Belgium Expat In Jordan - Interview With Jessie

Published: 30 Nov at 11 AM
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Filed: Interviews,Jordan
Jessie is a Belgian Ibn Battuta. After having lived in Morocco, Egypt and Iraq, she finally settled down in Jordan. She's married to the love of her life, a Jordanian-Palestinian stand-up comedian and sound engineer. She enjoys cooking, photography, literature, browsing the world wide web and chilling with friends. Jessie blogs at Sum of Mind (see listing here)

Sum of Mind

Here's the interview with Jessie...

Where are you originally from?
Belgium, but I have Sicilian roots through my maternal grandmother.

In which country and city are you living now?
Jordan, Amman

How long have you lived here and how long are you planning to stay?
I've been living here since December 2010 and I'm not planning to leave.

Why did you move and what do you do?
I've moved for love. I know it's a cliché, but 2 years later I still don't regret it and I've been married for 6 months to the love of my life. I'm currently renovating and decorating our new home and once I'm done with that, I'll be ready for a new job adventure.

Did you bring family with you?
No, I didn't.

Sum of MindHow did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
I really didn't have any difficulties. I have lived in several countries in this region in the last 7 years and Jordan is really nice.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
I rarely socialize with other expats. I've made my first expat friend after more than a year here and even now, I can count my expat friends on one hand. I do think that Jordan, Amman especially, is a great place to meet new people because there's a lot of activities. There's something for everyone.

What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
I must admit that I haven't toured much, but I think that Dana Nature reserve is a great place to visit as well as the Ma'an Hot Springs and the Wadi Rum Desert.

What do you enjoy most about living here?
The weather. With 360 days a year of sun, I really can't complain about that.

Sum of MindHow does the cost of living compare to home?
I think the cost of living is almost the same as back home, while the salaries are much lower. Difference is that if you really wanna live on the cheap, you can.

What negatives, if any, are there to living here?
There are negatives. I'd be lying if I'd say otherwise. In general, "the society" is not always easy to deal with. But that doesn't only apply on expats, but also on open-minded locals that don't follow the mass.

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving here, what would it be?
Make contacts with people who are already here. Visit the country and see the real life. (So no tourist tours ;))

Sum of MindWhat has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
The fact that it isn't easy to find a house as a single foreign woman. Many landlords wouldn't rent to foreigners, especially not girls alone and if they do, you're very much restricted in who you can and can't have over at your house.

What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Meet the locals.
  2. Go to local restaurants. You really can find good stuff there.
  3. Learn about the traditions of the country.
  4. Learn the language.
  5. Enjoy your experience.

Sum of MindTell us a bit about your own expat blog.
Well, my blog wasn't really started as an expat blog. It was more a way for me to ventilate my emotions at a time where I was struggling with myself. I blog about my mental issues - that sounds freaky - and sometimes about food, politics, religion, movies, books and the Middle East.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
On twitter @Sumofmind or by email contact{at}sumofmind{dot}com

Jessie blogs at which we recommend a quick visit if you haven't been already. Sum of Mind has an listing here so add a review if you like! If you appreciated this interview with Jessie, please also drop her a quick comment below.
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