Hosted by Jim Heck & Kathleen Morgan
November 9 – 19, 2022
If you have traveled with Jim Heck before you know that one of his greatest passions is early man. This trip is the next step.
Archaeological sites in many parts of the world record a serious advance in human civilization around 7000 years ago marked by sophisticated trade and encouraged by a more comfortable climate, warm and wet. This is when agriculture developed, the first great collective human achievement.
This peaked around 3500 BCE simultaneously in Pakistan’s Indus Valley and Egypt. [China’s civilization at this point was a thousand years behind.] Just the buildings that you’ll see on this trip, from the pyramids to Petra to the Golden Dome, remain the most awesome structures man has ever constructed! And to think that they were built so long ago is mind-boggling.
Then the favorable climate began to reverse: It got hotter, sea levels declined and rain drastically decreased. Competition for good agricultural land grew fierce and we believe provoked alliances that turned into the “governments” of kings and pharaohs. Just after 3500 BCE the center of world power and politics was indisputably what is now Egypt, Jordan and Israel. The first and greatest capital in the world was Jerusalem.
I think you know what followed: endless conflict, wars, a constant struggle for diminishing good land. The relative paradise, the Garden of Eden – as simple and primitive as it was from 7000-3500 BCE – ended with human conflict and intelligence battling for an increasingly challenged natural world.
If you believe like many historians – ancient and modern – that an understanding of the present is only possible with a foundational understanding of the past, how does this work? Well, by schooling and study of course. But there’s also a more fun way: you can actually visit the places to see for yourself!
You’ll all warrant post-grad degrees after this trip! Of course these countries have popular beaches and Disneyland theme parks, even casinos. And as you’ll see on this trip, wondrous natural areas, too. But a visitor can’t go a minute in any of these places without some obvious reference to the gravitas of its past and the obvious implications for our future.
So Jim is specially pleased that this weighty task is started for us by the extremely special guide, Husam Jubran. Watch his half-hour interview with Rick Steves by clicking here. I don’t think it’s too much of an over-simplification to contend that the whole complicated struggle of the world can be reduced to the struggles between religions: Christians and Muslims, Jews and Palestinians, etc. Husam is one of only 43 Palestinian guides licensed by Israel to tell Israel’s story. Israel trusts him with their story but he is Palestinian and you’ll hear that story as you would on no other standard trip.
Join me on this extraordinary trip. Your eyes will pop; your brain might explode, but in the end I hope you’ll find the unique peace which a little bit more of the understanding of the human endeavor brings to us all.
You can choose to visit Israel, Jordan, Egypt or all three. This page details the Egypt itinerary.
|Israel||Oct 30 – Nov 2||$ 3,645||$ 3,930|
|Jordan||Nov 3 – 8||$ 3,680||$ 4,080|
|Egypt||Nov 9 – 19||$ 7,945||$ 8,780|
Note about the sightseeing: We’ve packed an awful lot into this tour in all three countries even though it hardly skims the surface. At the same time it’s probably too much for some people. If you’d like some free time or have certain other attractions in mind that aren’t described in the itinerary, let us know! It’s easy to skip or substitute days or half days and all the guides are prepared to assist you with convenient, quick and inexpensive ways of leaving the sightseeing early or catching up with it later in the day.