the JORDAN BIKE TRAIL

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Jordan is a place I will forever be thankful for. I have traveled a lot over the years but Jordan changed me, it has had a profound impact on me, my understanding of the world, my openness, my tolerance, my love, my ability to be vulnerable and trust, my ability to spin negative into positive and challenge into an asset. It reshaped my norms & perspective.  

I first traveled to Jordan on a bit of a whim in 2015 on a side trip from the UAE. I was traveling solo and I was nervous but after being reassured of how safe it is, I went.  Since that first visit it has become a second home to me. It’s people, culture, food, mysterious landscapes, it is incredible. It’s hard to put into words how I have changed but it feels like a profound personal shift. This region of the world is hard to explain it, it’s an uphill battle to convince people how beautiful, safe, human it actually is. But it’s personal, every bit of it. 

I was honored to be invited out to Jordan for a third visit, this time around with @experiencejordan & @cyclingjordan in conjunction with @usaidlens which aims to support small business growth and economic planning, particularly in rural communities. The Jordan Trail (hiking) & Jordan Bike Trail are recent developments to 🇯🇴 running nearly 700km from north (Israel/Syrian border) to south (Red Sea), joining periodically at sections. Their development represents a significant investment in sustainable tourism and future economic growth in the region. While it is in its infancy now, it is quickly growing with the recent influx of tourism in the area and the fact that the trail are doable by most with options of day trips to full north-south journeys on mostly doubletrack. The Trail(s) have given local tour operators a significant boost in business while utilizing and empowering rural communities through homestays, guiding, food & (soon to be) mechanic opportunities. 

There are a lot of exceptional tourism opportunities within Jordan but I believe experiencing it by two wheels is among the best. The bike enables you to cover so much ground in so little time, in places, it is unlikely you would ever visit otherwise. You get all of Jordan in her glory, the beautiful landscapes, the friendly faces, the homes, the food, the community. Additionally, the bike makes us vulnerable and linguistic, cultural and social barriers seem to fade when there is an immediate common bond over a bike. 

I get a lot of requests for information about tours in Jordan so my goal over the next few months is to build out a mini guide which addresses some of these questions. It is isn’t a difficult place to navigate once you are there and know where to go but planning from the outside leave a lot of open questions, particularly on the cultural side of things - there is an air of mystery.  

In the meantime, I suggest you read up on the Jordan Bike Trail website and check out the tour opportunities via Experience Jordan, I cannot recommend these guys enough. 

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Katie Holden