Sabira Mehrin Saba, CEO and Founder of Wander Woman describes the first all-female guided trip to Jordan
Grew up hearing the stories of Bedouins from my mother and always wondered if I would be able to come across one of the oldest and most nomadic ethnic groups in the world. Moreover, for the past couple of years, I have been meaning to explore the wonders of the world and hence, Petra was on my bucket list. As the CEO and Founder of Wander Woman, a female travel platform in Bangladesh, my passion for adventure and exploration led me on a remarkable journey to the beautiful country of Jordan.
Excitement bubbled within me as I embarked on this new adventure with eleven enthusiastic participants eager to experience the wonders of this enchanting land. Rumour had it that solo woman travellers were not receiving any tourist visas for Jordan from Bangladesh. Not having an embassy of Jordan makes the process more lengthy and expensive for citizens of our country. However, I contacted one of the renowned travel agents to process our travel visa and assist with the entire travel experience. After a month since the applications, we received our e-visas from the Hashemite of Jordan with a validity of two months from the arrival date. Our trip was scheduled for March – one of the best times to visit the country.
Our journey began in the heart of Jordan, in its vibrant capital city, Amman. The city welcomed us with open arms, offering a delightful blend of ancient traditions and modern sophistication. As we strolled through the bustling streets, we couldn’t help but marvel at the historical landmarks, such as the Citadel and the Roman Theatre, which stood as witnesses to Amman’s rich past. In Amman, we explored the souks in Old Town to try out different local spices like sumac, za’atar and cardamom. One of the highlights would be having knafeh and sweets from 80-year-old Habibah Sweets.
As we strolled through the bustling streets, we couldn’t help but marvel at the historical landmarks, such as the Citadel and the Roman Theatre, which stood as witnesses to Amman’s rich past.
From Amman, we journeyed towards the world-famous Dead Sea, a surreal and captivating destination. The vast expanse of sparkling blue waters bordered by desert landscapes left us in awe. As the group waded into the buoyant waters, we felt the unique sensation of floating effortlessly. Of course, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to indulge in the renowned Dead Sea mud. Covering ourselves in the therapeutic mud, we giggled like carefree children, cherishing the memorable moments.
Next on our itinerary was the breathtaking Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon. As we entered this majestic desert wilderness, we were awestruck by the striking rock formations, sand dunes, and vast open spaces. Our accommodation for the night was in panoramic domes, perched atop a hill, providing us with uninterrupted views of the mesmerising landscape. The next morning was surreal as the sunrise view felt nothing short of an out-of-the-world experience. Followed by a buffet breakfast at the luxurious camp, we opted for a 2-hour long jeep ride across the Wadi (meaning valley) Rum stopping at different points. It truly felt like Mars – the landscape, a blanket of red sand. The ride ended with having Bedouin tea at their native camp.
Afterwards, we ventured to Petra – the most awaited Rose City. After a 3-hour-long journey, it was sunset when we arrived at the city, and all the houses were lit across the mountainous terrains. The next morning, we buckled up for one of the seven wonders of the world – the city of Petra. However, the weather was unfavourable; we witnessed storms, which, according to the locals, were extremely rare in Spring. This didn’t stop us from exploring the ruins of the Treasury, the Silk Tomb and Bedouin Camps.
Throughout our journey, we were warmly welcomed by the people of Jordan. Their genuine hospitality and eagerness to share their culture enriched our trip even more. We savoured traditional Jordanian cuisine, danced to local music, and embraced the warmth of their kindness. As the days passed, our spirits soared, and we felt a profound sense of empowerment and liberation.
Wander Woman, as a platform dedicated to empowering women through travel, found a sense of kinship with the strong and resilient women of Jordan, who continue to inspire us with their achievements and determination. Our journey to Jordan will forever hold a special place in my heart. It was not just a trip; it was an exploration of the human spirit and the wonders of the world. Together, we wandered through history, nature, and culture, and we returned to Bangladesh with our hearts full of cherished memories and newfound friendships.
As we bid farewell to Jordan, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the opportunity to share this transformative experience with my fellow Wander Women. We returned home with a renewed sense of purpose, determined to continue our quest to empower women through travel, one extraordinary journey at a time. And with the memories of Jordan etched in our souls, we eagerly look forward to the next adventure that awaits us.
Photographs: Courtesy of Wander Woman