As mentioned in our previous blog post ‘Women Traveling in Jordan‘, Engaging Cultures Travel hosted two American women on a 4 day customized tour in Jordan this last week.
During the visit I recorded some of their experience as women traveling in the Middle East; specifically, Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. Below are some of their thoughts on a few common concerns when traveling in Jordan and the Middle East:
Women Traveling In Jordan: Hospitality
Our guests were quick to talk about Arab hospitality and how they experienced this throughout their trip. Lisa commented that the Arabs she met were “overwhelmingly hospitable”. “You hear about Arab hospitality but when you get here you really experience it. People go out of their way to help you and make you feel welcome”.
They went on to say that when they were in Palestine a couple of people gave them cards with their phone numbers and said “call us”. One friendly Palestinian man went as far as saying, “call me 24/7 if you need help”. Both women felt like the card and interaction was not just a point of sale for business, but they really meant it.
Women Traveling In Jordan: Is Jordan Safe?
Engaging Cultures Travel has American staff (with families) in Jordan and Tunisia. We are aware of what is happening on the ground and highly value our guests’ safety and security. We have lived here long enough to know at this point in time our travelers will feel safe in Jordan.
But, of course, I had to ask. “Is Jordan Safe?” Without hesitation, Lisa said, “I’ve never felt unsafe, not one minute at all. I have felt very safe”. They both went on to say they have not felt in any danger at all. So, there you go, stop Googling “Is Jordan Safe” and come visit and experience Jordan.
Women Traveling In Jordan: Fear of Muslims
As we ate a meal of locally prepared Mahshi (vegetables stuffed with rice & meat) inside a Bedouin tent, the two women began to talk about the fear of Muslims in America. “All walls of fear are gone over here. Unfortunately, some people are scared of Muslims in America. But when you come here you realize you are neighbors, you are side by side”. The conversation ended as they discussed how the Muslims they have met during their visit are genuine and basically just like them.
Women Traveling In Jordan: Ease of Travel
Lisa and Belinda continued to surprise me. They told me they rented a car in Israel and Palestine and drove all over. They visited Bethlehem, Jerusalem and the Sea of Galilee. When they did not have the car the women even chose to take the Arab buses instead of the Israeli buses more often used by tourists.
However, Belinda did mention, “everything is a little more complicated, everything takes longer”. She said that is a little harder to get around than what she is used to. “You kind of have to just think it is part of the experience, too.” For example, she mentioned at one point while leaving Bethlehem it took them 3 hours to get 5 miles because of how the road is redirected around the wall surrounding Bethlehem. “You have to think, that is just life and we are getting a little piece of their life”, Belinda shared.
We were really impressed with these two women and their adventurous spirits. We hope you had a great experience in Jordan and are excited for you to share with your friends and family about your trip.