I’m Off to the Middle East… Wait What?

As you may have readI’m off to Jordan TONIGHT with three friends and fellow travel bloggers: Amanda, Jessica and Julika!

The four of us met in Madrid last year, insta-bonded and have been plotting our next adventure ever since. I’m ridiculously excited to explore Jordan with them. And of course, to lay eyes on the Middle East for the first time ever, something I’ve dreamed of for years.


Courtesy of Sateless Suitcase

As a native of Detroit, Michigan, I’m no stranger to Middle Eastern food or culture– after all, Detroit is home to the largest population of Arab Americans in the country. I even consider Middle Eastern to be my comfort food- my coming-home meal is always hummus with pickled beets, lamb tips and sesame pita. (True story- I always make my brother bring it to the airport when he picks me up. I’m terrible.)

But back to the trip. The four of us aren’t just visiting Jordan as tourists. The purpose of our campaign, #GirlsGoneJordan is to strip away stereotypes about Jordan and encourage women to travel to the Middle East.

As a history nerd I can’t wait to explore such an ancient part of the world. But as a feminist and strong supporter of female travel this trip is about more than just visiting Jordan- it’s also a way to support women-based causes that I’m very passionate about.

PetraCourtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The four of us will be posting on social media all next week so if you want to know what we’re up to check out the links below. And of course, expect a deluge of Jordan blog posts once I’m back in the states.

Facebook: Amanda | Ashley | Jessica | Julika

Twitter: Amanda | Ashley | Jessica | Julika | #GirlsGoneJordan

Instagram: Amanda | Ashley | Jessica | Julika | #GirlsGoneJordan


Have you ever visited Jordan or the Middle East? Would you? And what should I most definitely eat when I’m there?

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About Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is a travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Uganda. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour Magazine.

37 thoughts on “I’m Off to the Middle East… Wait What?”

  1. You’re going to have an amazing time! I’ve been to Israel and am dying to get back and explore more of the region. I had a long-ass layover in Amman on my way home, enough to leave me thoroughly intrigued. Can’t wait to see what you girls get up to! Happy travels!

  2. Bon voyage! Looking forward to hearing about y’all’s adventures in Jordan on Instagram and the blog in the weeks to come—I like the angle that y’all have taken as well!

  3. Are you serious? Yes, I guess you are. I have never been to Jordan, and don’t know anything much about it food wise or other wise. Be sure to tell us all about it when you return!


    Gamma and Papa Lou

    • I am serious! I actually only found out I was going for sure a few days before the trip, hence why I didn’t tell anyone in the family. I had an amazing time though and can’t wait to share the photos!

  4. Wow! That’s amazing that you guys are going. I would love to have some real-life bloggy girlfriends to plan trips like this with! :) Let me know if you’re ever looking for a fifth member of your squad ;) Have a blast and I’ll be following along your blog posts!

  5. Have an amazing time! Petra is in my top travel wish list, and as an Arab-American, very jealous of all the great food you’ll be having :) You must try mansaf while you’re there, that’s super Jordanian!

  6. Enjoy! Went to Jordan for a week back when I was living in Azerbaijan. One of my top five favourite trips — make sure you camp overnight in Wadi Rum! Absolutely magical!

  7. Looking forward to reading your experiences in the Middle East. Just be sure to cover your shoulders…

  8. This is wonderful! I love the feminist slant and the inspiration behind wanting to encourage other females to travel to the Middle East. I’m eager to hear all about it at brunch when you return! Perhaps you can convince me to go ;-)

  9. I’m so happy to hear that you’re in Jordan and helping to tear down stereotypes! I was actually born and raised in Jordan but have lived in the States for 18 years and consistently finding myself explaining to others that Jordan is a quite liberal county (relative to the region) and that women are continuing to be more empowered there. People assume it’s just desert and camels and there is sooo much more and such a rich, beautiful culture to learn about, although I might be a bit biased ;) I’ve been reading your blog for maybe a year now, and I’m excited to hear your perspective on Jordan! I’m not sure what your itinerary is, but I hope you have time to check out the Dead Sea! It’s totally worth it and most of the time it’s filled with locals rather than tourists so you don’t sacrifice too much of the culture and still get to get your tan on.

    • We did see the Dead Sea, as well as Wadi Rum, Petra, the Red Sea and Amman. I honestly loved Jordan and felt totally comfortable and safe there- it’s such a shame that it is so misunderstood solely based on the region it’s in.

  10. I went to Jordan last summer (I only spent two days there) but it was amazing! Petra, is the place to go, it is touristy yes but hike to the Monestary (an extra 45 minute hike from the Treasury) and then climb up the mountain/hill for an amazing view of the mountains! It will take your breath away! Also, Middle East food is the best and Dearborn Michigan has great food.
    p.s. I am from right across the Detroit river in Canada!

    • That’s so funny you mention Dearborn, Michigan. I’m from Metro Detroit so I grew up eating Middle Eastern food- in fact I consider it my comfort food! Unfortunately we didn’t have time to see the monastery but I would’ve loved to!

  11. Hi there, I have really enjoyed reading your past updates and most recent post :) I was recommended your blog by transient20s.

    I have just started on WordPress since I am beginning my travels – not just as a recording of the journey for myself, but also to read the recommendations and insights of others. I would love to hear if you have any recommended travel bloggers that I can have a read of? I am 23 and my first blog post lists the places I will be travelling to. Thank you so much!

    • Hey Rebecca, thanks for stopping by! So some of my favorite blogs are alexinwanderland.com, cestchristine.com, expatedna.com, youngadventuress.com, curiositytravels.org, farsicknessblog.com, sateless-suitcase.com and adventurouskate.com. I tend to find 20-something female blogs to be most interesting as you may notice from the list!

  12. This is so cool. I’m enormously happy for you. And to go with a couple of blogger girlfriends too. Excellent!

    I’ve never visited Jordan but I sure would love to. Back in the day I wanted to go to Israel and live in a Kibbutz! In fact, I had applied for classes to learn Hebrew and then the serious troubles took place and I couldn’t go! I’ve been to Qatar and depending how you categorise these countries as either Arab or Africa, I’ve also been to Egypt and Tunisia.

    What should you eat? If offered, goatmeat and goathead soup with all the brains still there LOL!

  13. Hi
    Happy to hear you four travel to Jordan. Me and my best friend was there this January and we where all fine. We had a fantastic day there and now I went back two times. Can’t get enough haha. I can highly recomend you to go up to the high place for a fantastic wiew and say Hi to Emad. And ofcourse all the stairs up to The Monastery. Take care and hope you’ll have a great time!

    • Thanks so much, Maria! I would totally go back actually- one of the most incredible sites I’ve ever seen, especially by night. Unfortunately we didn’t have time for the monastery, though I would’ve loved to have seen it.

  14. Ashley, this is AMAZING!!! Wow! Your blog is so inspiring! I just got back from my second ever travel campaign and reading your posts is teaching me so much about travel writing. This is awesome, I’m so glad we got to chat today and I found your site!!!

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