Tuesday, March 10, 2009


(Feb. 14th to 25th, 2009)

After almost a month in the road I can honestly say that my brain is already overloaded with information; my mind cannot stop thinking about the great opportunities available to get involved with the local communities everywhere, and my heart is overwhelmed with joy from the incredible new feelings and exceptional moments I was lucky enough to experience.

In summary, YES! I have no doubt I made the best decision to take a career break for six months and explore in depth myself and many places of this very special world of ours.

Going around the Middle East: Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq.

Jordan: Before sharing with you all some of the great things that happened during my last, and by far the BEST, trip to Jordan on behalf of the Jordan Tourism Board I just want to say that I have always thought that Jordanians would never really understand how much I love, care, and fully respect their country and its people, but today, I realize that they actually do. Literally, everyone I came across during my last 10 days over there expressed their sincere gratitude for my work and devotion to their country and its tourism industry. I was honored with a gift of appreciation from His Majesty and thrilled with all the praises and admiration expressed by everyone I met throughout the past 7 years, including local friends, colleagues and partners from the industry, and at last but not least the Bedouins. That really meant a lot to me!

I believe what made this trip the best one I took to Jordan in the past 7 years is a group of reasons including the fact that the biggest project we, from the Jordan Tourism Board North America, have ever worked on, the Jordan Travel Mart, was once again, on its second year, extremely successful. It is definitely important to mention that the increase in participation from the South Americans trade and media professionals from last year’s was outstanding, and because this market has been my baby for the past 2 year, I could definitely not hide my joy and satisfaction.

In addition, the fact that I knew that this trip was the last one, at least for a little while since we never know what the future will bring us, forced me truly and fully experience every site and every moment. I had the most incredible group of people joining my “South American” group and that for sure made a huge difference in my final journey.

Some highlights from this trip include some of us venturing off in Amman looking for bars at 4am and finding interesting ones, doing an incredible off beaten trek in Petra and finishing the day partying like crazy at our hotel, going on an amazing 4X4 ride in Wadi Rum and witnessing the genuine Bedouin hospitality specially when one person from our group lost 2000 EUROS in the desert and got it back (the Bedouins literally went after us to find the owner of that money), exploring Aqaba’s interesting night spots, enjoying the Dead Sea and its natural incredible beauty, networking with top professionals from the tourism industry, having my “exit” interview with the Minister and Directors of JTB, which gave me the opportunity to do more good for the country while leaving my position (I know only few of you will understand this one J), getting my i-phone back after leaving it in a cab on my way to the airport to go to Iraq – the driver literally found me after contacting some friends listed in my phone book and kept it safe until I got back to Jordan… Jordanians are just unbelievable!

I had a blast, I loved everything about it, and I will definitely have all the great memories from it with me forever. I guess I did close this door using a golden key… as we say in Brazil :)!

This is one of the articles that came out from one of the journalists from Brazil - Dayse Ferreira, a sweetheart. Obrigada Dayse.

Last presentation I put together on Jordan... A very nice one!!

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