan’s staff. I do not normally book any travel agencies but for Jordan and as a solo traveler with a Philippine passport, I had to.
After 18 hours of journey, I finally arrived in the city center of Amman where I had to take a bus down to Aqaba – the south of Jordan. Right there and then, I fell in love with the hospitality of Jordanian people. I remember falling asleep at the lobby of a bus station leaving my things unattended (I do not advise to leave your things unattended. I was just so dead tired.) but nothing happened. I woke up to a cup of coffee in front of me and the local people – both males and females – were asking me if I am okay.
I even made friends with a female Jordanian, Maha, who was on the same bus going to Aqaba. Another one was a tattooed girl (cool huh?) who was my driver to Petra and she went out of her way for me to find a working atm. She even invited me to come with her back to Wadi Rum when I mentioned that I wanted to see the Ottoman train. Too bad I was not able to. I made friends with salesmen in the store in downtown Aqaba and yes, I got great discounts! The receptionist guy in Amman found a way to get me dinner because he noticed I was so tired from my trip. I sang my lungs out with my driver, Ismail, on our way to the Mount Nebo and the Dead Sea and he even gave me coffee and tea. Ahuh, I was in a car alone with a local driver and I must say it was one of the best experience I had as we shared stories while exploring parts of the country. He even showed me photos of his wife and kids.
I roamed around different parts of Jordan at different times and I did not experience any kind of risk or danger. I had a safe and sound journey.
Jordan holds a patriarchal society. Although Jordan is being visited by many solo female travels in recent days, the notion has not yet been changed. You might face some uncomfortable stares from men every now and then. But don’t let this affect your journey. To avoid this, one must dress appropriately according to their culture. This is not an isolated case in Jordan. This is the case for a lot of countries and also one way to show respect to local people and their culture. Whenever someone catcalls me, I face them and ask what’s wrong or I take my phone out and pretend I am taking a video. It works every single time – at least for me.
Jordan is a pretty modern country. Its people are open-minded and very welcoming. People always say that it is unsafe to travel to Jordan but isn’t it unsafe to travel somewhere else, too? They safe it’s safe to travel to name-a-country, but isn’t it safe to travel to Jordan, too? People are people and there are good and bad ones anywhere. We must just always keep and open mind and be strong enough to handle things when something goes wrong. Know how to navigate around, download offline maps, purchase local sim, and the best one is to make friends with locals. There’s nothing safer than being protected by local people wherever your destination is.
Jordan will not be coined as one of the safest countries among the middle eastern nation for nothing. You can travel to this nation without any fuss. Yes, it is safe to travel Jordan as a solo female traveler. And you should visit it! If you need help, you may contact In2Jordan. (Nope, this is not a sponsored post. I just really love how they took care of me.)
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