If you’d have asked me to list all the places in the world I would like to visit if I could, up until this year I’d have probably never even considered Jordan. I imagine this is pretty common; its not thought of as a much of a holiday destination, what with the sort of media coverage that area of the world gets over here in the UK. But it bloody well should be.
My best friend moved out there at the start of this year and she’s been posting a photo a day online since she made the move. You could tell, just from these posts that she’s fallen head over heels for the country. This bemused me to be honest, but then I’ve never really been one for wanderlust so I just put it down to our different personalities. But now that I’ve been there myself, I can totally see why she’s besotted. Jordan is flipping amazing. I came home wanting to tell everyone and anyone who’d listen that they must go to Jordan if they ever can. I felt like that annoying family member that insists on detailing every single moment of their holiday, accompanied by an hours-long slide projector presentation.
I’m going to resist writing an entire dissertation-length essay on why everyone should book a trip to Jordan immediately… But of course I took my camera out with me so I will share just a few of my favourite shots from my trip, along with some thoughts on the bits I couldn’t capture.
A lot of the landscape and sights just defy description. They defy the cameras lens, too. There’s plenty of images of Petra online, just google it and you’re presented with endless images of the ancient facades carved into red rock but, lemme tell you, they need to be stood in front of to be believed. This was something I struggled with for much of the trip: attempting to capture the experience with as much authenticity as possible. But I found most of my photographs missed out on 90% of the wow factor. It was pretty frustrating, not least because my memory is shocking and I knew how quickly the experiences would fade in my mind.
But it was also kind of thrilling. We’re obsessed with capturing and sharing every moment of our lives, often being told by news articles and surveys that we’re too obsessed, that it’s a weakness. Now, I don’t buy into that one bit, but being faced with a number of places (a hidden oasis valley where our path was a crystal clear river) and experiences (snorkelling in the Red Sea) that I knew there was no way I could capture on my very un-waterproof camera, took the pressure off somewhat. There was no ‘oh s***, I missed the perfect shot because I didn’t have the right settings’ or ‘wait, I’m sure I can get a better shot, just hold that smile’. There was just the view and us. And every time I felt that little voice saying ‘oh but don’t you just wish you could snap a few pics of this right here?!’ I just told myself that I wouldn’t do it justice, so just enjoy it while you’re here.
This didn’t stop me taking photos when I could, of course, it just helped me to not get too angsty about getting that elusive perfect shot. And there’s even a couple of experiences that, given the chance to do them again I still wouldn’t gear up with the right camera equipment to capture it. Which is pretty unusual for me. I think sometimes you just have to be there, knowing that this ‘here & now’ cannot be repeated or relived through a picture.