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Wadi Rum: Exploring Mars on Earth

John Early on a rock in the Wadi Rum desert valley of Jordan

Wadi Rum, the desert in Jordan known as Valley of the Moon.

...and yes, you might as well be on the moon. Or Mars for that fact (which, they DID film The Martian, Star Wars, Dune and many other movies here).

Yet, as other-worldly as it is, it's strangely how earthly it is. Being in Wadi Rum is actually like experiencing an accumulated history of the entire planet - sitting on millions of years of fossilized remains. The red sand stone is compacted sediment from creatures that roamed this ancient sea floor millions of years ago. Yes, this used to be a bustling ocean of life before Asia and Africa’s Tectonic plates shifted out of the unicontinent Pangea ever so slowly over eons. And maybe in millions more it will return to an ocean of life - with or without strange human tourists to take selfies to prove its magnificence.

A Bedouin camel guide in the Wadi Rum desert valley of Jordan

A bedouin camel guide setting out for a sunset trip.

Bedouin culture is mainly being preserved through tourism these days.

Author John Early on a camel in the Wadi Rum desert valley of Jordan

My first time riding a camel!

We upgraded from the tents (also nice) to a 'Martian' Dome Camp facing out for some amazing desert star gazing.

Author John Early in a Martian dome tent camp with Jordan Tourist Group in the Wadi Rum desert valley of Jordan

One of the camps we visited, a local bedouin was putting myrrh oil on my wrists and kohl (Arabic eyeliner) on my eye lashes and asked me:

'How many wives do you have?' 'I have one girlfriend.' 'I don't believe you. I have 3 wives.' For more photos and videos check out my IG post HERE


It felt so good to get back to my roots with some proper traveling - my first time visiting a new country in 4 years actually! Interestingly, I was googling 'top travel quotes' and came across a blog for the Top 30 Non-Cliche Travel Quotes...and I came across my own quote from my book! Wild!

(See a screenshot below) Speaking of which, if anyone is wanting a signed copy of Tales of the Modern Nomad - Monks, Mushrooms & Other Misadventures, it's last call for ship outs before I head back to Nicaragua this fall! All proceeds to Integral Heart Foundation to help feed and educate street kids in Antigua Guatemala. Message me HERE more info :)

Keep living a life worth journaling ya'll!

Tu Amigo,

-John PS check out my original music and travel playlists on Spotify HERE

sunset camel ride wadi rum jordan desert


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