I was extremely fortunate this summer to have my parents allow me to travel by myself (with a close friend of mine from school) to the Middle East (Jordan and Israel specifically) for a few weeks this June. It was truly the trip of a lifetime, and totally changed my perceptions of the Middle East. Here is a video summary of our trip: Below are a few highlights and photos from the trip. 1.) Time Around Aqaba: Experiencing life and culture in Aqaba (Southern Jordan). The coral reefs and beaches were absolutely incredible. We even went Scuba Diving (my first time!). View Of Aqaba From The Water Parasailing In Aqaba, Jordan Riding A Camel In Downtown Aqaba Aqaba Waterfront Riding A Camel In Downtown Aqaba With Friends In Aqaba Before Scuba Diving The Movenpick Resort, Aqaba The Movenpick Resort, Aqaba A Vendor In Aqaba 2.) Wadi Rum: We went on a private Bedouin Jeep Tour of the Wadi Rum Desert just East of Aqaba. Because of my friend’s dad’s status as an environmental minister, we were allowed special access to see the Arabian Oryx. Afterwards, we ate a traditional Bedouin meal which was made specially for me, they killed a goat just for the occasion! (I even ate part of the brain and an eye!) Driving To The Arabian Oryx The Critically Endangered Arabian Oryx The Critically Endangered Arabian Oryx Driving To The Town Of Wadi Rum Passing A Camel In The Wadi Rum Desert A Camel In The Wadi Rum The Beautiful Wadi Rum Tea At The House Of Lawrence Of Arabia In The Wadi Rum Sunset Over The Wadi Rum Dinner Time, Bedouin Style Dinner Time, Bedouin Style 3.) Trip into Eilat: Call me crazy, but doing the unexpected or even slightly dangerous on a vacation can make the greatest experiences. Check out this article for details: Back In Jordan! The Coral Reef Coral Reef Reserve Boardwalk to Reef Coral Reef Reserve Life Guards 4.) Flight with Ayla Aviation: I got to experience general aviation in the Middle East, something not too many pilots can say they’ve done. Check out this article for details: Aqaba’s Amazing Reefs Final Approach Runway 01, AQA With Our Ayla Hostess The Ayla Complex A DA42 TwinStar With Our Flight Instructor 5.) Dead Sea Trip: We travelled from Amman to the Dead Sea for a day. It is the lowest point on Earth, at over 300 meters below sea level. The water is over 30% salt, making for an extremely painful but unique experience. When you can no longer reach the bottom of the sea, you just bob like a cork. It’s not physically possible to sink any lower. Me In The Typical “Dead Sea Newspaper Photo” Dead Sea Overview Only 1 Person Visible In The Dead Sea Amman Beach, The Dead Sea Amman Beach, The Dead Sea 6.) Time Around Amman: We had many free days to hang around the capital city of Amman, go to markets, museums, etc. It was an amazing city! In the old downtown, there are many Roman Ruins; it was cool to see the difference between ancient and modern Amman. Great View Of Amman Inside The King Abdullah Mosque Food Market In Amman The Roman Amphitheater Roman Script Downtown Amman Roman Ruins In Amman A Mosque In Amman 7.) Jerash: We left in the afternoon from Amman for a trip up North to Jerash, to see the Roman Ruins and “The Jerash Music Festival.” I’ll let the photos explain for the experience!: Jerash Music Festival So Close To Syria! Roman Ruins In Jerash Roman Ruins In Jerash Jerash At Night Jerash Music Festival 8.) Petra: Towards the end of our trip, we visited the ancient city of Petra, made famous by Indiana Jones. The site is absolutely massive, you really need a few days to see it all. We hiked up to the Monastery, were welcomed by the view of the Treasury through the Siq, and rode camels in the desert. What a great way to end the Middle East experience! Riding A Camel In Petra Riding A Camel In Petra A Camel In Petra Ancient Tombs In Petra In Front Of The Monastery View Of The Monastery In Petra In Front Of The Treasury View Through The Siq Of The Treasury Making Friends In Petra! If you’re considering a trip to Jordan, all I can say is GO! It was undoubtedly the best trip I’ve ever taken, I loved the country. Please contact me via the tab above if you want any advice or details! Thanks for reading, -Swayne Martin Twitter: @MartinsAviation Share this:ShareTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint 4 Responses Karlene August 11, 2014 Absolutely wonderful Trip!! Thank you for sharing it with us! Reply Swayne Martin August 12, 2014 Thanks, Karlene! I really enjoyed it. I hope the people who read this will now want to visit Jordan. Reply O.C. Santos September 10, 2014 Really nice! A trip of a lifetime, something not to forget! Reply Swayne Martin September 11, 2014 Thanks! It was absolutely incredible. I can’t wait to go back one day. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName Email Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.