Search for ten articles on “bucket list” destinations and you’re likely to find ten different lists. I find it interesting that people think to write these articles modified by year, as in “Best bucket list destinations for 2019” etc. Just wtf is that term supposed to mean then? Do the destinations change annually? It seems that with our ability to see just how many places are out there to visit that people may get overwhelmed realizing that they’ll miss out not having enough time. Of course, the idea of making some list of ten or twenty places for “everyone” to see is absurd. On the other hand, coming up with a list of ten or twenty more obscure places to make it seem as though you’ve seen more or to give the illusion of bespoke travel destinations, that’s also just as absurd. No matter how comprehensive the list… you’re missing out, because there isn’t enough time. Just embrace that, and you’re good.
Now, any classic non-pretentious bucket list would’ve included Egypt as a destination. The pyramids, maybe a Nile River cruise, all stuff you could do at any age, and maybe with a family in tow. Of course, after Mubarak got tossed out on his ass and the security situation in Egypt deteriorated somewhat, it evolved (at least temporarily) into a bit heartier of a travel destination. I don’t personally think it became unsafe to visit, but many people did, and therefore travel dropped off precipitously. As such, travel services diminished, creating a spiral in which the difficulty of visiting became a bit self-fulfilling. At a minimum, maybe it wasn’t the place for you to bring your grandparents who have otherwise only been on Carnival cruises and visited Cancun Mexico. Yes, even if it was their “lifelong dream” to “see the pyramids”. But where might folks like that go instead of Egypt? I’ll tell you where: Jordan. Petra, specifically. In fact, if you’d like to visit somewhere where you can feel like you’ve really gone on a foreign country adventure, and yet at the same time maintain the comfort and convenience of being able to use an electric mobility scooter to visit ancient temples in the desert, Jordan just might be the “adventure” for you!
Arriving into the capital of Amman, several generations of Jordanian royalty staring at you at every turn, large portraits of the King and princes at every turn, the message was clear: security is under control here. The streets are clean. Traffic reasonable. Luxury car dealerships, 5-star hotel chains… never mind the student demonstrators around the corner. No telling what they’re upset about… you can never keep the young people happy, right? The Jordanian dollar is strong, stronger even than the US dollar (surely that’s currency manipulation, but who cares). The whole picture, as sterile as it was, was that it was safe. And you need that to bring in the visitors. Well, Jordan is definitely safe. For now.
Anyway, go see Petra. It’s cool. Check it off your grandparents’ list. Or your list.