This is not my usual form of travel and certainly a little outside the realm of solo travel. However I was eager to experience Petra and The Giving Lens #TGLJordan photography workshop seemed to be an excellent combination of travel and learning. So I applied and was accepted to join a small team of photographers and students for a 10 day workshop and tour of Jordan.
And what can I say except this trip surpassed all expectations. I really felt I experienced almost non stop learning. Between the impromptu conversations on the bus that morphed into lessons, to the more informal software processing workshops held before and after some dinners, and the constant guidance available from the two leaders, the trip archivist and the other participants, my brain was bathed in stimuli.
And what can I say about Jordan? GO THERE! It is stunningly beautiful. It was dry and somewhat stark and barren and it drew you into the vastness of its spaces and it embraced you in the warmth of its people.
At one point after we had hiked up what seemed like hundreds of stairs in Petra on our way to the High Place of Sacrifice, we stopped to have tea with a woman vendor located in this out of the way place. One of the participants arrived when we were almost done and upon being offered tea declined because he didn’t have any money. The woman looked at him and said “This is not about money. This is about hospitality.” And that is what we found all over: tea, warmth and hospitality. The people you meet may have very little, but they always have time to offer a traveller tea.
If I can figure out how to upload some photos, I will get them posted here in the very near future.