When I started my teaching job in Saudi Arabia, one of the first things I did was go to the dentist. I knew I had at least one cavity, but it never occurred to me that I’d have seven. I was horrified when the dentist told me. He asked me why I hadn’t gotten them fixed. I told him I couldn’t afford to get it … Continue reading How I Saved Hundreds by Getting Dental Work Abroad
I make resolutions every year and for the most part I’ve been able to stick to them. This year is especially important to me because I’m on a quest to live the greenest life possible. Someday I’d like to even have my own upcycling business that focuses on reusing items, but this will take a lot of work. In the meantime, I’ll just focus on … Continue reading My Top 10 Resolutions for Green Living in 2020
The Republic of Maldives is a country comprised of 26 atolls in the Arabian Sea. It is a popular tourist destination for those seeking a romantic getaway. I had the great privilege of visiting this wonderful country in the spring of 2016. However, with the threat of global warming only increasing, the opportunity to visit the Maldives may disappear in the next couple of decades. … Continue reading Visit the Maldives While you Still Can!
My first long-term experience abroad was during a study away program in 2009. I went to Ecuador with a small group of college students who were learning Spanish. It is by far one of the best experiences abroad I’ve had. Unfortunately, I didn’t bother to keep a journal of my experiences and now I’ve forgotten half the places we saw and visited! This is what … Continue reading Do you keep a travel journal?
I’m speaking mostly from personal experience when I say that if you want to learn a foreign language, the only real way to do so is to go to a country that speaks that language and immerse yourself in it. Of course, I’m sure there’s plenty of conflicting research with lengthy lists of teaching methodology and the newest software programs to make you fluent in … Continue reading What’s the best way to learn a foreign language?
Since arriving in the Middle East it’s been a goal of mine to go to an Arab wedding. I had heard they’re huge, exciting, and go on all night. I finally got my opportunity when a friend from Yemen mentioned a friend of a friend of his sister’s friend was having a wedding. I asked if he knew the bride or groom and whether or … Continue reading My First Arab Wedding
I had wanted to get eye surgery for years, but I told myself to pay off debts first and really do my research. So after paying off the student loans and credit card debt, I decided now was the time to get my vision corrected. I thought I could save some money getting the surgery abroad, but I still made sure to thoroughly research the … Continue reading Getting Eye Surgery in the Middle East
After hearing all the hype about Dubai from my Saudi students, I decided to bite the bullet and take a trip to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. I went during the Eid break, so naturally, it was full of tourists, but I’m under the impression, it’s probably like this all the time. Dubai is very much what I expected: expensive, extravagant, and exciting. … Continue reading My Week in Dubai
I love the expat life. You meet a lot of interesting people and you get to go to a lot of interesting places, but there are things back home I miss. I miss my independence. I miss seasons. And I especially miss gardening. I’m from the Midwest and gardening was a big part of my life. And I’ve wondered, why don’t more people try to … Continue reading Gardening in the Middle East
When I decided to come teach English in Saudi Arabia for a year I was anticipating a lot of culture shock. Things are very different here: It’s illegal for women to drive. (at least it was when I was there!!!) I’m often stared at everywhere I go even when I’m wearing a hijab and abaaya. All the stores close for 15 minutes 5 times a … Continue reading Red flags to watch out for when applying to teach abroad