Our family is going home! 3 years in Saudi–Journey’s End

I haven’t written for a few weeks. It is not that there aren’t any good posts to write about, but that we have been busy planning our exit from Saudi. Here you get “final exit” status in order to leave the country for good. That means anything in your name, such as a car, rental car, lease, must be ended before you can get this status. So we have been busy selling our car, and getting the movers to come in and estimate how much poundage we have to move.

Then the moving days came, and instead of taking two to three days that was estimated for our job, they came in only for one day, and worked 15 hours. That left us tired out and vowing not to let that happen again. Our friends gave us good advice after. When the movers arrive, announce at the beginning that they need to leave at what time YOU want, like 5pm, whether done or not. Then they can come back the next day, again until 5pm. That is having the movers work for you!

Now we are still in our villa, but with all of our things moved out. Furniture that belongs to the compound has been moved in, and we are living out of our suitcases. We have sold and given away most of the lingering possessions, including the food that is not allowed to be packed. Basically all the spices, dry goods, cleaning supplies, detergents, even batteries.

We have taken the PCR test, required for international flights, and all are negative.

So what was our three year experience? Well you have read a lot about this past year 2020 to 2021. It was an odd year to start a blog for sure, but if Covid hadn’t come, I wonder if I would have started to write? I have some time to fill in from the years 2018 to 2020. Some of my first impressions I have written about when I began this blog. However there are some more travel experiences that need to be included, as well as things I may have forgotten.

Saudi has changed since we arrived. Women were just able to drive and restaurants were still segregated between single men and family seating. Saudi women could start wearing other color abayas besides black. Now there is a higher tax on food, items, and services, but this is supposed to go back to the lower tax at year’s end. Covid has changed how we travel, what we do in public and how we conduct ourselves while outside. The weather is even changing. From hot and dry summer to a more wet and cooler springtime, (well at least this year).

There are so many things here that are in the making. So many new and exciting things planned in the kingdom. I hope one day, you too will be able to visit this country and see for yourself, all that Saudi Arabia has to offer.

Tomorrow is our last full day. We are spending it relaxing and just hanging out with our friends. It is sad to leave people whom have made our life here wonderful. Those who are in the service industry and also our neighbors and friends. It is also exciting to be able to leave, knowing we are headed for a new unknown journey. Will we live the expat life again somewhere else, we are not sure. It is an undecided part as of yet.

One thing is for certain. I can still blog about Saudi Arabian life. There are news articles and experiences that haven’t been posted yet. This summer I will endeavor to bring these to the blog, so that you the reader have a bit more time to explore also.

We are happy for the time we had here. For now I have had my fill of desert sand, hot summers and palm trees. I will miss the dates and middle eastern food, as well as the kind people and hospitality. Saudi lessons that we learned are; Family is the core of society. Your privacy should be guarded…do not air out matters to the world. Modesty is a benefit out in public, and required with your relatives. Life is short, so if you want to stay up until the wee hours of the morning, that’s understandable. You can camp and picnic most anywhere there is a patch of land. There is usually someone you can lean on for help, and is only a WhatsApp away.

Have a wonderful day today!

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