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Petra… surprised me. Within my trip group, pretty much everyone had Petra high on their bucket list – yet during the tour, almost all of us were completely in shock at how BIG the complex was.

As we ventured away from the Treasury (Petra’s most famous landmark), the lands opened up to reveal the real city of Petra – and it’s HUGE. As the hillsides and vast open areas stretch out before you, you realise it was a genius idea to get there early (because you’re going to need the entire day to even scratch the surface). We were very glad to have such an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide, as the more we walked, the more questions we had.

Those aren’t just random holes in the side of the hills – they’re the caves in which people once lived, with different caves for different classes of civilisation. The colours inside the caves will make you (well, at least me) squeal in glee. It’s like nature is putting on an art performance for all to see.

Also, did you know that Petra was inhabited until 1985? Yeah, it took me a moment to take that one in too. So when you make your visit and see vendors selling everything from fridge magnets to cold beverages, just know that they are the people (and the families of the people) who last inhabited Petra. When UNESCO made it a World Heritage Site, the people who lived there were given a village just outside and were told they could work at Petra freely.

If you’re lucky enough, your trip guide might be able to introduce you to one of the ladies who lived her entire life in Petra before it became what you see today.

There are so many layers to ponder over as you’re strolling between the grand valleys or panting your way up to the the Treasury.

Petra without a doubt exceeded all of my expectations and deserves to sit high and proud on everyone’s bucket list!

By @psychotraveller

PsychoTraveller is more than just travel – it’s a platform to inform and inspire people of all ages to live the life they want to live. Through weekly videos, Aly showcases life on the road, the people she meets, the food she tastes and the highs and lows of living as a digital nomad. Aly has been discovering the world for over four years straight, and as a psychology graduate with a love for pho and red wine she looks at adventures big and small and says ‘Let’s do this!’

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