In my interest of all things adventurous growing up, I idolized characters like Daniel Boone and Christopher Columbus: guys that worked hard and fiercely pursued the unknown.  I also watched the Indiana Jones movies religiously, as they gave me a peek into a world of exploration that always seemed a bit distant and unreachable.  The Last Crusade stuck with me especially - it had scenes of a desert fortress that completely took my breath away, as my young brain was so fascinated by how an ancient culture could literally carve an entire city out of desert cliffs.  For over 15 years that image stayed with me, and it became one of my most valued goals to finally explore Petra.

That being said, Jordan is often overlooked as simply 'that place where Petra is', but there is definitely far more to the country than just ancient ruins. The landscape in the Wadi Rum desert is stunning and a bit intimidating; it's so enormous and Mars-like that it feels as if you're a miniature creature visiting another planet.  And despite the fact that it shares borders with a lot of volatile areas (Iraq, Syria, Saudia Arabia, The West Bank, and Egypt across the Red Sea), it is one of the most peaceful and friendliest countries in the region.  Top experiences: nomadic camping with Bedouin in the desert, climbing to and taking a nap in a 2000 year old tomb full of dust and bones, and of course thoroughly exploring Petra :)