Travel Stories Week 35
What's your favorite place you have visited?
My favorite place is Petra, Jordan. When you read about Petra in the guidebooks it doesn’t seem so fabulous. This is maybe the reason why many visitors plan only one or maximum two days in Petra. I planned three days in Petra and it wasn’t enough so I was grateful I had had the intuition to book the hotel for another day … ‘just in case’.
The truth is that Petra is huge and only 30% of ancient Petra has been excavated. The main trail takes 8h to complete – from the Siq (canyon) to the Colonnaded Street (in the Roman city center of Petra). For other remoter sights of Petra, such as the Treasury or the High Place of Sacrifice, you have to climb up and down a lot. When I did that (and I was tired enough), I understood why Petra is one of the Seven Wonders of the World – Petra is so amazing that everywhere you go you discover something fabulous.
What’s the best thing you have seen while travelling?
The image of the Treasury when you come out of the canyon in Petra, Jordan. After walking the Siq (a narrow canyon) for two kilometers, entering a wide open space where camels and Bedouin roam in front of the Treasury is an experience you cannot forget so easily. When you finally see that iconic place you have seen in so many pictures and you finally understand the setting, you have the feeling of being a little explorer.
What’s your best travel story?
I think all my answers today will refer back to Petra, but I can’t help it, Petra really had a great impact on my travel experience. Petra is full of Bedouin who live in the nearby village of Uum Sayhoun. They are very friendly and always invite you for a glass of tea or even a meal with them. During my third day in Petra, I befriended a Bedouin, Khalil. We drank tea together, then met again in the evening when he invited me to dine with his family in the village. I will never forget that dinner, traditional mansaf (basically rice with chicken but cooked after a special local recipe) when we all sat on the floor and ate with our hands from the same plate. I know, it doesn’t seem hygienic but it’s their tradition and this is why I travel – to understand and live as locals do.
Tell us about your blog
My blog’s name is Authentic Travels. I have chosen this name because I feel authentic when I am traveling. That’s the moment when I throw away all the social masks and become simply me. Eventually, after traveling for a long time, I have become more authentic when I am back home to Romania. I have forgotten completely about those social masks …
On my blog, I publish travel journals, interviews, my travel plans, and photos. It has taken me two years to decide if I want to write guides and listicles or I want to share my travel experiences and how I plan them. The later has won and today I am happy to say I have a collection of more than 50 travel journals from remoter places in Nepal, Morocco, Jordan, and the Balkans.
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