Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone

I leave in only 3 days!!! I feel the pressure rising as the date gets closer. I am definitely more excited than nervous, and I'm kind of on a rollercoaster of feeling "Yes, I'm ready! I just want to get there!" to feeling "Oh my god, I've packed all the wrong things!" to "Damn it, I stepped on a dead bee!" Yes, that last one happened. My foot is now swollen. However, I don't think you should go on a big trip unless you feel at least a little nervous.

I am also developing an itinerary for my 19 hours in Istanbul, thanks to the welcoming couchsurfing community of Istanbul. Hopefully I find time to see Sultanahmet (the old city), including the Blue Mosque, followed by Ortakoy and it's weekend Street Bazaar, and perhaps dinner in Taksim (the so called new city). It's such a short time so it will be a little whirlwind tour of the magnificent city that straddles two continents. I will also barely sleep for two nights in a row. I don't think I'd be sleeping anyway, though, due to a lovely combination of excitement and nerves.

As promised I have put together a little collection of my online resources about Jordan. It's a large variety, but I hope some of the links can be helpful to a future traveler to Jordan.

Background information
Basic info about the Culture of Jordan
UN Guide to personell moving to Jordan
Al Jazeera articles about Jordan
Health precautions before going to Jordan
Electrical outlet information for Jordan
Virtual Tourist is always a great resource for travelers, especially regarding tourist traps and what to pack

Travel blogs about Jordan
A Portrait of Jordan by the celebrated blog Inside the Travel Lab - honest and well-written pieces by an excellent travel writer
Blog by a young Jordanian woman living in Amman
Black Iris: A very popular Jordanian politically-themed blog, recommended by CIEE
Part of Jordan's Tourism Board travel blogging initiative, as was the first travel blog mentioned. There are some good articles here.

Off the beaten track
Expat website of Jordan
Photo Essay on Biblical Jordan
Modern Art in Amman
Volunteering in Jordan
Hilarious post about the Jordan few tourists see
7 things you don't expect to find in Jordan

Be Amman - an insider's guide to Amman
99 things to do in Amman, put together by Jordan Tourism Board
Wikitravel's guide to Amman
BBC article on Amman's secrets

What to wear
Journeywoman, where regular women tell you what's comfortable to wear in whatever country you are visiting

Jordanian dialect practice
Great site with video clips, etc. for practicing the levantine dialect
Useful phrases and words of the Jordanian dialect
Links for Arabic language learning

Arabic Music
Basic overview of popular Jordanian music
Nogoom El Arab - Great site for free downloads of Arabic music, from Fayrouz to Nancy Ajram
Playlist of some good Arabic "oldies"

Advice on how to cross the Israeli border on Trip Advisor

Now it is time for me to get out of pyjamas and start reviewing some Arabic. Hopefully I will have time to write a quick post before I leave, but if I don't, you'll hear from me again in AMMAN!

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