Saudi Arabia – The Big Bad World

I am currently thousands of miles away from the only place I have ever called home, the place I grew up and the place I became who I am today. Now I am back in Saudi Arabia, looking for another adventure. Although I was here for two months earlier this year, everything seems terrifying and new. I guess that’s the difference between the mindset during a holiday and a one year long “adventure”…

It’s currently Ramadan all over the world. One can say that I had a bit of a lucky escape with Sunset being at around 10pm in Ireland (7pm here) but one would be wrong. Ramadan is my favourite time of the year. With all my intentions in the right place and all my friends at the local mosque. It is a great thing to turn up to the mosque before Sunset and have up to 20 people you know to hang out with, pray with and break the fast with until Sunrise. Here in Saudi, I am right in the depth of the holiest cities, so don’t get me wrong I feel very lucky to be here.

However, it is very difficult to adjust to a place when you have given yourself a time limit or when you don’t know if you will ever return to the place you call “home” again in the near future. I have no idea where this adventure will take me. So yes yes yes, I’m here again, I have done a CELT course in Ireland (I can address TEFL qualifications in another post) and I am ready to teach English as a Foreign Language.

I have been here almost four weeks now and to Beyoncé, I am losing my mind. I am the kind of person who, if you take me to a new place, I’d like to take my camera and leave the morning, try and figure it out and come back at night. I am all about the adventure and I’m not exactly getting the opportunity to do that here. I am very hopeful and frankly, I’m 100% expecting that things will change after Ramadan and of course, when teaching contracts begin in August. So I’m staying positive and when I can’t stay positive, I’m staying productive [watch this space holla].A few months ago, a friend of mine, Jackie Hennessey, wrote a post in which she gave advice based on her own experience of life straight after college. At this moment, I had to find this post and find some words of encouragement.

I can almost guarantee that everyone is feeling the same way. That enormous, deathly question of “what do I want to do with my life?” hangs over and plagues each and every one of us. It becomes such a burden, that the simplest things like putting on your shoes in the morning, becomes the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest. You’re so exhausted from sifting through every thought in your head that before you’ve even left your house all you can do is climb straight back under the covers.
The key to surviving this daunting time? Keep calm; carry on. Try not to over-think things.

We are all still so young, and it’s early days. Right now is the time to enjoy ourselves and figure out what is in life we are searching for, because sooner or later we probably will end up working vigorous hours to try and get it. Enjoy yourself. Revel in these next few months and don’t take them for granted. Get up early, make a delicious breakfast, get some exercise, get a part-time job, take up a new hobby, and milk everything you’ve got right now. Most importantly, don’t rush into the next chapter of your life. Those thoughts of “where do I go next?” will transform into maps, leading you exactly where you want to go in the future. Embrace your spare time (maybe don’t spend every waking moment catching up on Breaking Bad or watching Nicholas Cage swinging provocatively from a demolishing ball) but do what makes you happy, and your sat-nav will set it’s own destination.

You can read the entire post here. Jackie has really hit the nail on the head. So here’s to a great Ramadan and a positive experience here! I hope I can fill this blog with adventure stories and an insight into my experience as a teacher here for anyone who may be interested in TEFL’ing abroad.

Hurrah.

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