3 Reasons we Love and Hate Living Overseas

After some time living here in Saudi Arabia, there are so many aspects of our new life that we love and ones that we hate, or at least severely dislike too.

Reasons We Love Living Here:

1. Not Driving Means Less Stress: Back in the US, I had an hour-long one-way commute each day as well as traveling back and forth to visit each other on the weekends, and this was easily the most stressful loathsome part of my life. Now, we ride our bikes and take the bus on campus. In Jeddah, we take taxis to get around, so car ownership is also something we don't miss here. Couple this with the typically insane drivers in Jeddah, and this change is a complete win.

2. Cash Only Society: There is a huge debate on whether cash or credit makes you spend more, or if it's just more convenient when tracking finances, but here in Saudi this debate has been silenced simply because most the the country is essentially cash only. I'm surprised at how quickly I've adapted to this change since we both used debit and credit almost exclusively back home. Now, I can't imagine going back to credit. It's so much easier to save money when it's not in your pocket all day, every day.

3. See The World: Maybe later we'll talk about the downsides of traveling, but for now, we'll just say it's been such a blessing to have been able to travel so much. We're getting ready to plan our upcoming spring break trip and while I have no idea where we'll go or what we'll be doing, I know that it will be amazing.

Things we Miss while Living Here:

1. Friends and family: This is both obvious and expected. The hardest part about the eight hour time difference is trying to stay connected in both of them. The decision to stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning to talk to family and friends back home makes it hard in classes the next day, but I never regret doing it.

2. Barrier-free shopping: Shopping here is filled with all these little inconveniences that make shopping my least favorite activity. No dressing rooms, limited selection, and the requisite day long trip to Jeddah whenever we need or want something has really made us reconsider what we actually need. If it's not worth the trip to Jeddah, it's probably not worth buying. On the flip side, we're much more likely to buy something we need when we find it instead of shopping around.

3. Kitchen appliances: This is going to sound crazy, but I miss my food processor, KitchenAid stand mixer, and my crockpot. I used these all the time back home, and despite our best attempts, we can't even get temporary replacements for some of them. I'd love to know why crockpots don't exist here, given that they have about 20 different rice cookers, but alas, the do not know the joy of the crockpot.

It's been an interesting time in our lives living here, and despite all that we miss, I guarantee it only makes us appreciate how much we have both here and back at home.