Returning back from the UK to the Middle East as an expat, had me thinking about the trips I have made whilst in the Middle East. I am slowly but surely getting through my list of places I would like to visit, got to get to Oman, Muscat before the year is out, I’ve heard so many positive things about the place and I have no excuse as a Locum Consultant I used to work with gave me a rundown of places to visit and sights to see.
I arrived in the Middle East, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia in July 2011. One of the first trips I went on was to Riyadh. The highlights included a visit to a castle converted into a museum, a shopping trip, a visit to a race course (frequented by royalty) and a former market centre.
It’s funny how at the time you can take pictures and not really appreciate what you have captured. I remember taking lots of pictures (it’s something I like to do anyway) but looking back on the pictures now, I realize how much I like culture, art history and that I’m not afraid to try something different. Who would have thought that I would be here living and working and battling the odds on a day to day basis – you can do this in the UK, any where in the world anyway. I always wanted to work abroad, but if you had said here, I would have thought you were well ….. not well. The mind-set, the attitude, is what keeps me striving on, not just for month to month monetary gain, in fact, believe it or not, I’m not a money person. It’s about the experience. Living here you either tolerate it or hate it and leave. There is a saying:
It takes three months for someone to sort out if they can stick it out here. That is accept or tolerate the cultural differences. It takes a year to get to grips with your job and see if you’re willing to make a go of it or leave.
I have seen friends come and go as they deemed it to be just not for them and that is honest and fair. There have also been acquaintances who have left quicker than the time it took for the first transaction to be paid into their bank accounts. There is also this irritating saying that I first heard from the Recruitment Consultant in London as I touched base with her a while after landing in the Middle East. “Well it’s not for everyone.” Every now and again those words enter my head and when I have a ‘bad’ day I brainstorm my exit route. When I have a good period I rush to the local travel office for employees and buy tickets for the latest music concert or book onto trips to a far distant place or some obscure place in the desert! Then when all else is lost, I will look at venturing back to the UK or Europe or the Caribbean or Africa or UK or Europe …… do you get my drift?