My Coolest Experience In Jordan

A couple of weeks ago I took a trip to Dubai, Jordan, and Istanbul. Jordan was, hands down, my favorite. It’s a magical place with magical people and I simply fell in love with it. In our somewhat whirlwind trip, we visited Wadi Rum, Petra, Jerash, and the Dead Sea, and all were spectacular. Learning about the history of the Nabateans at Petra and walking the same streets as the Romans in Jerash was awe-inspiring. Not to mention the hysterical laughter that ensued with the dead sea mud bath. But my favorite experience was a non-touristy one, one on which I hadn’t planned on, that I can’t say most other people traveling to Jordan have had.

Most tours in Wadi Rum stop at a bedouin tent. Usually, though, it’s a tourist tent. It’s set out for visitors to come and see the bedouin lifestyle and experience a little bit of the culture. While interesting, it’s somewhat standard. Ours was different. Our bedouin guide, Mousalam, took us to the home (tent) of his aunt and uncle. It certainly wasn’t a “canned” stop. They had migrated recently, and he couldn’t even find the tent at first so we had to drive around for a few minutes. There were no trinkets for sale, no other cars parked out front. We were instructed not to take photos of any kind – the women particularly do not like having that kind of attention.

We wandered into the tent, probably about 6 x 8 feet total. It was the “men’s side.” When there is company (or at least bedouin company) the men and women do not sit together. They made an exception for us, but they did not come in. Mousalam’s aunt was in the women’s tent brewing tea, and he acted as the go between, getting the tea from her and asking her a couple of basic questions that we had about the tent and general bedouin living (for instance, we learned that our “men’s tent” slept about six to eight people). The tea was delicious, piping hot, and very sweet. As we talked to Mousalam about their lifestyle, he told us about his daughter was currently staying with the aunt and uncle here. We hadn’t seen her yet, but as two camels that did not belong to the family wandered up, she ran out – from the women’s tent I’m assuming – and shoed them away.

We did tip them a slight amount. While it wasn’t expected, we had come to their home and drank their tea, and we felt it appropriate. But it wasn’t part of the plan. They didn’t bring us there for the money or to purchase anything (indeed, there was nothing to purchase), but to immerse into the true bedouin lifestyle, and through his family no less. I can now say that I have had tea in an authentic bedouin tent in the middle of Wadi Rum. That’s pretty cool.

I obviously do not have any pictures to share, but I’ve added a few pictures of Wadi Rum itself below. I hope you find it as breathtaking as I did.


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