Laura spent a night with the Bedouin in the endless deserts of magical Jordan. Read her story here.

This post is part of the series called ‘Sleep less, dream more’ in which we share uncommon sleeping places and circumstances travelers encountered during their trip.

Written by Laura Coolen. 

One of my most memorable nights was the night at Rock Camp, a Bedouin camp in the middle of the mountains near Little Petra in Jordan. I have slept in Wadi Rum as well, after a two day camel ride, but nothing exceeded this night in the middle of nowhere. There were no other guests in this deserted tent camp. There was something magical, something spiritual over there. And the Bedouin were simply amazing. Two genuine men who lived there taught us about life and love in the little English they knew, and gave us something to take home: gratitude. As soon as I arrived, I felt free. I simply was human. I was life itself.

©Laura Coolen.

This place consisted of a few simple tents. There were only a few hours of electricity in the evening and by night, small lights in the treetops shimmered. The setting? Phenomenal beauty. Situated between the mountains of Little Petra and near to the entrance of a beautiful gorge that led to an ancient village of the Nabateans, this was an amazing place. With nothing and no one in the area except for occasionally a sheep shepherd with his flock, you found yourself in the middle of nowhere. Literally.

©Laura Coolen.
©Laura Coolen.

In the afternoon we spoke with Ismael about life in the desert and Mahmoud took us for a mountain hike to a few horses. We drank tea together, gallons of tea, while we were discussing life and all that she offers, and takes. An authentic Jordanian dish was prepared in a barrel underneath the ground: Zarb, lamb marinated in delicious spices, onions and potatoes. The campfire, a musician and a tinkling scarf around my hips makes this a night to remember. But mainly the people and their stories gave me a feeling that I cannot describe in words.

©Laura Coolen.
©Laura Coolen.

I can not properly explain why this was the most amazing night ever. Was it the surroundings? The cosiness of the camp? The sunset as seen from the mountain we climbed? The red mountains? The fantastic, hospitable Bedouins Mahmoud and Ismael? Their personal and touching stories about life in the desert, arranged marriages, being not good enough for their families? Dancing around the campfire? The traditional food? I simply don’t know. But this night won my heart.

©Laura Coolen.
©Laura Coolen.
©Laura Coolen.
©Laura Coolen.

About the author

Laura (1)Laura (1988) is full time travel writer and founder of the blog What About Her. She is continuously wandering around the world in search of hotspots and perfect places on planet Earth, while persuading others to follow their dreams. She is a storyteller and dances with words, photography and video to capture your imagination.


  1. I always get that magical feeling when I’m in the desert! Just like you said, the why, is not really clear… It just is… I love the desert nights!

    • Yes, I also recognized Laura’s ‘magical hard-to-describe desert feeling’ Sarah :)! Not sure what it is, but it sure is pretty awesome!


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