The biggest reason I want the chance to work in the Middle East is for the experience. The second reason is for the travel opportunities! I will be closer to Africa and Asia and a lot of countries I still want to explore! I am still months away from moving, and then I have to wait three months of my probationary period to be able to leave the country, but I have begun my list of wanted adventures!
Here is the list, in no particular order, of countries or sites I would like to try to visit during my year in Saudi:
- Jordan and Petra
- Reunion and Mauritis
- United Arab Emirates
- Azerbaijan and Armenia
I might add more or change these ones, depending on the costs and time I get. I was warned I would not get time off around Christmas, but I am fine with that because travel prices increase around the Navidad holidays. I also will not be allowed vacation time around huge Islamic holidays usually because all the Muslim nurses will be taking off then. I think I might be lucky that Ramandan will take place while I am awaiting my residency card and I will be unable to leave the country. Maybe my first vacation will be in June?
I plan to do scuba diving in the Red Sea in Jeddah as much as I can afford. I have been researching the dive shops in Jeddah and discovered I can buy my own equipment there rather than buy it at home and pay for the extra luggage. Diving equipment is an investment into my personal pleasures I have been considering. Hope to make diving trips whenever I can.
I do realize these trips and scuba will cost a lot of money. It might be too big of a dream to visit all those countries in one year. Especially since I will have a set schedule that will not allow me to travel without vacation time. (Currently, I can schedule myself to work Sunday, Monday, Tuesday as my three shifts in one week, travel from Wednesday to the next Wednesday, and be back to work Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of the next week without using any vaction time.) But we need to start with dreams! Maybe I will enjoy my time there and want to extend my contract. I still have the long process of waiting for my Saudi nursing license. It makes me want to start working my butt off while still in the United States to start saving for those excursions for which I yearn! Overtime now for travel time then!
(The overtime pay in Saudi, per law, is only a few dollars more than base pay, not the “time and half” I am accustomed to. )