National Geographic Intelligent Travel: Coffee With the Bedouins

My second post on Jordan is up on National Geographic-go check it out here! This was one of the best nights of the trip: staying at Feynan Ecolodge & talking for hours with someone with a lifestyle so completely different from mine and yet we found common ground. 

"Sitting beneath a starry sky in the Dana Biosphere Reserve in Jordan, 65-year-old Bedouin tent dweller Muhammed Amareen looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and said, “If you’re 28 and not married, you’ve lost it!” It wasn’t the first time that my stomach hurt from laughing during a three-hour conversation about life, work, love, and marriage with the kind, smart Bedouin clan leader. (Bedouins, by the way, typically get married at 25 or 26 so 28 is not so over the hill!)

How did I get to be sitting in a Bedouin tent in the middle of the Jordanian desert? I was with a group of hotel guests from Feynan Ecolodge, a vital support line to the area’s three main Bedouin clans of around 400 people including 45 children who attend the local school. One of the hotel’s employees, Khalid, invited us to his father’s tent, a ten-minute walk from the 26-room lodge, for an after-dinner coffee.

As I sat on pillows overlaid with colorful homemade rugs in Muhammed’s tent, I felt blissfully far away from my chaotic life in New York City and lucky to get a glimpse into a way of life that may cease to exist in the coming decades. Most Jordanians can trace their roots to Bedouin origins, those traditionally known as “desert dwellers,” who have learned how to survive and thrive in the harsh desert climate. But the modern world continues to threaten their way of life."

Read the rest here