As a kid growing up in metro Atlanta, I was far more familiar with concrete jungles than those of the exotic variety. As a result, whenever my family would go hiking in the North Georgia mountains or I’d spend time with my grandparents (who lived in a very rural area), I would embrace my inner thirst for adventure.
I was 12 years old when Raiders of the Lost Ark came out, and I distinctly remember my cousin Jon and I going to the creek behind his house and swinging on ropes across the 15-foot gap, singing the Indiana Jones theme song as we soared to the other side. During our summer staycations at the Lake, we’d spend hours looking for frogs, snakes, butterflies and salamanders. When my family moved out to the country when I was 15, exploring our 32 acres of woods became my sanctuary. Ultimately, these experiences helped me evolve into the adventurous, nature-loving man I am today.
These days, I’ve definitely been to my fair share of jungles, including an incredible voyage down the Amazon earlier this year. But GGT’s next trip will take Mary and I on a grand adventure to a part of the world neither of us has ever been to before: The Middle Eastern country of Jordan!
I can almost see many of our travel blogger friends rolling their eyes right about now, as Jordan was covered extensively by many of our peers last year. However, with the help of the Jordan Tourism Board, our 10-day itinerary will be taking us to some seriously off-the-beaten-path Ecotourism destinations you might not be quite so familiar with.
Sure, we’ll live out our Indiana Jones fantasies by visiting the amazing archaeological sites at Petra and Jerash. We’ll make like Laurence of Arabia with a camel trek through the breathtaking landscape at Wadi Rum. And we will definitely be taking a mud bath and testing the legendary buoyancy of the Dead Sea.
But we’ll also be visiting nearly every park and nature reserve in the nation, including Ajlun Forest Reserve, Dibeen Forest Reserve, Azraq Wetland Reserve, Mujib Nature Reserve, Dana Biosphere Reserve (where we’ll stay at the acclaimed Feynan Ecolodge), and Aqaba Marine Park. We’ll check out the Desert Castles, learn about indigenous arts and crafts, eat tons of local cuisine and, best of all, go Scuba diving in the Red Sea!
Needless to say, we’re more than a little stoked– so much so that I’m not sure we’ll be able to sleep tomorrow night before our marathon flight leaves on Saturday. Regardless, we’re looking forward to sharing our stories, photos and videos with you all! –Bret Love