RUNNING TO MY FUTURE---my life as an expat

It’s been a week since my first day here in Riyadh---the capital city of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The place I will be working as a nurse for quite some time. I now belong to the hundreds of thousands of expat pinoys working in a foreign land in hope to bring a better future for their family.

The day before my departure had been a very busy one. There were last-minute papers that need to be processed. Blood work-up that needs to be done. And to top it all, I’ve only been aware of my departure flight that afternoon. Luckily for me, I’ve been preparing for this kind of incident. I already have a half-filled suitcase lying in my room for quite some time. I’ve been also talking to my daughter-trying to condition her that mom would be away for quite a while, long before I was sure I would be accepted in my work abroad. But still, we were all caught up by surprise.

After I left the agency handling my papers, I was frantically texting and calling my family and friends about my impending departure. I’ve been in a state of panic as I do my last minute shopping! (I need winter clothes because this time of the year the temperature could drop to 6 degrees! And right now, I’m freezing cold in here). I had my send-off dinner with my family in Chef’s Quarter that night and my friends invited me for a send-off drinking spree in Cubao expo and food trip in Banchetto.

The day of my departure, I was acting cranky and finicky-a product of staying up late, booze in my system and the stress brought by my impending departure. Mind you, I was not good at saying goodbyes. I can’t handle dramas well. So, after giving last minute instructions to my siblings, daughter and a friend and after hugging and kissing them all, I hastily went inside the airport to keep me from bursting into tears tugging along with me 2 suitcases which weren’t enough to pack a whole lifetime…

Yes, it’s been only a week since I left my hometown in search for a greener pasture, but it already feels a lifetime of being away from my family and friends. One thing that’s keeping me sane though is the idea of doing all these for my family---in hope of giving my daughter a better and brighter future. And it helps a lot that there are social networks and online communication that keeps me abreast with what’s happening with my friends' and family’s life. =)


***My running blog would take a backseat for now...but as soon as I settle in my new environment and if I could be able to continue my running adventures here, I will resume my blog gladly. But for now, I will write about my experience/s and my mis/adventures in this foreign land I now call, my home. 


  1. Loved reading this blog and so glad you're managing to keep running!

    I am due to come to Riyadh to teach English - as I am a non-muslim, single woman, I am feeling quite daunted and am disappointed that we are not given accommodation within a compound - it's too expensive, apparently. This means more difficulty feeling 'free' and being able to walk around without the abaya!
    I love to swim and I need to find a good place - a women's spa, I guess - I have googled some and they are very expensive. Gosh, I am hoping to save money here and not spend it all.
    I am from London, UK.
    I especially enjoyed what you wrote about 'culture shock' as I have been having similar thoughts even before I get on the plane.

    Anyway, thanks again :)

  2. Hiya - I just wrote a long comment and then realised that I had to 'sign-in' etcetera.

    Just to say thanks for your thoughts on 'culture shock' as this is exactly what I am expecting when I come to work in Riyadh next month ! Hey-ho. And I won't even be living in a compound as I am told it is too expensive for the employer to pay. Oh dear, I think things will be difficult out there but I must be patient, work hard and SAVE MONEY. Best wishes and keep up the running. Rose :)

  3. Hi there Rose!You must be already in Riyadh by this time. Welcome to the kingdom! =)
    You're from the UK. I think it won't be hard for you to find new friends in your work place as there are lots of expats here from your country.
    Keep in touch with the other expats from your country and the next thing you'll know you'll have your social life back---parties inside their compounds, hash trips for expats wherein you don't need to wear your abaya.
    Speaking of Abaya, you'll get used to wearing it and personally,I find it quite convenient to wear one because you won't think about what you wear inside your abaya especially if you are in a rush.
    Saving money is not a problem since stuffs here are not that expensive. If you are a shopaholic, you will love the season ender and mid-season SALE!
    If you have queries, feel free to ask me.
    Enjoy your stay in the Kingdom! =)


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