S. G.

This blog recounts my travels while studying Arabic language in Amman, Jordan. All photography by me or on my camera unless otherwise stated.

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An Amman Thanksgiving

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One the best shots I’ve taken! This is near downtown Amman, close to sunset. Me and G. climbed up some stairs to get the view.

Today is Black Friday – except Thanksgiving and Black Friday don’t exist in Jordan!! I had my own versions of both: Yesterday’s Thanksgiving was just fantastic and hectic and ridiculous!! I had spent hours the night before with my lovely friend G. cooking and chopping up a storm of food! All vegan! I was totally excited at all the compliments on my cooking I got! Whooo! Except my Thanksgiving was definitely not vegan. I was eating dairy galore - literally everything I didn’t make wasn’t vegan. But I definitely needed some of G.‘s mac and cheese and K.’s mashed potatoes and the delicious stuffing made by the hosts of the party! (: And of course – PIE!! Pumpkin and pecan <3 yummm. I literally could not move following the meal - in fact, my stomach was in physical

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Winter is coming in Amman: Part II

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M. and I. She has been such a great friend during my time in Jordan.

This is part II of my update on life post. I honestly feel like my life has been a blur that I can’t even keep up with. It’s always hard for me to tell how much of my life I should try to control and what I should just leave be, but recently I have needed more control. I need to work-out and sleep and study more as we head into the final month of classes. Additionally, I have been thinking about my life after I officially graduate and it is quite scary!! I hope I can find a job internationally, but I might also be ready to come back to America at that point. I have almost a year to figure this out though, so I would rather not worry now…

Anyway, this weekend has been quite different! I just got back from Zarqa today. I was staying with my friend L. and his relatives who live there. I will talk more about this trip in

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Winter is coming in Amman! Part I

Saturday November 8, 2014, currently in my living room in Shmaisani
It is insane that my fall semester is a mere 7 weeks from being over! It has progressed so quickly that I haven’t been able to keep up with blogging. Here in Amman, I am actually pretty busy with school, interning at INJAZ Al-Arab, and going on trips out-of-town most weekends.

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Me at the top of Harisa tower in Lebanon. What a view!

Also, things you would not have to deal with in America are time-suckers here. Getting taxis - while always being a hassle - has gotten even worse as the weather descends to a brisk cold with scattered rains that cause major traffic jams. I had to wait for almost an hour in the cold the other day to get a taxi! Wahhhhh. Waiting for my slow internet to load things is the other thing that majorly wastes my time. I literally can’t do my homework on many days because the connection is too slow

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Always Looking Forward

Monday September 22, 2014 Currently sitting at my dining room table

I can’t even believe how much has happened since my last post. Life in Amman has really gotten going in a good way! :) While I have had some mishaps, I have now gotten a good taste of a complete study abroad experience here – not only have I actually had to study [I had my first exam on the history of Jordan today] but I also have been on several fun trips out of the city – thank goodness or else I would have gone crazy here! Also sorry in advance because this post will be a bit long!

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This is the lookout point before entering the ancient city of Petra

I mentioned in my last post that I was feeling “Amman blues”. I have since gotten used to the city, but if you are wondering why I am not a fan of Amman itself here are my reasons:

  1. Sexual harassment - Looking like a foreigner/Westerner at all seems to invite

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1 Week in Amman

Tuesday September 2, 2014 11:18am at my dining room table
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A selfie a day keeps the Amman blues away! (this is from the rooftop of my apartment!).

I literally can’t believe how short my time has been and I have already dealt with so much! A lot of what I have been doing has honestly been uninteresting - we went through CIEE orientation and learned how to get to our places of study, had to take the longest Arabic placement exam of my life, etc. but major things have been going down as well! This will be very visual for me so sorry if you are more reading based!

Monday August 25th: Orientation Day and my 22nd birthday

Left the Landmark Hotel
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Hotel room window

Ate bomb breakfast…
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We moved into our apartments :) Roomie K. and S. who lives across from us. Love these guys <3 IMG_2941.JPG

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View from the top of our apartment building!

Also I was super confused when we went to a cafe for wifi and

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Happy Birthday to Me!

12:34AM Monday August 25th, 2014 Landmark Hotel, Amman

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Street outside my hotel

Today was my first full day in Amman! After being picked up at the airport, my and my hotel roommate T. knocked out until around 2pm today! I didn’t not even realize that I was this tired lol. We went out to eat lunch after that and managed to find the famed Rainbow Street (شارع الرينبو). I was super excited to find this restaurant here…
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Honestly, I have not eaten too much here yet, but I hope being vegan does not prove too much of an issue!

We decided to chill at Jara Cafe, which had an amazing view of Amman. I will have to get the photo from my friend! I tried the yummy lemon and mint (ليمون مع نعنع) smoothie at the recommendation of my friend L. in the States who just came back from Amman this summer!
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A bit too sweet for my taste, but still delicious and all natural - the lemon and mint smoothie

We

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Airport Days

Yesterday/today I started my travels to Jordan! It is 3 connected flights: Phoenix to Chicago to Frankfurt to Amman. I am currently in Frankfurt and have been here for many hours. It will be time to board in about one hour. I cannot wait to already be there, but it will be a little after 1am when I arrive so I won’t get to see anything anyway! I don’t really have any photos because I have only been sending Snapchats of my unwashed and sleepless face to my siblings. And a blurry photo of the coolest light installation found in the Chicago O'Hare Airport that I posted on my Instagram. Either way, Jordan is almost a reality, so I want this to be the official start to my journey!(:

Also I have already made a new friend! I met the awesome Julian from Italy who sat next to me on my flight from Chicago to Frankfurt. He described in great detail all the wonderful places in China that he has

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Living the life of your dreams

I was just very inspired by an article on MindBodyGreen.com called “7 Reasons You’re Not Living the Life of Your Dreams” by entrepreneur Rachel Rofe. While I found her 7 reasons accurate, I have a few reasons that have continually come up throughout my life or throughout my college career. I think listing them out will create my life to-do list to work on as I move to my next opportunity in Jordan! These are specific to me - think about what is holding you back from an amazing life!

4 reasons why I am not living the life of my dreams

1. Hanging onto destructive health habits

This is the worst one! My horrible eating habits during college (like stress binges) have damaged my health and happiness. I feel unable to take care of myself when I purposely hurt my body by eating badly, not sleeping enough, and not exercising enough (or exercise too much to lose weight). I always think it will

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Thrift Store Finds

Sunday August 10, 12:36pm, Unit 2 dorm

I was super excited yesterday for the Goodwill end-of-summer sale! This was my first time going to a Goodwill sale without former roomie and bestie L. who got me hooked on them this past spring! She is currently studying abroad in France, and thus could not be here to share the excitement! Here are the pieces I bought - $21 flat! Can’t wait to wash and wear(:

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I have not been using my beautiful new Nikon D3200 enough yet! Here is a selfie though(;
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Back to end of summer prep now! Writing cards, cleaning and packing, some studying, and of course working out! I want to try running fire trails a bit today but I am still scared of them, so may stick to the gym instead!

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One Week

Friday 8/8/14 9:18pm
It’s been a week since the first post! This week has kind of crazy - but honestly every week this summer has been! Besides being ridiculously busy with my class [as always] I have been meeting up with a bunch of friends and catching up before I head off to Jordan! Literally, I think I was meeting with people every day or night this week!

Also I went to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom last Saturday with some of the international student boys(: I am glad I went because I have wanted to revisit it for so long but now I never want to go to an amusement park again! Seriously, crowds on crowds on crowds + being overcharged for just about everything (especially my gross salad) made me happy to leave relatively early ~7:30pm after just a few rides. We hit up all the rides we wanted (I literally just wanted Superman!) so we were pretty satisfied(:
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I wish I could have ridden

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