Gary is currently in Grand Chute, WI (May 22nd, 2015)

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On to Petra

I’m now in Petra. I spent the last two nights in a bedouin camp in Wadi Rum. I spent all of yesterday there taking a camel through the desert taking photos, slept in a tent, and ate semi-traditional bedouin food with mini version of the UN: Italians, Koreans, Japanese, Sweeds, Malaysians, British, French, Germans, Jordanians, Russians, and Belgians.

I’m going to just work on my photos today so I hope to have something up shortly. It was really an incredible experience.

I’ll be in Petra for 3 nights before heading back to Aqaba and crossing over into Israel. From what I’ve been told I may have a hard time at the border because I have a UAE stamp in my passport. So much for saving Israel for my last stop in the Middle East.

  • 9 Comments... What's your take?

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  1. Jonathan says:

    If you can or ever get a chance, watch the Jordan episode of Departures. It beautifully shows Jordan and their adventures in Petra. They were able to go into areas in Petra that is not commonly open to tourists. Go to to find more information about this episode and this awesome show.

  2. Urban Mom says:

    Hi Gary, I’m new to your blog, having just discovered it today. The husband & I have a dream of taking the kids around the world someday. It looks like your blog will be both education and very interesting! Safe Travels!!

  3. sdh says:

    I am not sure what the US State Department’s policy is, but I do know that there are many countries where you can request a duplicate passport, to avoid this sort of problem.

  4. Shawn says:

    The trick to answer their questions with respect, although if you can answer to make them feel that their question was stupid, then that will prevent them from asking stupid questions.

    Just refer your route based on a historical interest, not political.

    I was in Lebanon for two months, and Syria I had two visas with an extension, and they only questioned about Lebanon.

    At the airport departing from Israel, they asked what holidays do I celebrate? Well, I don’t celebrate any holidays, which is true. It really threw the guy for a loop. They just don’t want to look racist and ask if you have any ancestry of Arab, or if your Muslim, very sick stuff.

    Just be prepared to wait at the border.

  5. William says:

    A former colleague of mine once crossed from Syria into Israel and was asked, “Why would you visit an enemy of Israel?” He gave a smart-aleck answer and they strip-searched him and questioned him for a while.

  6. Shawn says:

    Israel will let you in, they will question you, maybe search all your stuff. It could take from a half an hour to 5 or 7 hours at the border. Just have all the correct answers.

    I was questioned for about a half hour arriving through the airport when I arrived.

    I had stamps from all their neighboring countries and I got in, but I did have an Israeli contact that helps. It is worse leaving if you are flying out. Get the Airport a good three hours early, be prepared for a body search.

  7. Jason says:

    Hey, love your site and the emails.

    I went from the UAE to Jordan and overland into Israel in October 08 and had no problems at all. I don’t think you’ll have anything to worry about with the UAE stamp. Good luck! Enjoy Petra!

  8. Melanie says:

    Wow sounds like an incredible few days! Can’t wait to read the report and see the picture – good luck with Isreal! – You may have to wait to go back until you have a new passport :-(

  9. Melissa says:

    Yes, I was planning a trip to the mid east, UAE, Saudi, Israel, Egypt, etc…

    If you have a UAE stamp on your passport they may not let you into Israel. However, if you have an Israel stamp on your passport, they 100% for sure would not let you into UAE. It’s pretty crazy.

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About Gary Arndt

My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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