The Jordan Tourism Board invited me here to share my travel experiences because they are in a bad situation. Tourism is down in the area due to problems with Egypt and Syria. And because the world is large and some places are so far away we associate everything here as “The Middle East” as if it is one unit.
And we all know the Middle East is scary, right?
Growing up the Middle East was some exotic beast I did not know much about and was slightly afraid of it. And to be honest up until a few days ago I had no idea what to expect.
But Jordan is not as different as I had expected.
Touring the country with my driver Rami and my guide Mahmoud there is much less mystery. On the surface the decoration is different. Buildings look different, people dress differently, they speak a different language (although most people also speak English).
But the more I travel the more I see we are more similar than we think. I started to realize that Jordan is so much like Canada.
Like Canada Jordan is a ‘nice’ nation signing peace treaties with all of the surrounding countries.
Just like Canada, Jordan is next to countries not everyone likes.
The people try to do the right thing with free health care and education. They form social programs and believe they should help the less fortunate.
They love their King, and while they may have minor gripes with the government, they are really happy overall, knowing how fortunate they are compared to others.
Overall people are respectful of different beliefs. Although many are Muslim, there are also Christians. You can see a mother with a headscarf but her daughter chooses not to wear one. Or a group of women carrying Gucci bags and full make-up choosing to cover their hair with vibrant scarves.
People smile and are very polite. I’m sure if I bumped into someone they would say sorry.
But the biggest affirmation of my theory was when I saw the sign for the ‘washroom. They call it washroom just like us! Not bathroom not toilet but washroom!
Our cultures are different but when it comes down to the important stuff we’re the same.
I am really excited to share my experiences in Jordan with you because it is a beautiful country filled with amazing people and there is no reason not to visit.