How three people (a Brit, a Palestinian, and a Jordanian) created something together.
A Plan for a Life-Changing Tour Company
In 2004 whilst at university I wrote a business plan for a “life-changing” tour company, life-changing for both the travellers and the local people.
The vision was for tours where travellers see and experience the real destination; off the beaten path, where they can engage with the people and culture, and where the locals truly benefit through ethical and responsible tourism.
I wanted to create a business that I believed in, one that both I and others would enjoy working for.
My Life Experiences
My own life has been changed and shaped by my travels and encounters with so many people around the world. Therefore, I wanted to create experiences that were equally life-changing both for travellers and the locals.
In 2008, after time living in China, the US, and back in my home country of England, I moved to Jordan and I fell in love with this historic and beautiful country and its amazing people.
Growing up in Jerusalem
I was born and raised in Jerusalem. After finishing university in the UK I returned to Jerusalem to join our family tour company. We worked in traditional tourism which is mainly Christian Pilgrimage to the Holyland.
Everything in life is political when you are Palestinian. I have lived in various wars and uprisings, combined with occasional hope with peace negotiations. I switched from tourism to economics to contribute to my community. I did a Masters in Economic Development Policy and joined a Palestinian Economic Think Tank.
Spending Time Outdoors
In my free time, I spent time outdoors hiking and biking in Palestine and found that active discovery and nature were a passion. When I moved to Jordan with my family to run our branch office there, I started exploring Jordan’s wilderness and was amazed by what was out there.
After a while I started to wonder: can I combine my passion for the outdoors, my desire to help with community development, and my work in tourism?
Love of Jordan’s Treasure
Since the beginning, I have always been passionate about Jordan’s historical and natural treasures. This passion led me to major in History and Archaeology a the Hashimite University in Jordan. Shortly after finishing university, I passed the exam to become a tour guide
I loved being a guide, where I met thousands of travelers from all over the world. At that time, I was one of the only “adventure” guides in Jordan who would take groups hiking and cycling. The adventure scene in Jordan was not developed yet, so few in the country even knew about hiking.
As a guide, I thoroughly enjoyed being able to show travelers Jordan’s stunning nature and hidden gems. On my trips, I became known for cooking and enjoying great meals while in the middle of the wilderness. For me, great adventure, nature, food, and companions make a trip.
Beginnings of Something Bigger
After getting comfortable guiding, I decided to start my own tourism business in 2011. That is how I met Matt.
Experience Jordan Adventures was born
Matt was managing a new climbing gym in Amman and Mark would take his young son to that same gym to climb. There, Matt and Mark started talking. In the meantime, Ayman met Matt through the new company Ayman started. Finally, Mark, Matt, and Ayman all went on a 5-day hike together where the idea of starting an adventure tour company together started to take form.
They agreed to work together on a brand named “Experience Jordan.” A company that would introduce tourists to Jordan’s beautiful wilderness and hospitable people, while working towards economic development in the peripheral areas of the country, and is ethical in its business practices with consideration for its staff and the environment.