Thursday, April 10, 2008

Honeymooning Outside of the Box

Have I mentioned that Fiance and I aren't taking a honeymoon? Yeah well we aren't. We're at a critical change point in our job (we work in the same place) and taking time off is not an option and won't be for a while. We'll eventually take some sort of trip but at a certain point I don't think it's considered a honeymoon anymore.

But before you cry me a river I should let you know that Fiance and I basically travel for a living so sometimes it feels like staying home is more of a vacation. There are many places we haven't been but we've already done a lot of the typical and even not so typical honeymoon spots.

Paris? Been there. Caribbean? Done that. Mexico? Si. Rome? Florence? Venice? Check. Check. and another Check. The Pyramids? Yeah them too. Tokyo? Yep.

A lot of times people ask me out of all my travels what place did I like the most? What was the most impressive? Where would I return? Where do I recommend? All those typical honeymoon spots have their place...and really if you haven't been you should go, but to tell you the truth none of them have been my favorite. So what's my top pick? Are you ready?

It's Jordan.



That's right, I said Jordan.

And here's why:

1) The Dead Sea - The lowest place on earth is shared between Jordan and Israel. It's the most beautiful color of blue and yes because of the high salt content you literally float from the moment you enter. You don't have to do a thing you just naturally float. It's a very surreal experience. The Dead Sea is surrounded by a number of luxury hotels and spas. If you want the relaxed, pampered, sitting by the infinity pool experience then this is it.

2) Wadi Rum - This dry desert valley has some amazing and breathtaking scenery. Huge granite and sandstone mountains appear out of middle of nowhere and narrow canyons hide ancient drawings. If you're into hiking, rock-climbing and sleeping beneath the stars in the Bedouin nomad fashion this is your place. Some Bedouin actually still live here so you will more then likely come across them during your trek.

3) Petra - Petra is a place you must see before you die. Really. I'm not joking. It's a World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Petra was even mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls so you know it's gotta be good ;) But don't go for one day...give yourself at least 3 or more. Petra is an ancient city carved completely out of "rose red" stone and the colors really are breathtaking. You can spend days hiking through Petra and discovering amazing old sites.

4) Aqaba - Lying at the tip of the Red Sea, Aqaba is one of the top scuba diving locales in the world. If you're into scuba, snorkeling, windsurfing, or lounging in luxury hotels then head to Aqaba.

5) Cause You Like Movies - Remember the final scenes of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when he discovers the Holy Grail? Yeah that was in Petra (note-the Holy Grail has nothing to do with the history of Petra). You know how Lawrence of Arabia won a lot of Oscars including one for cinematography? Yeah that was Wadi Rum....and Sir Lawrence was on his was to Aqaba.

6) Cause you like History or you like Religion - Want to stand in the same spot where Moses looked onto the Promised Land? Want to put your hand in the same water where Jesus was baptized? Get thee to Jordan

7) Cause it's easy - Jordan is a small country. You could easily drive from one end to the other in half a day. That means that you can see all these amazing things in two weeks or less and really feel like you've gotten to know the country and without feeling like you're constantly traveling. Plus the country has a great system of roads...nice highways throughout. Many people in Jordan speak English...especially around the popular tourist sites. I'd make an effort to learn niceties in Arabic but don't be intimidated by the language.

8) Cause you shouldn't be afraid - I know that a lot of people hear "Middle East" and freak out. I know that a lot of people would never travel to that region out of fear, but the reality is Jordan is one of the most calm and stable countries in the region. Jordanians are friendly and welcoming. Sure they don't like our countries politics but really who does?? Hospitality is one of the most revered Arab customs and most people will treat you incredibly well. You're much more likely to get mugged in London then you are to be bothered by anyone in Jordan. Crime is virtually nonexistent.
Yes, you'll see women in veils but you will also see young girls in jeans and makeup. Throughout the country you'll see a mix of modern and traditional and that's just part of what makes it fascinating.

I know many of you will never have a chance to make it to Jordan but I hope I've encouraged you to get adventuresome with your honeymoon locale.

Below are some of my own pics from Petra-

^That's me!

^If you click this pic to enlarge you may notice a white little spec towards the bottom center of the pic....that's me too!! Petra is amazing!

^This is probably the most you'll get to see of me and Fiance until the wedding.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh! What great ideas, reasons, and photos. Brilliant mini-photo essay.

Friday, April 11, 2008 6:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great pics! I'm originally from Jordan and I've been to Petra and some of the sites you've mentioned. They are truly breath taking. We definitely need to think outside the box when it comes to honeymoons! Also, compared to other touristy hot spots, Jordan is relatively affordable (except for the plane tickets). Glad you had a good time there :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008 6:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've been blogged - and yes, I agree with you entirely.

What's more memorable?

Slumming about the Las Vegas, spending a week or three in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for about the same money?

Monday, April 14, 2008 3:01:00 PM  

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