Living in Saudi Arabia: Expectations vs Reality

I finished my third year in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia a few years ago and it was quite a trip.  I started out at a very stressful vocational school and finished at a much nicer, well-established university.  I had a lot of preconceived ideas about what my time in Saudi Arabia would be like, and I have to tell you, it’s nothing like … Continue reading Living in Saudi Arabia: Expectations vs Reality

Do you keep a travel journal?

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?

Pros and Cons of Cruises

Mexico was my first experience abroad, but it wasn’t the first time I flew in an airplane. My first time in an airplane was when I went on my honeymoon to hop aboard a Carnival Cruise. The novelty of flying has definitely worn off since then. Cruises are a great way to travel for some, but it’s not without its disadvantages. Here are some pros … Continue reading Pros and Cons of Cruises

Are mission trips just modern-day colonialism?

In 2002, I went to another country for the first time.  I was in my teens and quite passionate about religion.  I joined my church on a mission trip to Reynosa, Mexico.  Sadly, I have few pictures of the trip, but my favorite one is of me interacting with a little Mexican boy. From that first trip, I knew I was going to be a traveler. … Continue reading Are mission trips just modern-day colonialism?

How I Saved Hundreds by Getting Dental Work Abroad

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

Getting Eye Surgery in the Middle East

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

Gardening in the Middle East

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