The Upside to Saudi Life...in Yanbu

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I've realized that most of the time I find myself bitchin' about living here...I mean, this is not an easy place to live.  But, after talking one night with the hubby, I realized that there really are some good things about living here.  And when I say here...I mean in our town, Yanbu.  I have no idea what it's like to live in Jeddah or Riyadh.  Also, I'm speaking mostly about us expats.  I'm sure the lives of some of the Saudi's here are much different than ours.  (When you see the huge sprawling mansions)  So, I'm talking more about the life that I (and my friends and co-workers) are living.
So, here's a little list of things that helps me focus on the good parts of living here:

Life here is very simple.  By that I mean, when compared to the constant battle for status quo (Keeping up with the Jones') found in most of the world life here is very simple.  No one cares what kind of car you drive, how big your house is, if you have the latest monster screen TV...it doesn't matter.  
our neighborhood...no battle of the best of the block here!  ;)

The same goes with clothes...nobody's kids are wearing the newest Juicy outfit.  The women aren't out showing off their $1200 purses.  (now, I know the Saudi ladies like their nice purses and shoes, but even then, its not like we feel we have to compete to be like them...)
we make our own style :)

There is also no competition between parents.  Parents aren't competing to see how many sports their kids play, how many instruments, how many languages...with other parents.  First off, most of the kids here already speak more than one language.  There aren't any sports, so no worries there.  Music isn't easy to come by either.  So, its nice not to feel like your kid is inadequate because they aren't doing 5 activities every night.  But, our girls do get to ride horses and that really makes me happy!!!

We get to spend a ton of time together as a family.  Since there is so very little to do here (see previous) we find things to do together.  We aren't rushing kids from one event to another.  We are having dinners as a family, talking about our day, watching movies together.  It's really nice.  And, its not something we ever got to do much of when the hubby was working 10-11 hour days in California.  (there were times he'd go two days without even seeing his kids awake)  So, yeah, its nice to be together.

Living here can force even the most reclusive person to seek out company.  You find people here and make strong bonds because its wonderful to have someone you can count on to understand how difficult life can be here.  Not only that...you get to meet an incredible variety of people from all over the world.  Which brings up the next one.

Our daughters have been exposed to some wonderful things.  They have met people from all over the world.  A variety that would be hard to find in most States.  Kids of all backgrounds and it is really shaping their character and the little ladies they are growing up to be.  They are learning to accept people no matter who they are, what they look like, where they are from.  We have friends (including their school friends) from Finland, Scotland, Lebanon, Poland, Greece, England, France, South Africa, Pakistan, India, Italy, the Philippines...and more.  All in one little town.   As of now, they are the minority here...only 6 blonde kids in the whole school.  Sara's best friend is from Italy and its just been the last few months that they have been able to speak English to each other! 

This place has taught me patience.  MUCH patience.  I was extremely short on that particular characteristic...and not that I'm Ms. Mellow now (by any means), but I've learned to let some of the little things go.  As mentioned before...the driving here is atrocious.  But, instead of cussing out some idiot for cutting us off (after they ran a red light and changed lanes with no blinker) I'm just thankful that he didn't hit us.  See! Positive thinking.  Glass half full and all that jazz. Getting pissed off at the person or kid who cut in front of me at the grocery store isn't going to do much good either.  Its not like they are going to move back.  Some things...you just learn to let go.  So, yeah, really thankful for that part....
we make our own lanes here... ;)

The Red Sea.  It's pretty bad ass.  Definitely good for rejuvenating yourself and almost (almost) forgetting you're in Saudi.  The snorkeling and diving is flat out awesome.  

Camel sightings...love when they just wander across the road.  We'd only seen camels in zoo's prior to life here...so there we go...another positive.

Of course, I have to point out the fact that living here has afforded us the ability to pay off debt, save money, and travel.  With no Starbucks, no movie theaters, a pretty weak list of restaurants to eat at, no amusement parks, etc...well, you tend to save some serious bucks!  The travel has been out of this world.  And, to say that we actually live in Saudi Arabia is pretty cool....its not like you can just come and visit!  Its a time in our lives we will never forget. 

There we go.  A list of things that have a positive spin on living in Yanbu..for me at least.  I will remind myself of these things when I start to feel angry or upset with life here. 

 If you have any more positive experiences or ideas about Saudi (in general or just Yanbu) feel free to post them in the comments.  I would love to hear from others and how they feel!  :) 


Siby chacko

Any Body Knows Keyboard(Organ) Learning in yanbu (rc) please let me know

Gray A

We are planning on moving there, would you do it again? Seems like my husband will work for same company as yours. Please email me back at:thirdworldliving2014@gmail.com


Gray, I sent you an email....maybe it went to your spam? Let me know if you didn't recieve it. :)

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