Coming Back to Life at the Dead Sea

Me in mud

Last summer, when I traveled to the Middle East, I was not in the best frame of mind. After several stressful months, I seriously needed to relax—and to let go of some things that were bothering me. I hoped that traveling would help in some way.

Sure enough, it did. And it was the Dead Sea (Jordan side), the lowest elevation on the Earth’s surface (1,388 ft below sea level), where I had a major—and unexpected—breakthrough. Here’s the story…

Black Mud—Preparation Plus Laughter

I arrived at the Amman Beach late in the afternoon, when things were beginning to cool off a bit. I got myself situated and then bought some black mud and covered myself with it. When I saw my photo (taken by someone else since my hands were slimy) a moment later, I laughed and began to relax. This felt great.

Getting into the Water…and the Moment

Then, after the mud dried on my skin, I slowly entered the unique water of the Dead Sea, which is technically 1/3 saline, and thus, feels warm, slimy and comforting. It was what I imagined the womb to be like. It made me feel calm and centered–and without a care in the world.

Floating and Letting Go

Once in the water, I leaned back and began to float. There was no way to resist it, either. If I did, I might have ended up with my face down. So…I surrendered to the water and let it support me, and this was the most incredible feeling of all.

I was now truly in the moment and feeling free. The past didn’t seem to exist anymore. And everything felt OK again somehow.

Dead Sea Floating

Removing Impurities—and Negativity

After a while, I rubbed the mud off and watched it float away. I knew I’d done something good for my skin by removing the impurities. Perhaps I’d also, without realizing it, removed negativity that I didn’t need.

Rinsing Off and Relaxing

I floated for a long time—in no rush at all—and watched the sun begin to set. And soon, I felt even more restored. Truly alive again. But also, in need of a shower. Fortunately, the Amman Beach has showers a short walk from the water. I went and rinsed myself off. Once clean again, I felt like a new person.

Not Looking Back

After this great experience, and just as I was leaving, I noticed something on the beach that reminded me of the very thing I’d hoped to forget. Some of the emotions came back. I looked at it several times and then, I walked away. The best part? I didn’t look back.

people in Dead Sea

Your Thoughts/Experiences?

Do you travel just for enjoyment or is there ever a deeper reason for going—eg, clearing your head, moving on, healing yourself, etc? Would you choose/have you ever chosen a destination based on these types of possibilities? If so, where would you go/did you go and what would you like to happen/what happened?

How do you feel when you’re near or in water? What type of water do you prefer (ocean, lake, river, etc.)? And have you ever floated in/on the Dead Sea? If so, what was it like for you?
Dead Sea Sunset
All photos in this post are (c) L Egle, 2011. To see more of my photos from this trip and others, visit my Flickr page.

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50 Responses to Coming Back to Life at the Dead Sea
  1. santafetraveler
    October 23, 2011 | 11:53 am

    Would love to float in the Dead Sea.
    santafetraveler recently posted..Photo of the week: In honor of Twitters #FriFotos Think PINKMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      October 23, 2011 | 12:03 pm

      Very cool…I think you’d love it!

  2. Claire
    October 23, 2011 | 3:18 pm

    Yes, I floated in the Dead Sea one time. It was pretty cool——–until I got the salt in my eye and couldn’t see for approximately 20 minutes. So I just had to float until the tears cleared. But def a very cool experience!!
    Claire recently posted..Philadelphia, I Love YouMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      October 23, 2011 | 6:38 pm

      Hi, Claire. Ouch re: getting the salt in your eye! I remember reading that a person shouldn’t shave before going there. I’d shaved the day before. Fortunately, it was OK. I would hate to imagine the stinging sensation. Anyway, cool that you’ve been there–nothing quite like it, is there….

  3. Jen
    October 23, 2011 | 5:36 pm

    This looks amazing… I’m so jealous!!!
    Jen recently posted..Drink In Sydney’s Oldest PubMy Profile

  4. Alouise
    October 23, 2011 | 8:42 pm

    Pictures of people floating in the Dead Sea look so cool. I can’t swim, like at all, but I wouldn’t have to worrying about drowning here – hopefully.
    Alouise recently posted..Road Trip Memories 15 – Grain Elevator PhotosMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      October 23, 2011 | 9:16 pm

      Hi, Alouise. If you don’t swim, it’s no problem at all. The water takes care of you. Just let go and float. Perhaps you’ll go sometime…

  5. Jarmo @ Arctic Nomad
    October 24, 2011 | 12:13 am

    I love the first photo! You still somehow seem unsure about the whole thing in it. I still haven’t been to the dead sea, but I love all places that have water near them.
    Jarmo @ Arctic Nomad recently posted..Stupid or Lucky, Making It Through the Bolaven Plateau on a MotorbikeMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      October 24, 2011 | 9:27 am

      Hi, Jarmo. Yes–good point re: that photo. I think I was feeling relieved that someone could take my photos due to slimy hands and had not yet gone into the water. You’re a water lover, too, huh? Nice. I find it to be so relaxing–simply love it!

  6. Roxanne
    October 24, 2011 | 6:23 am

    I have found the Dead Sea to be a healing place too — from the obvious beneficial effects of the minerals in the water to the giggles that come from floating, looking silly, and trying not to fall face first into it! Thank you for this post and the gorgeous photos.
    Roxanne recently posted..Taking a cue from Joan DidionMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      October 24, 2011 | 9:29 am

      Roxanne–Glad to hear that you had that sort of experience at the Dead Sea, too. It really is cool how laughter and floating and really put you in the moment. I was so happy to be there and finally let go of my stress. Thank you for visiting and commenting!

  7. Jennifer Adams
    October 24, 2011 | 1:26 pm

    Wow, the Dead Sea seems amazing! I’ve never been, but its definitely on my bucket list now.

    • CB Driver
      October 24, 2011 | 1:49 pm

      Hi, Jennifer. It is really amazing and I hope you make it there! Also, if in Jordan, you should check out Wadi Rum. It’s absolutely amazing. Here’s a post re: my experience sleeping in the desert there. Will never forget it!

  8. Erik
    October 24, 2011 | 7:31 pm

    I did it on the Israel side and it was a truly one of a kind experience.

    I’ve never really traveled to ‘get away’ from something. Travel has been the one constant in my life- My ‘normal’ life is what I do in between trips :-) ….
    Erik recently posted..Photo of the Day- Yellowstone National Park, WyomingMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      October 24, 2011 | 11:55 pm

      Hi, Erik. Very cool that you’ve been there–and on the other side! Great perspective on travel, too!

  9. nicole
    October 25, 2011 | 12:32 pm

    This is really an amazing experience..I like to experience this floating on the water..I love all places that have water near them.Keep up the good work!
    nicole recently posted..long island psychotherapistMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      October 26, 2011 | 12:02 am

      Thanks, Nicole. Yes–there’s something about water, isn’t there…?

  10. Steve
    October 25, 2011 | 10:09 pm

    I’ve never floated in the Dead Sea before, but I did spend a day at a hot springs place in Costa Rica. The water was so warm and relaxing. At night you could lie down in the spring and look up at the stars. Loved every minute of it.
    Steve recently posted..How One Experiment Can Make You FamousMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      October 26, 2011 | 12:06 am

      Hey, Steve. Hot springs are wonderful, aren’t they? And there’s nothing quite being in them and looking up at the stars. Sounds like you had a great experience in CR. While I loved the Dead Sea, I must say that I’ve really got a thing for hot springs. They’re warm, relaxing and not slimy. :)

  11. Mike-1000fights
    October 25, 2011 | 11:36 pm

    Looks like a ton of fun! I was there in August a few years back and it felt like 1000 degrees! thanks for sharing your experience!

    • CB Driver
      October 26, 2011 | 12:07 am

      Hi, Mike. You were there? Cool. Did you go during the day? The first time I went (what you see in the post), it was perfect because it was late in the day. The second time I went, it was midday. OMG–I suffered a lot!

      • Mike-1000fights
        October 26, 2011 | 10:46 am

        We went up to the top of Masada in the morning and hit the “pond” in the early afternoon. HOT! It was hilarious seeing all of these supermodel types putting on the mud! Thanks again for a great post.
        Mike-1000fights recently posted..Our Morbid Venice Side-tripMy Profile

        • CB Driver
          October 26, 2011 | 11:01 am

          Mike–I’m sure that was really hot. I also visited Masada and went to the Dead Sea for a 3rd visit (overkill perhaps) and was there the same time of day. It was so hellish that I found an umbrella and rested on the ground. Despite tons of water, all of my energy was sapped at that point. Supermodels, huh? Pond? LOL.

  12. Abby
    October 28, 2011 | 5:39 pm

    I love this story! Yes, I often travel to rinse off bad energy from stress, etc. I think that’s why I hit the tropical places the most. 😉
    Abby recently posted..A quick, painful look backMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      October 29, 2011 | 6:44 pm

      Hi, Abby. Tropical places are great for it. I also like small towns in the mountains. Peace, quiet and beauty can help tremendously!

  13. Sabina
    October 30, 2011 | 10:59 am

    I love that you didn’t look back. I probably would have done the same, just to symbolically leave behind whatever was bothering me. The Dead Sea is inarguably unique. I had heard elsewhere that it’s slimy, but at least when I went in on the Israel side a few years ago, it left my skin dry. I hope you’ll be able to go to the Israel side one day too.
    Sabina recently posted..5 Cool Things in Eilat, Israel (Besides Chain Hotels and Dolphins)My Profile

    • CB Driver
      October 30, 2011 | 12:35 pm

      Hi, Sabina. Thank you–I’m glad you relate to the not looking back part. Make sense, right? And yes–it is truly unique there.

      And although it did feel a bit slimy while in the water, when I rinsed off, my skin was clean and dry. I ended up having to moisturize a lot. I did end up visiting the Israel side of the Dead Sea several weeks later, but it was midday and so hot, I couldn’t bring myself to go in. Instead, I stayed under an umbrella and drank a lot of water. It was lovely, however, just to see it from the other side. If I go back, I’ll go later in the day and get in–for sure.

  14. Iain Mallory
    October 30, 2011 | 8:50 pm

    Nice pics Lisa, especially love the very flattering image of you swathed in black mud, thanks for sharing.
    Iain Mallory recently posted..Hot Air Ballooning – Daydreaming in CataloniaMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      October 30, 2011 | 9:38 pm

      Thanks, Iain! The mud covering was fun–so was the rinsing off later on! Nice to feel renewed….

  15. Charu
    November 14, 2011 | 1:56 pm

    What a great experience Lisa, thanks so much for this and the pictures…you look terrific!
    Charu recently posted..Ode to the Fall Foliage Season (PHOTOS)My Profile

    • CB Driver
      November 14, 2011 | 10:15 pm

      Thanks, Charu. It was wonderful and happened at a great time!

  16. Angela
    November 28, 2011 | 1:23 pm

    Would love to go to Jordan, you had a great experience :)
    Angela recently posted..In Cordoba to cast a glance at the cruel side of historyMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      November 28, 2011 | 10:17 pm

      Hi, Angela. Yes, I did…it was really cool! Hope you make it over there!

  17. Lina Grimes
    December 7, 2011 | 5:12 pm

    I love this story! This looks amazing… I’m so jealous!!! It really is cool how laughter and floating and really put you in the moment. We went up to the top of Masada in the morning and hit the “pond” in the early afternoon.

    • CB Driver
      December 8, 2011 | 6:59 am

      Hi, Lina. Glad you enjoyed it! It was really enjoyable. Cool that you went to Masada and hit the “pond,” too. I’ll bet it was warm in the afternoon, but nice anyway!

  18. Jason
    December 19, 2011 | 4:45 am

    Glad to see you found your ‘MoJo’ again Lisa. The waters of the dead see were also quite calming to myself when I visited many years ago.

    Although not so soothing to a mate of mine, who we bet $20 dollars to put his head under the water. LOL…..Lets say, he earned it!!
    Jason recently posted..Image of The Week: Russia – Trans Siberian Tankers of NovosibirskMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      December 19, 2011 | 7:43 am

      Hi, Jason. Thank you! It really did help. I didn’t know you’d been there, too. We definitely have similar travel taste! :)

      Your friend put his head under the water? No way. I sure hope that he hadn’t shaved for several days before doing this. If so, ouch. Even if not, ouch!

  19. Amjadhasan111
    December 21, 2011 | 7:48 pm

    Nice pics in my country i miss all of those places
    PRO.Lisa is it the only thing that you visited in Jordan?
    What about:
    Jerash
    Petra
    Aqaba
    Om-Qais
    I’m sure you missed to see a lot of things because you don’t have time

    • CB Driver
      December 21, 2011 | 9:34 pm

      Is that you, Ammmmjad? :) Thanks for stopping by! Guess what? I saw the other places, too: Jerash, Petra, etc. I was there for a couple weeks. It was great! Are you back there now?

  20. Amjadhasan111
    December 23, 2011 | 9:49 pm

    lol yeah i’m Ammmmmmjad
    that’s nice
    No right now i’m in the USA, and guess what i’ll take my R class with you next semester :)

    • CB Driver
      December 26, 2011 | 12:19 am

      Hi, Ammmjjjaaadd. Ana mabsouta enta huna Amrika. Mumtaz! :) Will you be in R 004 or R 107?

  21. inka
    February 10, 2012 | 12:57 pm

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the experience and that it gave you some peace of mind. I was at Amman Beach just a little later than you, and I hated every moment.I didn’t even touch the mud, the idea appals me, but I watched people having fun. Being at the mercy of the water drove me crazy. I felt so helpless because as you rightly said you can’t do anything or else you may end up face down. Having said that I’m glad for the experience because how else do you know if you don’t try.
    inka recently posted..Don’t miss out on Corfu/GreeceMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 10, 2012 | 10:54 pm

      Hi, Inka. Thanks! So the mud is a turn-off for you? I can understand. It is a bit slimy. :) As for feeling helpless, it’s true. You can feel awkward in the water and end up face down.

  22. Traveling Ted
    May 20, 2012 | 10:26 am

    I don’t think I have ever traveled for the sole purpose of healing, but it never fails to cure what is ailing me if there is something bothering me. I can see how a dip in the Dead Sea could do the trick.
    Traveling Ted recently posted..Tent city at Summer Camp Music FestivalMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      May 22, 2012 | 10:06 pm

      Hi, Ted. I know what you mean re: traveling being healing even if it’s not your intention. That’s happened to me many times, and I like when it does. The Dead Sea definitely had a powerful effect on me. I’m hoping that my trip to Indonesia will help me get back to a place of balance. Lately, I’ve been too scattered/frazzled and hope to ground myself there…

  23. Gina
    July 23, 2012 | 5:03 pm

    I’ve always wanted to go to the Dead Sea, strictly for floating purposes. I always feel so peaceful when I’m just floating in the ocean and love how the salt water keeps you buoyant. So the Dead Sea must be REALLY easy to float in. Great account of your time there.

    • CB Driver
      July 24, 2012 | 8:55 am

      Hi, Gina. Yes, it’s very easy to float there. You pretty much have no choice, which is sort of cool. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  24. Debbie
    April 17, 2013 | 4:27 pm

    Sounds like an amazing experience. Would love to relax and rejuvenate in the Dead Sea. Traveling always helps when I need to de-stress!
    Debbie recently posted..Wandering Around V & A Waterfront In Cape TownMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      April 18, 2013 | 11:47 pm

      Hi, Debbie. It was great. Could use some of that de-stressing right now!

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