Editor’s note: This post was written before the current war in Syria. Personally, we feel that it’s a shame what is happening in Syria, as the people there deserve a better life than what they have been given.
A great deal of negative stereotypes are floating around about the Middle East, specifically Arabic and Muslim countries. Mass media in the United States and Europe often paint a picture of Middle Eastern extremism. We were curious to find out the truth, and during our trip around the world, we spent several months in the Middle East. One of the countries we visited was Syria. We were there for three weeks, and yes, it is extreme.
Because the U.S. Dollar is so strong against the Syrian Pound, we found ourselves much wealthier than our Syrian counterparts. Despite this, the local people treated us as if we were the guests of honor to be looked after and taken care of – and they were not after our money. We were invited into homes for lunch, given free food at restaurants, and taken on free tours of historic sites. All of these acts of kindness were by local people who wanted to show us how proud they are of their country, their hospitality, and their culture.
The United States recently lifted the travel warning for Syria in hopes of improving the governmental relationship. Tourism, in the meantime, is growing. With world class historical cities like Damascus coupled with amazing crusader fortresses and beautiful desert landscapes, Syria has more to offer than just a week’s vacation to sit on the beach and eat hummus. We toured ancient souqs filled with exotic merchandise, climbed mountains to reach historical forts with stunning views, admired the clear waters of the Med, and blazed our way through ancient Roman ruins in the desert as only Lawrence of Arabia could.
Our three weeks in the country left us with fond memories and a promise to return.
Check out the travel costs for Syria here on BudgetYourTrip.
Bryan has visited exactly one more country than his wife, and she won’t let him forget it! Also an avid photographer, he enjoys entrenching himself within the local culture in order to learn more about the people of a place. He is the co-founder of Budget Your Trip and loves a good adventure, an exotic meal, or a passionate conversation about global events.