4 minutes reading time Jordan
Before visiting Jordan, I knew little or practically nothing about the country. I only knew that the famous Petra National Park existed and that the photos of the park were simply wonderful. It was enough for me just to see those photos to feel that I had to go and see them with my own eyes.
The most incredible adventures of my life arose like this, from a simple whim, or from simply daring to dream improvised and unthinkable things.
The Middle East
But when I decided to travel through the Middle East, I had a deeper goal than just seeing places and taking pictures of them. I didn’t want to just go as a tourist. I wanted to immerse myself in the culture and meet the people of the country.
It seemed like a good idea to me, then, to open myself up to the world and stand by the side of the routes to hitchhike.
I started my research online, because I am adventurous, but conservative, of course. I read that hitchhiking in Jordan was very easy. Theories are generally wonderful, but when we put them into practice they often come out a little differently. So I knew nothing was guaranteed. But what could I lose by trying?
Jordan is connected end to end by a single main road. And going from one end to the other takes only a couple of hours. Many tourists even choose to rent a car to drive around the country.
Hitching is really an art and a total exercise for all prejudgments. A temptation to fate. And a test of the luck that a person has.
Every car that stops on the road is a new person to meet. Your adventure lasts the number of kilometers that you share with the driver. You lose control of absolutely everything. And that’s what I like most about traveling. Takes me completely out of the known context. Or maybe it is just me when I am traveling.
So, the story began when I was in the town of Wadi Rum, in the middle of the Jordan desert. I had taken myself to that town because I wanted to see the most starry sky I could have imagined, and wanted to find myself surrounded by practically nothing but sand. And found it.
I slept in the middle of the desert in a kind of tent. I rarely wear my glasses despite not having a great sense of sight, but this time, I had them on all the time. I didn’t want to lose even a shooting star. So I spent hours and hours just looking at the sky. And it never seemed enough.
When the morning came I decided to stay one more night, because I was already there, right? It is just one more day in a lifetime. You always have one more day. Or at least, that is what we always believe.
Then the owner of the hostel wanted to charge me almost three times more than the previous night and I got mad. It is very common there that they lie to you and they want to sell you what they want. They take advantage because they live in a unique place in the world and because despite all those bad attitudes they have, people will continue to visit it. Not because of the beauty of its people, but because nature is truly indescribable.
So I decided I didn’t want to leave even one more dollar in that place and started to walk along the side of the road with my backpack. I decided my time to hitchhike in Jordan had arrived and raised my finger for the first time in the country.
Going to Petra
I didn’t even have to wait more than a minute as I already had a car by my side wondering where I needed to go. The sun was strong, and it was very very hot. A very kind man left me exactly at a crossroads so that I could get to Petra . I took, in total, about 4 cars, and waited about a minute and a half between each one. One driver even invited me to his house, and another bought me a coffee and candy for no reason. All that anger I had for the advantageous people in the desert was gone. And discovered the true essence of the people of Jordan.
Journey of two weeks in Jordan
Thus, I continued my journey for two weeks throughout Jordan. I traveled from south to north. I kept raising my finger for each route and being helped by different people, but all with big hearts.
Hitchhiking allows you to open your head and your heart to ordinary people, as ordinary as yourself. And share a little piece of life, at least for a few kilometers. And for me, that tastes like freedom.