On a hike along the northern stretches of the Jordan Trail, our featured contributor Lola Akinmade Åkerström finds a world of farm-to-table dining, local beekeepers and storied traditions.

Wind lightly rustled through the branches of oak trees and straws of wheat while herd dogs barked in the distance. Apart from the crunching of our hiking boots on rocky trails and the clanking of goat bells a few dozen feet away, there was a sense of stillness.

We kept hiking along those rolling hills spotted with turfs of green, snaking our way through widely spaced deciduous oaks until we reached a viewpoint overlooking the River Yarmouk. Across the river stood the politically iconic basaltic plateau of Golan Heights, and to my left, the biblical Sea of Galilee.

From this vantage point at Jordan’s northernmost region, I could see Syria, Israel, Palestine and Lebanon all at once. They were nothing but undulating masses of grass, dust, and earth, all belying decades of pain within their borders.