Who are you?
My name is Sabrina, I’m 31 years old from Austria. Before I came to Jordan, I spent about five years as a project manager for a Viennese advertising and event agency. Quite interesting and challenging, but I always felt that there is more to explore.At the moment I am progressing a diploma distance study on marketing & event management. I really enjoy travelling and trying new recipes. That’s the way it came to my latest passion, my expat travel and food blog, which takes quite a bit of my time.
Where, when and why did you move abroad?
I moved to Jordan/Amman in October 2014. It was always a dream of mine living abroad. As my husband got a job opportunity in Jordan we were totally keen on trying something new; let’s say an adventure. We dared, and never regret. 🙂
What challenges did you face during the move?
I’ve to say we were very lucky. There wasn’t really anything outstandingly difficult when moving to Jordan.
• The first apartment we visited is still the apartment we live in – thanks to plenty of expat housing pages. We were quite lucky with our landlord and the apartment condition. Probably not always the case.
• Visa is no problem at all.
• People are very friendly and glad to help.
• Almost everyone in Amman speaks a bit, and most of the people even perfectly, English. So there was no language barrier as well.
But I’ve also to say, we left everything behind and arrived in Jordan just with three baggages, which made it easier for us.
Are there many other expats in your area?
There are definitely lots of other expats in Amman and especially in the area I live, which is Abdoun.
What do you like about life where you are?
What I like the most is the weather. May sound a bit lame, but as an Austrian I am used to cold winters and rainy summers. I really appreciate the incredible amount of sunny days in Jordan.
Most of the people in Amman are very friendly, helpful and interested in your background, which makes it easy to feel welcome from the very first day.
I love the beauty of this country; there are the Desert (Wadi Rum), the Red Sea (Aqaba), Petra (one of the seven world wonders) and still many more places to explore.
There is nothing comparable to watching the sunset from one of Amman’s rooftops. Even after three years I enjoy this spectacle as often as I can.
What do you dislike about your expat life?
Although Amman is a westernized city there are still huge differences to Europe. It is not forbidden to wear what you want as a woman, but you definitely have to face that people stare at you. Nothing to be afraid of, but something you have to get used to. So I’m not wearing too short skirts or t-shirts – for me it is also a matter of respect.
What I really dislike are the barriers when trying to walk through the city. People love their cars and drive quite selfishly the shortest ways and have no respect for pedestrians. If you like to take a walk you’d better look for an area far from the city.
What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?
I would say the strong tie with religion. It’s not only a Muslim or Christian question, it’s rather a question of how much of daily life aligns with religious traditions.
What do you think of the food and drink in your country? What are your particular likes and dislikes?
Just as in many other countries around the globe, food plays an important role in Jordan. What I like the most about Jordan’s food in particular is the way it gets served and the way people/families enjoy being together while eating. There are often several plates with different dishes, which are shared among each other. I really like that, because you get the chance to try different things, and even more importantly, you connect which each other while eating.
I’m not a huge fan of lamb, so some of the traditional dishes are not to my taste. But when it comes to Jordan’s desserts like ‘Knafeh’ – count me in.
What advice would you give to anyone following in your foodsteps?
Never be scared! An expat life in Jordan can be a real adventure you won’t ever forget. For practical recommendations you’ll find plenty of expat groups on social media – definitely a good way to get in touch with people or getting help in every matter.
Besides, take a look at my blog – I write about my expat life – mainly about my travels inside Jordan.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m not that kind of person planning too detailed for the future. I like to stay open for the coming adventures in Jordan or elsewhere. I’m really curious what’s next. 🙂
You can keep up to date with Sabrina's adventures on her blog, Sunglasses Suggested.
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