A question I keep getting asked is how I plan to pay for my bus conversion process. So far the only money I’ve spent was the $5000 for the bus and roughly $120 to get it inspected and properly licensed, but now I’ve got to compile a list and make a budget for all the components involved in the conversion process. That’s where my next … Continue reading The Art of Travel Hacking
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
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?
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
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?
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
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 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