German Expat Living in Jordan - Interview with Bastian

Published: 10 May at 9 AM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Filed: Interviews,Jordan
Bastian is adventurer, loves exploring new places and taking pictures. He has been living in Jordan with his family since October 2016. He has lived in Jordan previously from 2008-2009. Bastian's expat blog is called Living in Jordan as Expat (see listing here)

Me and my son at Qasr Abed - Iraq Al-Amir
Me and my son at Qasr Abed - Iraq Al-Amir

Here's the interview with Bastian...

Where are you originally from?

I am from Germany but also have lived, studied and worked in Australia and Jordan.

In which country and city are you living now?

Currently I am living in Amman, Jordan.

How long have you lived in Jordan and how long are you planning to stay?

I have been living in Jordan since October 2016. We don't know how long we will stay as it depends on many factors.

The Monestry - Petra
The Monestry - Petra
Why did you move to Jordan and what do you do?

I moved here for a new job at an Agricultural Research Institute that works in the dry regions of the world.

Did you bring family with you?

Yes, we came with our 9-months old son at that time and our newest addition to the family was born 2 months ago here in Amman.

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?

There are plenty of challenges of course when living here. However, since I have lived already some years of my life in Jordan and Australia before, I knew how it is to be away from home. We also knew what to expect (and what not) in Amman. For me the transition was not so difficult rather than coping with the everyday challenges here and staying away from friends and family for a long time.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?

Well, when moving abroad you realize that you will never make friends like the ones from home that you know since more than 20 years. Not because of the new people you meet but because of the experiences you share with your long-term friends. However, we met colleagues and friends from Jordan, other Arab countries, global Expats and also some Germans. It is a great mix and it depends of course on you to make friends and keep up the relationships. Since we have small children we are pretty busy anyway.

Dana Valley
Dana Valley
What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?

I love the Outdoors and there are great things to experience in Jordan. Despite the great world wonder Petra and the stunning desert of Wadi Rum, there are plenty of hiking tracks not forgetting the Jordan Trail which was opened last year and had its first Thruh-Hike from the North to the South of Jordan. See an announcement for this year's Thruh Hike on my blog.

What do you enjoy most about living in Jordan?

Arabic Food – see my post on Arabic Food, the Sweets – and you know what I’m talking about
The amount of sunshine – coming from Germany, I really do not miss the rain
The culture – shops are almost open all day, you can sit in cafes and restaurants with a roof or open windows, have a a drink or Shisha and enjoy the warm wind and blue sky
The outdoors – there are plenty of things to see – and it is not just the well known sites such as Petra or Wadi Rum but also just some hikes in the northern area or the Dana Nature Reserve for example.

How does the cost of living in Jordan compare to home?

Amman is fairly expensive. In general you cannot really compare the costs. For sure cars are way more expensive and all kind of clothes and electronics in the big shopping malls. Even food such as cheese, milk or yogurt are more expensive than at home but meat is cheaper. Rent also depends on your living conditions. I don't think it is much cheaper than in Germany but places are also way bigger. Eating out can be anything from really cheap to extremely expensive. The currency (JOD) is tied to the USD. I receive some part of my salary in USD, so I always have that same amount converted to the JOD. The other part i receive in EUR. While in Oct 2016 1 JOD= 1.35 EUR it was as low as 1.10 January this year and now is back to 1.17 EUR

It largely depends on where you buy also. You can grab a Turkish coffee from any of the street vendors for 0.5 JOD but you can also easily pay 6 JOD for a coffee at Starbucks. Usually, expats receive allowances for housing or transport, some people also receive a tax free income, depending on their living/working conditions, so you still can save some money.

The conclusion is it depends like in every country on your living standards, if you need a car, what you eat and where you buy it, if you eat out a lot etc.
Also Amman is not the most popular destination in the world, so flights home or to Europe cn sometimes be expensive.

Wadi Kerak
Wadi Kerak
What negatives, if any, are there to living in Jordan?

I miss a green environment – although the north is a bit greener than Amman, at least a few month of the year, the view of the landscape in Germany is just stunning after April/May and at some point it is a bit disturbing to only see beige around you.

The amount of dirt and rubbish – After having been to Cairo, I have to say Amman is much cleaner but comparing it to my home country, it still shocks me, how ignorant and disrespectful people treat their own environment – and sometimes people.
Infrastructure for pedestrians/cyclists/families with kids – I used to go to school by bike, when we met friends in the afternoon we went by bike, from my home city we sometimes cycled to Holland… Despite the hills, Amman is not really cycle- or even pedestrian friendly. I explained already in my posts about Where to go with Kids in Amman what I think about the missing infrastructure for families with kids or people with disabilities.

Smoking everywhere – I really don’t like cigarettes and despite the laws and attempts to ban it in malls or other public buildings, most of the time at least 2 to 3 people just ignore the rules.

Also, it is difficult and expensive to ship stuff to Amman.

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving to Jordan, what would it be?

Expect anything to happen. You cannot prepare for it. You might end up in court because of a minor car accident. Your salary might come late, more than once. It might take up to more than 6 months to get a work permit. And there are plenty of other situations where you would think that is as crazy or bad as it can get, but it is just the beginning. So, if you can't deal with it, don't come to Jordan. That being said, with a lot of patience you can manage all this with the right support of family, friends and colleagues.

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?

Dealing with people can be both rewarding and frustrating. There is not one single situation because many of them are challenging. However, being away from friends is the hardest for me personally.

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?

We will miss the great food, the good weather and the nice people we have a met here for sure. Other than that, we will see what awaits us.

Dead Sea
Dead Sea
What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Enjoy the Arabic Cuisine. To me it is one of the best besides Asian food.

  2. Enjoy Arabic Sweets such as Baklawa, Kunafeh, Warabt and so on. Read more at

  3. Go out... out of Amman, enjoy some of the great sights or some of the less wellk- known places. For some inspiration, see my post at

  4. Figure out the city. Read here how to do so

  5. Don't give up
Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.

I am trying to cover several different topics, such as how to settle in (looking for an apartment, opening a bank account, paying you bills etc.), about living in Amman, nice places to see, good restaurants and of course some sights, hikes or other outdoor activities. Recently I also included some interviews with some people who have some unique businesses that I like.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?

You can reach out to me through my Facebook page

About the author

Expat Blog ListingBastian is a German expat living in Jordan. Blog description: You are planning to move to Jordan as Expat? You live already here? You are curious? Welcome to Jordan
Please share:

Grab a featured expat badge that links to this interview!

Copy and paste code to display the Featured Expat Badge:

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Articles by Category

Now featuring 633 expat interviews


Latest Headlines