What It’s Really Like To Travel The Middle East

Last Updated on November 10, 2019

What It's Really Like To Travel The Middle East


When I told people, that I would be travelling to the Middle East, they would let out a loud gasp before trying to convince me to change my plans.  I travel the world not to tick countries off a list, but to experience and see the good in every country I go to.  Often, the countries I visit have a bad reputation, so my mission is to find out what life is really like in these places.

The Middle East is consistently on the news.  It seems like there is something new and outrageous happening in the Middle Eastern region daily, and I wanted to go see it for myself.  I wanted to have my own experiences and my own opinions, and I wanted to meet the people there, eat food, and have amazing experiences.


What It's Really Like To Travel The Middle East

Here’s what it’s really like to travel the Middle East

My first port of call was Egypt where I worked with Travel Talk on one of their tours.  Egypt has always been high on the bucket list for obvious reasons.  The people were incredibly friendly and so eager to see tourists slowly coming back to experience their beautiful country.  The locals were grateful and genuinely happy to see us.


What It's Really Like To Travel The Middle East

My second destination was Jordan.  I wanted to experience Jordan as a solo female traveller in the Middle East.  The only real way to see how I felt in the Middle East as a woman travelling alone is to do just that!

I caught a taxi straight down to Petra.  The taxi driver Raed would repeatedly say “Welcome to Jordan!” while teaching me phrases, and he even took the scenic drive so I could get some great photos and play in the snow at no extra cost.  We even stopped a few times just so he could buy me tea and falafel sandwiches.  I seriously considered moving there when that happened.

*If you need a guide/driver then contact Raed! (raedrawadieh@yahoo.com or 00962776767978) 


What It's Really Like To Travel The Middle East What It's Really Like To Travel The Middle East

The locals around Petra and the surrounding villages were super helpful and really interested to hear my story and what I was doing.  Just like I was interested to hear their stories and what they were doing.  Did I feel safe in Jordan?  Yes, of course.  I also never put myself in awkward situations or in danger and I always have travel medical insurance just in case something does go wrong.


What It's Really Like To Travel The Middle East  What It's Really Like To Travel The Middle East

What It's Really Like To Travel The Middle East What It's Really Like To Travel The Middle East


The next stop was Israel and Palestine.  The food, oh my gosh.  It was the best I have ever had, I have to admit.  Actually, all of the Middle Eastern foods were delicious and I have never felt healthier in my life.  (Note to self: adopt the Middle Eastern diet.)

I got to visit Palestine with a tour with Abraham tours (more on that here!) and it was one of the best things I did during my time there.  You can read as much as you like and watch all the TV news but still not get the full grasp of the situation over there until you have met the people from both sides of the wall and listened to their stories and views.


What It's Really Like To Travel The Middle East


The last Middle Eastern country I visited was Turkey with Travel Talk Tours again.  I went to go pay my respects at Gallipoli for ANZAC day.  It was an incredible experience I have to say and I am looking forward to travelling back to Turkey hopefully again sometime this year.

There was one thing I noticed travelling through these countries: their superb hospitality.  The people from the Middle East are incredibly friendly and if you just give them a chance they could teach you a thing or two.  From countless servings of free food to cups and cups of tea, I was well looked after during my entire trip.


What It's Really Like To Travel The Middle East

Final thoughts on the Middle East?

You cannot ignore what is going on as that would just be silly but you can go see the countries for themselves and give them a chance because it may be the best thing you have ever done.  Remember to check with your countries advisories when it comes to travel and make your own decision on where to go in the Middle East.  The Middle East is too beautiful to miss out on and I urge you to see beyond news headlines and go see it for yourself.  Even if you don’t feel comfortable to go on your own, you can easily pick to do a tour as I did for Egypt and Turkey with Travel talk tours

If you are from any of the countries that I talked about in this article I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me welcome and making my Middle East experience so wonderful!


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The Comments

  • Jean
    June 11, 2017

    The Middle East certainly does cope a lot of slack from the mass media. It has always been an area of fascination for me. And an area that one day I do plan on exploring just like you.

  • Danik
    June 12, 2017

    Nice brief out take on the Middle East countries and same as me, had great welcome by the locals. Its only a minority who are right jerks out there who have to spoil it for other people and hopefully this issue will be sorted out too. But those countries are still open, even Syria 🙂

  • Darlene | Point and Shoot + Wanderlust
    June 12, 2017

    Living in Qatar at the moment, I find that the news really are an exaggeration most of the time. There is much to discover and explore in Middle east and those countries you visited are definitely next on my list!

  • Natasha Haley
    June 12, 2017

    We will briefly travel in the Middle East later this year. It looks like so much fun from your pictures. I am glad you enjoyed it so much and the people made you feel so welcome

  • Ryan Biddulph
    June 13, 2017

    Hi Anita,

    Love it! The tough, mean reputation of the Middle East continues to take a hit 😉 I recall reading recently how Israeli and Palestinian food is awesome. Underrated, big-time, but delicious nonetheless.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂


  • quirkywanderer
    June 13, 2017

    I completely agree with you on the hospitality front. They are just so warm and welcoming. They have seen war and destruction and hostile environments. I so wanted to visit Iran but people keep telling me otherwise. Hope someday the whole world will be a safe place to travel 🙂

  • AllGudThings
    June 13, 2017

    Very well said! I too say that check the place yourself before giving a verdict or making any final decision about it. Ultimately every human on this planet is just looking for happiness. It is just media who might be showing all the unrest happening here and there.

  • RaW | Ramble and Wander
    June 14, 2017

    I lived in the Middle East for 5 years before and took every opportunity to travel (solo) around the region almost every single month whilst there! Have totally fallen in love with the region and the people and yes, the food too! Certainly wouldn’t mind going back there again and again to explore more.

  • Carmen Edelson
    June 15, 2017

    Petra has been on my bucket list for so long! Same with Egypt actually. I don’t always listen to the media reports but it’s hard not to sometimes. Thanks for your honest opinion! I know Middle Eastern hospitality is world renowned. Happy travels 🙂

  • Genie Paris
    June 15, 2017

    That truly looks like a beautiful place to visit. I hate when people dismiss a place because of stereotypes or rumors. I’m glad those didn’t stop you from making this trip

  • Jen Joslin
    June 21, 2017

    It is so great to read about your experience traveling as a woman alone through the Middle East. I love that you decided to see for yourself what it’s like instead of listening to mainstream media. The more I read about these beautiful countries and their people the more I want to go!