Tuesday, December 20, 2011


يسافر - travel

I'm sitting on my bed drinking my Whole Foods coffee, eating a bagel with lox, and watching Tori and Dean while totally judging them for having the most boring lives ever.

Even if this wasn't the day we leave for vacation, it would still be a pretty decent day off of work, so far.

Last night was the last trivia of 2011, which was fantastic. All of my regular teams showed up, prizes were given out, and a couple of the teams decided to send me off on vacation with shots of Jack Daniels Honey, which is equal parts kind of delicious yet totally disgusting. 

Everything has been moving so fast, I can't believe that we're leaving in just a few hours. I have packed and repacked my suitcase about seventeen times, each time forgetting/remembering something crucial. 

(Scarves! I need more scarves!)

(Layers! More layers!)

(Note to self: this is not a good time to flick through a news website and read the article on that plane crash in Texas.)

I digress.

Today is going to be an incredibly long day. We'll be landing in Istanbul at what will feel like 2:30am, and then tour the city until 10am (EST). Really, we are landing at 9:30am Eastern European Time, and heading back to Ataturk International around four in the afternoon tomorrow to fly to Amman. But unless I can get some sleep on the plane (which is unlikely as The Gentleman collected a list of movies I've been wanting to see on his tablet), it's gonna be 24 hours of exhausting travel.

Not that I am complaining. I have very little to complain about these days.

Part of what I'm most looking forward to on this trip is that mind-blowing experience of going somewhere totally and completely outside of your comfort zone. It happened to me when I went to New Orleans, it's happened every time I've been to another country, and it happens often with my job where I am exposed to inner-city Baltimore families and neighborhoods I'd never normally traverse on my own. 

Going to Jordan will be an experience in and of itself, but it's also a great opportunity to have exposure to things that sort of get drowned out in the American media. Jordan is the eye of a lot of hurricanes, and Amman supports a lot of different people in its borders. I will hear about Palestine and Syria without the lens of the American media. I will see divides of wealth that are virtually unheard of in the US. I will see a place where women have gained independence far more recently. And I will see women who adhere to more traditional values that might feel conflicting to me.

Stepping outside of your world offers new perspectives that you take home with you and turn over in your mind, and they change you, however subtly or overtly, forever. I value these experiences and consider them vital to my existence. I have always been curious about the world, always wanting to learn more, always wanted to sate my itching traveling foot.

And then there's the aesthetics. Beautiful ruins, breathtaking views. Tastes, smells, textures, stories, and all of the things that make travel amazing.

And I get to do all of this with The Gentleman. That's pretty freaking awesome, and possibly the best part. He is my most favorite travel partner.

I could not be more psyched for this trip.

I need to go repack my suitcase again.


Ramzi. said...

So technically speaking, what you wrote, يسافر means "he travels". If you want to say a travel, the appropriate word would be سفر. It would be pronounced safar.

Anonymous said...

And you're going to Petra! PETRA!!!!! So coooool!!!