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Thursday, 24 September 2009

The One Where it Got All Emotional!

As we draw near to our departure, I now feel I have become more emotionally attached to the place that we are in!

My wonderful friends have taken me for lunch bearing me with gifts of flowers, balloons and sheep!!!?? I have shared farewell evenings and drinks with my best friend Charlene, Julie has made me laugh and told me how brave I am (I think she may mean daft!). Then tonight my old good friend Lynn graced me with her presence, reminding me of the warmth and love that friends give us.

But the friendship, love and laughs that are shared can still be experienced in this technological age. We have blogs, facebook, email, phone calls, snail-mail and of course flights! All these friends will always be my friends and have made me the person I am now. The people in our lives make an impression, for good and bad. We experience different views, lives and beliefs and even when they are not mutually shared they are respected and that is what is important and that is what keeps friendships alive.

Our house is almost packed, painted and ready for rent. We have packed up our entire lives into eight suitcases! And a few other boxes to store. We will soon close the door on this house and this section of our lives, and while there is a part of me that cries, inside and out, it is with tears of happiness and joy as well as the sad emotion of leaving my friends.

We all need to make decisions and choices in life and these choices can be hard or easy and they can be happy or sad, but in the end they shape us. They shape our lives. They shape the people we are and become. They shape our children's lives and experiences. And never can we look at these choices as being right or wrong, these choices are our choices to be made and it is up to us to make these choices work and take the good from them.

This blog is dedicated to all my friends. With you I have laughed, cried, confided and ranted, struggled and will finally succeed too! And it is because of my friends I am where and who I am today.......


Sunday, 6 September 2009

The One where it All started!

It is September 2009. Jason has secured his job at Tehama school in Saudi! We are currently in a packing frenzy, getting things ready to sell, to store and our things ready to take with us in our eight suitcases and four pieces of hand luggage! This whole experience is becoming somewhat cleansing - getting rid of all the things we don't need and haven't even seen in years! It is a lesson to us and everyone to not be so materialistic in the future. I realise now what the important things in life are - and that's our family. As long as we are happy, safe and secure then that is the most important goal achieved.

This for us is to be a life changing move! Our plan is to travel for the next five or six years and then settle for the children to go to senior school. Once they have settled in their respective lives and careers then me and Jason will continue to travel. We want to see and experience everything we possibly can. To embrace cultures from around the world. To give our children wonderful experiences and memories.

Already this move has educated us in so many ways. We have become experts at the confusion of visas! I have to say the wait for the visa is agonising! As soon as we have the visa we can go - we are just waiting for that date!

The people at the school we are going to have already been fantastic. They have been a great reassurance to us during our long wait! I am really looking forward to meeting all these people that we have spoke to only via email or phone. It seems quite surreal that we are about to move our entire lives and live with a group of people we have never actually met, but I trust our instincts, and we feel that this move will finally change our lives for the better.

We have received some conflicting comments about our move. I believe out of concern rather than criticism. I don't think some people believe we can adjust, more so me as a woman. I have already bought my first Abaya and have no problem in wearing it at all, I am quite excited in a way. And I want to respect the Saudi people's customs, laws and religion. I am a westerner going to their country and I believe the first rule is respect. As for no alcohol, well that I am also strangely looking forward to. To always have a clear head and a clear body. Lets face it alcohol is the root of a lot of our problems and to be in a society where we don't see drunks on the corner of the street or open the newspaper and read the latest story of a drunken brawl or dink drive accident will be refreshing and safe!

All in all we are so excited for this trip for many reasons, this will change our lives forever in a good way. I cannot wait to experience Saudi first hand, their history, culture, religion, landscape, food, way of life - everything!