Wadi Rum, Jordan, quite simply, took my breath away. Located in the far southwest corner of the country, the desert landscapes were unlike anything I have ever seen. I expected endless vistas of sand dotted with half-dead scrub brush. I envisioned a monochromatic, moon-like environment. Instead, lush green bushes blazed trails through rich copper-colored sand, pointing the way to monolithic rock outcroppings in the distance. The sun beat down relentlessly, yet even at high noon it couldn’t burn out the robin’s egg blue sky. The riotous colors, surreal scenery, and desolation of Wadi Rum, Jordan, forge a sheer beauty found in only a handful of places on earth.