I will be in Jordan from August 28-November 3rd.
I realized how little I know about Jordan, having never been, and that I would definitely need to buy a trusty guidebook if I am to live, study, carry out fieldwork, and travel in Jordan for the next two months.
I luckily found a Lonely Planet book at the local bookstore, and have been reading it religiously over the past few days, trying to memorize the maps of Amman and think about what weekend trips I might like to take.
The thing I realized about travelling is that when we don't know anything about a country (for example, to name two countries I know nothing about...Kazakhstan or Uruguay) then we actually have no desire to go visit or live there. Even though I love the Middle East as a region, and have spent many years learning Arabic and travelling and studying the region, there are still SO many places (whole countries in fact) that I have not visited. I am very excited to now be able to add Jordan and Tunisia both to the "visited" column. I also realized how much about Jordan I DIDN'T know, and how reading about the ancient history, ruins, nature, and sites of Jordan only makes me MORE excited to go there.