There is a sentiment that goes beyond words that flood you when you get to go to a place where you have always wanted to go. I’m not talking about merely crossing off a place on a wanderlust bucket list. I am talking about a calling to visit that goes deeper. Much, much, much deeper. Again, way, beyond words. Such is the feeling of what flooded my soul recently when I had what I can only summarise as the trip of a lifetime. Imagine then when I get an invitation from Foodiva and Movenpick Jordan to join them on the #DineTravelMovenpick culinary tour Samantha was hosting for a total of 6 of us influencers, to that very place. To my sheer amazement, the itinerary included stops that had profound spiritual significance to me. My friends, I finally got to visit Jordan, for spiritual travel experience. This was a solo trip, as in I, the Steward travelled without my Chef half but like all meaningful spiritual journeys, there are some legs you simply have to go alone.
I feel like I have so much I want to say but cannot find the words to articulate completely. I may have to break down my trip into a series of posts to do it justice. So be sure to subscribe to our eZine to get the latest post nicely collated in your mailbox.
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JORDAN, for a SPIRITUAL TRAVEL Experience
Jordan is a country full of wide open spaces (a huge fascination of mine) and centuries of recorded history and historical sites. So impressive is this Middle Eastern territory that it is home to 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites (with more pending).
I was able to visit four significant ones from this trip:
- The Baptismal Site
- The River Jordan
- Elijah’s Hill
- Mount Nebo
Come with me to Jordan, for a spiritual travel experience.
The Baptismal Site…
The expression on my face as I walked in says it all.
Entering through the wilderness areas around the River Jordan where Jesus was tempted by Satan prior to His baptism and the beginning of Christianity, I was greeted with a gentle cool breeze that made me feel like the reference of God inhabiting the gentle breeze in the book of Kings to the prophet Elijah. This is definitely a peaceful site and one for quiet contemplation. It would be best experienced in solitude but that is not possible due to security issues (oh how I tried to get permission to no avail). I respected that as it was a privilege to even be there in the first place. I was not going to allow disappointment to rob me of the sheer joy I had just to be there. It truly felt like the Spirit of God was there.
This is a small body of water filled by a spiring that leads into the Jordan River, that is said to be the actual baptismal site of Jesus Christ. It is on the other side of the Jordan just across from Israel.
A more somber selfie as I pause to reflect and take it all in.
A view of the Jordan River with the Greek Coptic Church in the background. This is the wilderness around the Jordan where Jesus Christ fasted for 40 days and 40 nights and was tempted by the devil.
A closer look at the relatively modern structure of one of the many churches located in the Jordan area stretching towards the region called Elijah’s Hill, where Elijah was taken into heaven alive.
Now let’s just be very frank here, this is the very FIRST time that I- a self-respecting Jamaican born in a country of crystal clear waters (excuse the pun)- have EVER attempted to put any body part much less submerge in murky waters. This is EPIC for me on many levels. But how could I go to the River Jordan and not get baptised? I had no one to do it for me on the Jordan side of the river so I did it myself. On the other side you see a host of people on the Israeli side being prepared for their baptism by some priest/bishop. And everyone dipping has to wear those very unflattering robes… I guess for decency.
Thanks every so much to Sally Prosser of My Custard Pie, who reassured me that the water was like that in the UK and only discoloured due to the mud (which I felt intensely under my feet) . She also kindly snapped the images and video clips on her iPhone and lugged my camera back to the bus for me after I came out. Thanks much Sally!
This is Mount Nebo, the place from where Moses was led by God to view the Promised Land and then die. Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land because of earlier sin but he was allowed to see it before he died after leading the Israelites out of Egypt.
I really love this graphic scene of a pic I shot of the view of Mount Nebo. I think I will definitely frame this one. Ya like?
Thanks to the very accommodating Movenpick Jordan team for organising our trip and making all the complementary arrangements for our itinerary including flights, dining reservations, hotel reservations and transfers. Other Influencers on this #DineTravelMovenpick trip were Ishita Saha – Ishita Unblogged, Debbie Rogers – Coffee Cakes and Running, and Noreen Wasti – Noni’s Place.
Have you ever been to Jordan or to any place that bears spiritual significance to you? Please leave a comment below if you would like to hear more about my trip, particularly the juicy, culinary details.
I will be planning some wonderful events so stay tuned for more spiritual posts and our upcoming spiritual retreat schedule!