As I prepare for my next trip abroad – CHINA! I’ve had a lot of time to reminisce over all the countries I’ve already been to. I’m celebrating 30 countries seen so far, but to clarify – I’m counting my home country, Cayman Islands (technically not a country), and the Netherlands. I spent one night in Amsterdam and didn’t get to do anything fun because … Continue reading The 30 Countries I’ve seen so far!
Reminiscing this evening and looking back on my travels seems like forever ago. It’s hard to believe I was ever overseas. I’ve been in touch with my friends abroad and it sounds like everyone’s doing okay. What a scary time to be in another country. That being said, I always felt safer living in Saudi Arabia than I do living in the United States. Maybe … Continue reading Day 35: I miss my expat life, but I’m glad I’m home!
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
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
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
Every Thursday afternoon the causeway connecting Bahrain to Saudi Arabia is filled with gridlocked vehicles anxiously making their way to freedom. They’ll wait for 2 to 4 hours, sometimes more depending on how busy the border is, but even just a day or two of freedom makes the trip worth it. And it’s not just Westerners, unaccustomed to Sharia law that are eager to escape the … Continue reading Bahrain: The Saudi Playground
As a teacher recently living in Saudi Arabia, it’s important to me to understand the complex education system and the reasons why I’ve been provided with such a good job here. After some research this is just some of the information I’ve come across. On September 11th, 2001, nineteen men affiliated with Al-Qaeda hijacked four airliners and attacked the United States. Two planes were flown … Continue reading Education Reform Combats Terrorism in Saudi Arabia