I finally got to cross going to Aqaba off my bucket list! The director of our program took my class (my roommate, another girl, and me) after class on a Wednesday. After a long five-hour drive, we ate at an authentic Jordanian restaurant. I ordered mansaf, which is a traditional dish of chicken and rice with a yogurt sauce. Afterwards, we all went to a cafe to drink tea.

The next day, we woke up early to go to the beach. The weather was so warm, which was a nice change from the typical cool February temperatures in Amman. The water was a little cool, but we got used to it when we snorkeled. That was my first time snorkeling, and the experience was breathtaking… Literally! When I first put the mask on, I immediately became claustrophobic. I wasn’t able to breathe out of my nose which really bothered me at first, but once I adjusted and calmed down, I was able enjoy myself. I did not expect there to be big, beautiful reefs just off the coast with colorful fish swimming in and out of them. In the fifteen minutes we were out there, it felt as if we were all alone. All I could hear was my breathing. Only because I was very close to the dock, that feeling of solitude was very relaxing. Snorkeling was truly amazing, and I hope to do it again in the future.

We left the beach shortly after and got ready for dinner. We ate fish and rice at a friend of our director’s house. He and his family were very kind and generous. Following dinner, we all talked and drank tea. For the rest of the night and the next morning, we walked explored the city and visited its historical sites. We returned to Amman Friday evening, sunburnt and exhausted. Aqaba is a great city, and I think everyone should go at least once in their lives.

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