Cool Sites in Amman!

Today, in an effort to try to save us from the horrible effects of jet lag and boredom, our staff took us on a tour of some famous sites in Jordan. We saw the Amman Citadel (with the ruins of the Temple of Hercules) and the Roman Theater, a massive amphitheater with a perfectly-designed focal point that allows the entire theater to hear the performer.

Below you’ll find a photo of me posing at the very top of that theater, with some of Amman visible in the background (out of the photo is the citadel, which sits at the top of that hill.)

Erik

I Have Arrived!

It’s 5:22 am here currently, and it occurred to me that I hadn’t yet written a blog post! I got back to my apartment in Amman at around 9:30 pm last night. My housemates and I are exhausted, but we have orientations to attend, starting at 8:45 am today. I was actually awoken by the call to prayer, but there may be a bit of jet lag involved as well…

The apartment is huge, and very nice. There are a few things that will definitely take some getting-used to, but it is a good setup. The landlord seems like a very nice older gentleman who just wants to make sure we don’t go destroying his apartment. I think we can handle that!

Thanks all for following, and for your support and encouragement, it means a lot!

Erik

Upgraded!

Off to a great start already! My plane is basically empty, and as a single traveler, they upgraded me to business class for free 🙂 I’m enjoying some of these benefits already… 🍷 This may be the most legroom I have ever had and ever will have. It’s a wonderful thing! Next stop Toronto!

Erik

En Route

Now it’s a waiting game – I’ve got another hour to kill before the first leg of my journey: Baltimore to Toronto. This is a quick flight, then I’ve got about three and a half hours in Toronto before crossing the Atlantic. I managed to get all aisle seats – a huge plus for my long legs, since the upgrades are pretty expensive on the flights that matter. I’m already sleepy, but for the sake of jet lag, I should be staying awake as much as I can. I am bored, but there’s a lot to think about also, I have to get my visa and a SIM card, and find my way to my apartment once I arrive (Sunday night), then get ready for orientation on Monday morning. It’s all coming together!

Erik

Less Than One Week Away!

The excitement (and the nerves) are starting to build! Today I received my housing assignment – I will be living in a three-bedroom apartment with two roommates in the Shmeisani neighborhood of the al-Abdali governorate. My apartment’s location is a very short walk from the 4th circle in Amman, and is located conveniently near a hospital, a pharmacy, a shopping center, and many other stores, hotels, and places of interest. Additionally, the apartment is steps from the Prince Hashem Bird Garden, which is a small park with a relatively cheap entry price. There is a McDonald’s about six minutes away as well, in case I *really* don’t know what to do for food… (here’s hoping I won’t stoop that low)

The location is optimal for shopping, etc. but not for travel to the University. Google estimates an approximately 1.5 hour walk, so it’s likely I’ll be taking Uber/Careem/taxis (if they ever stop striking) with the hopes of eventually learning how to use the busses, so I can save some of that money.

I’ve got a good deal of packing to do still. It’s not easy to pack for a few months so far away from home, I really have no idea what I will and won’t be able to buy when I’m there. It will certainly be a learning experience. I would certainly love any advice and tips from those who have been abroad!

ma3 as salaama,

Erik

The red-shaded area is the ash-Shmeisani neighborhood
in which I will be spending the next four months.

Thanks for Visiting!

Hi Everyone!

I’ve created this site as a place for my family and close friends to follow my travels in the coming year. At the end of January, I’ll be flying out to Amman, Jordan to begin a semester of intensive Arabic language study. I’m planning to make lots of side-trips while I’m over there, and am hoping to share some great photos of all kinds of sites, from ancient historical finds to beautiful modern-day vistas. Thanks again for visiting, and have fun following my journey!

Image result for queen alia international airport
Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) in Amman is where I will begin my trip.