Austrian Expat Living in Jordan - Interview with Sabrina

Published: 25 Oct at 9 AM
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Filed: Interviews,Jordan
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. Sabrina's expat blog is called Sunglasses Suggested - a Lifestyle Blog (see listing here)

Amman Citadel
Amman Citadel

Here's the interview with Sabrina...


Where are you originally from?
Austria

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

How long have you lived in Jordan and how long are you planning to stay?
I have lived in Jordan since October 2014. There are no other plans for the future at the moment.

Wadi Rum Jeep Tour
Wadi Rum Jeep Tour
Why did you move to Jordan and what do you do?
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 :-) 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.

Did you bring family with you?
My husband.

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
People in Jordan are foremost friendly and glad to help. I would say the transition was an easy task for me.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
I would say that it is not hard to get in first contact with Jordanians. Although, there are cultural differences when it comes to deeper friendship between Man and Women or people outside of the family. I do socialising with Jordanians, but mainly with other expats. There are many events and social media groups to get in contact. In my case, I was lucky that my husband already knew some people from his work, which made it even easier. But I also have to say, making expats friends can be a sad thing, since most of the expats do not stay longer than one or two years – mainly because of terminated contracts – you have to face goodbyes all the time.

Petra Treasury
Petra Treasury
What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
Jordan is a land of milk and honey when it comes to world cultural and natural heritage. You should use the time in Jordan to travel the whole land; starting in Wadi Rum, Petra, Red Sea, Dead Sea, Baptism side, but there are much more places to explore.
Besides the trips, there are many wellness opportunities like visiting a ‘Hammam’ or Beauty Centre, which is very common in Amman. You shouldn’t miss enjoying the sunset over the city in one of the beautiful roof tops. There are several sights and districts you shouldn’t miss to dive into the real Middle Eastern mood.

What do you enjoy most about living in Jordan?
• 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, what 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 Roof Tops. Even after three years I enjoy this spectacle as often as I can.

How does the cost of living in Jordan compare to home?
It definitely depends on what you are expecting. You can surely live on a low budget, but in case you like to live the same standard as in your (western) home country, you have to pay a bit more. Alcohol is definitely more expensive than in most European countries. Shopping in international stores is also more expensive, but driving home by taxi is super cheap :-). When it comes to food I would say it’s almost the same like in most European countries – except if you are looking for something ‘special’ like organic products or products from pork or power food like Quinoa; then you have to pay a lot more compared to home.

Wadi Rum SAnd Dunes
Wadi Rum SAnd Dunes
What negatives, if any, are there to living in Jordan?
• Although, Amman is a westernized city there are still huge difference to Europe. It is not forbidden to wear what you want as women, 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 manner of respect.

• What I really dislike are the barriers when trying to walk through the city. People love their cars and drive quite selfishly shortest ways and have no respect for pedestrians. If you like to take a walk you better look for an abroad area far from the city.

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving to Jordan, what would it be?
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 get help in every matter.
Besides, take a look at my blog www.sunglassessuggested.com – I write about my expat life - mainly about my travels inside Jordan.

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
I cannot say that there was anything really hard, but if I’ve to choose something, I would say I had to change the way I’m used to dressing almost completely. That was a bit hard at the beginning, but I got used to it.

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
To be honest, this is a question I can’t answer, because I’m not planning going back anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean that I never will. It’s just not the right time to think about it. I hope I can enjoy living abroad (maybe as well in another country) as long as possible.

Dead Sea
Dead Sea
What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Don’t be scared of change. An expat life in Jordan can be a real adventure.
  2. You definitely shouldn’t miss the opportunity of traveling around the country. Jordan has a lot to offer.
  3. Connect with other expats and exchange experiences.
  4. Use social media to stay in touch with other people or for any questions you may have.
  5. Try to get an apartment nearby your work so you can reach it by foot. Amman’s traffic is horrible.
Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
My Blog (www.sunglassessuggested.com) is an Expat, Travel and Food Blog where I’m sharing my impressions from Jordan and other countries around the world - combined with my passion for food. Most of my articles are not just stuffed with techy or historical details - I love to share my own experiences and my personal travel stories. I started the blog in December 2016; since then I got lots of questions from other bloggers and people around the world – certainly a large share are the ‘How about safety in Jordan’ requests. True, this question doesn’t come without a basis. Perhaps, it is probably one main reason why I started writing. I hope my blog can show the sunny sides and not primarily concerns of visiting Jordan, and of course, all the other beautiful places around the world.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
contact@sunglassessuggested.com
www.sunglassessuggested.com

About the author

Expat Blog ListingSabrina is an Austrian expat living in Jordan. Blog description: Travel- and Foodblog. My expat life in the Middle East
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