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Jordan Expat Life: Laura Rihani, Amman

Posted in: Expats Everywhere

This is part of our Expat Life Series. Do you have a story? Share your Story here

Jordan Expat Life – Laura Rihani, Amman Jordan

The Expat: Laura Rihani

Jordan Expat LifeWhat is your blog url?

Facebook: Discover Jordan Tours

Where are you currently living?

Amman, Jordan, Middle East for almost 4 years.

What’s Your Story?

I have been married for 11 years, have 2 childeren (twins Anthony & Alexis) who will be 4 years old this month.

I am self employed, I have my own travel business call Discover Jordan Tours.

I was born in Chicago, Il USA and have lived in serveral countries around the world before landing in Jordan. including London, UK, Amsterdam, Holland and now Jordan.

When and where did you get the idea of living in Jordan?

With my love for traveling – I left the US nearly 12 years ago for a gap year. After experiencing the world and returning to the US life just wasn’t as rewarding as I remember it to be.

About 1 year later I moved to Amsterdam the following year I was offered a job in London as an Events Manager.

I spent the next 8 years in London working as an event manager, but the long hours, high taxes and congestion I new I wasn’t going to last forever!

The turning point was my pregnancy. In Dec 2007 I found out I was pregnant with twins; for my husband and I (after the shock) we were delighted! It was happy news after 8 years of marriage! But I knew I couldn’t stay in London the thought of raising 2 children in such a big city was frightening!

Call it crazy but I have always loved Jordan. I visited many times and fell in love with the warm and welcoming hospitality of the people, over 300 days of sunshine and food is divine! It was just what I was looking for a more relaxed, family orientated and cultured way of life for my new family.

Within in months, I quit my job in London, got on a plane and came to Jordan. Months later I gave birth to my twins in July 24 2008, in Jordan and have not looked back. I was amazed at the quality of care and hospital facilities it surely surpassed any hospital I have seen in the UK or bill I would have paid in the states!

We have been living in Jordan for almost 4 years. Now I am proud to say I have Jordanian Citizenship.

living in Jordan

Painted Rock in Petra


Discovering Petra with Kids

How’s your Arabic?

It’s improving. I would say I am 80% fluent in Arabic. The problem is that in Amman everyone speaks English, so you get a bit lazy.

Like most Americans, I only spoke English and learning a second language as an adult is much harder. I am greatful that my kids will grow up learing 2-3 languages. They are already fluent in Arabic & English.

It is not important to speak arabic to come to Jordan, but it helps!


Muddy Fun at the Dead Sea



Sunset over the Dead Sea


What do you do?

My husband and I have property in the UK which we rent out and this allows us to live in Jordan without working.

A couple of years ago I started to get the itch of going back to work, my past experience as an event manager was going to be difficult as my language skills are not 100%. So I thought what better way can I share my passion for this country than through tourism. I opened Discover Jordan Tours in 2010.


Making new friends in Jerash

How do you find the cost of living in Jordan?

The cost of living is very low compared to the west. For me & my family our lifestyle has improved 100%. You can actually afford full time-live in help, which means you spend more quality time with your family. Food here is great; most of the meats, fruits and veggies are organic, fresh and locally produced.

What do you love about expat life in Jordan?

Life is great!

Postive things are more time with family, better quality of living, over 300 days of sun- very good schools- safe for childern- friendly people.

Of course, Jordan is located in the Middle East which never gets good reviews in the media. But Jordan is an oasis of clam and peace in the middle east. In its history it has always had strong ties with the west and good leadsership. The Monarchy is loved by its people and has always been known as people of peace. Every traveller I meet falls in love with Jordan and its beauty. If only the news reported postive things! 🙂

Jordan is very safe, I consider it to be one of the safest places to live, especially for kids.

Check out ex-pat blog or contact me for good advice.

One of my favourite places to hang out is Rainbow st in Amman, with its lively coffee shops and markets it always a great place to meet for a coffee.


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Meet the Author

Bryan Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with GringosAbroad.

8 comments… add one
  • Susan Oct 9, 2016, 2:55 pm

    Dear ,

    Hallo..My name is Susan Omairat I am 21 years and currently doing my internship at the city of Bottrop in germany . In the area of ​​administration and finance .I have the Fachoberschulreife specialist Administration and Finance. And am currently looking for a suitable education for me. I would like to make it in an Arabic country.I want to use German and French sense my strengthen as Arabic. Maybe you could help me there or forward me. I would be willing to move to Jordan and stay there permanently residing. This year I was in Amman and had a look at a few universities such as the GJU but I prefer an education. (:

    I hope you can help me

  • patricia Aug 11, 2016, 5:25 am

    Hi Laura,
    Thank you for the lovely story! I am looking to relocate to Amman for a temp work this year. Can you please advice on safe areas to live, what to bring and what to observe as a new comer? I see that this info was some years back. Thank you in advance.

  • Hassan Rahman Aug 30, 2013, 2:49 pm


    Thanks for sharing

    I am considering moving over to Jordan, I would like to know how it was possible to get citizenship so quickly?

  • Jenny Feb 14, 2013, 9:51 pm

    Hi my dear, hope all is well, my family and I is trying to relocate to Jordan from the USA. We check one or two places and I really like the Gardens so please advice me on what life is like and the cost of living. Please feel to contact me at anytime on my email.

  • Marco Mendoza Oct 30, 2012, 6:59 pm

    Hi Laura,& thank you for sharing your story. I’d like to ask you how can I find my beloved cousin Maria Del Carmen Vizcarra, she’s a medical DR,don’t know her specialty, but she’s married to an Arab by the name of Faisal, and have more than 3 kids I think and live in Amman for well over 25 years. That’s all I know. I always wanted to go there to find out how life is there, thank you for demystifying some preconceived concepts, but I have since early age a fascination for the music, food and culture (not for the bad stuff though you know),So if you can help me narrowing the gap as to how can i find her, I ‘d really appreciate it. She was born in Peru, and I assume the have their own practice , of might work in some hospitals.
    I lost my job in the US,and want to relocate, but don’t know where, and I’d like to go visit Maria and her family.
    Thank you so much for any help.

  • Jennifer Aug 28, 2012, 7:57 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. I am also a midwest girl growing up in WI & OH. My husband & I lived in S.Florida for 15 years until he lost his job in 2009. We currently live in Seoul,Korea with our 8 & 10 year old boys. Seoul has been such a beautiful blessing in our lives, but I wouldn’t have guessed that 4 years ago. I guess that is the fear of the unknown. Thanks to many wonderful friends & an amazing International school, life has been terrific. My husband has a possible job opportunity in Jordan. Do you have an English speaking International school that you would recommend? Also where would you recommend new comers to live? Thank you also for your point of view on the “safety factor” on livining with kids in Jordan. That was a huge concern of mine. Your twins are beautiful! Thank you! Jennifer

  • Stewart Aug 5, 2012, 4:52 pm

    Great story Laura,

    I wish we could say the same about living abroad from the income of the property we left behind in Florida. Apparently values continue to fall.

    We live in Cumbaya, Ecuador now.
    One day soon I´ll get time to put up a blog and my story too.

    Best regards,

  • Sam Jul 19, 2012, 3:15 pm

    Ah love this! Xxxxxxxxxx

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