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Adventure Writing Prompts : Travel to Jordan

Adventure Writing Prompts

Travel to Jordan

8 Photos & Writing Prompts

By Kristi Tencarre

Jordan: an ancient land as old as time itself. Desert sands stir in the air and you breathe them in, inhaling the past as you look at the present. What does the future hold? Look at the fertile valley around the Dead Sea with its vineyards and olive trees, an area that was the Promised Land for the ancient Israelites after a 40 year wandering in the desert sand and heat.

A body of water in the desert is a source of life, only this body of water is dead; it cannot give life due to its salt saturation. However, if you understand a different meaning of the word, it gives life through tourism.

Visit ancient Petra, whose cavernous monuments prove the ingenuity of an ancient civilization. The city of Amman is as cosmopolitan as it was back when it was the Roman city of Philadelphia. The original city was built on seven hills, whereas the current one sprawls over nineteen, a testament to its growth over the centuries. Browse its soul and walk among the Roman monuments and ruins, among them the Temple of Hercules. Remain in the present but enter into the past.


2000 Year Old Olive Tree

1 This olive tree is over 2000 years old! It stands back from the shore of the Dead Sea in Jordan, overlooking Palestine & Israel. Think about who it may have seen during its life, what changes have occurred in the land and its struggle for life & water.


City of Stone

2 A city of stone, hidden within a narrow valley, carved out centuries ago. Consider the work involved to create this city with hand tools only; carving the interior rooms, chiseling the facades. What were the founding families thinking making their place of residence here? Imagine you could live here for a day or a week while the city was thriving. Now imagine living here in the present, in its deserted ghost-town-tourist-attraction state. What would your life be like? How would you react to the lack of amenities to which you are accustomed? What can we learn from simplicity?


Take this a step further. If this were another planet, which planet would it be? What other world of beings inhabits or inhabited this location? What can we learn from their way of life?


Free Writing

3 Set the timer for 10 minutes. List all the words that come to mind when you view this photograph. Try to fill a complete page with your list. Next, read over your list. Circle the words that stir up the most feeling. Begin a stream of consciousness — prose, poetry, ramblings, just go for it! You may even want to continue writing after the time is up.



4 There continue to be shepherds walking the deserts of the Middle East, just as the ancient texts described in days of old. This shepherd was walking his herd through the sprawling city of Amman. It is common to see sheep and goats mixed together in a herd. It is more common to see young boys with the herd, but sometimes you will see young girls or adult males.

Does the life of a shepherd appeal to you? What are the characteristics that a shepherd would need to do his job well? What are the similarities between the life of a shepherd and the life of a writer?


Free Association

5 Find an old fashioned hourglass where you can watch the sand or salt falling from top to bottom. Flip the hourglass and begin writing a free association. List everything that comes to mind when you look at this photograph. Continue writing and go where your thoughts take you. Like the sands have formed this area, the sand in your hourglass is timing you.


Fountain of Life

6 A fountain of life giving water. A fountain of beauty.

What do you know about fountains? What is their importance? How do they affect life and beauty? What is the sound of fountain water? Does fountain water taste different than water from a tap? What stories do you know that were set near a fountain? How can you incorporate a fountain into your next story, as a setting or a theme?


Describe the scene before you as if you are talking to someone who is blind or who has never been there. Consider the time of day/year, what you are doing, the temperature, the people or animals around you, and the details of where you are.


Treasury in Petra

7 The treasury in Petra is one of the candidates for the new Seven Wonders of the World. People have traveled down through the ages, but travel has changed in each century. Consider how traveling has differed. Is there any type of travel that you would like to try from a bygone era? What is it about our individual natures that cause some to be adventurous and actually visit the sites of their curiosity while others choose to stick close to home, traveling only through the pictures and movies of other people?

If you could travel to one of the Seven Wonders of the (ancient) World, which would you choose? Only the Pyramids of Giza are left in the present day. What marvels would you choose if you were compiling a list for the new Seven Wonders of the (modern) World?


A Thousand Words / A Thousand Questions

8 Life goes on in this city as it has for thousands of years, albeit the way people live has changed with progress and technology. Ancient cultures continue to mix with new. Travelers continue to visit: the destination for some, the stopover for others.

While some pictures are worth a thousand words, others generate a thousand questions. Where are you? Why are you here? Who are you? What is on the hill? What is/was its purpose? Who lives in the buildings on the side of the hill? What time of year is it and what year? What time of day? Do these particulars have anything to do with your story? •

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Content © 2007 Kristi Tencarre. All rights reserved.

Updated 1/17/14