Saturday, June 1, 2013

Answering Your Questions

This post I am going to address some of the questions we've gotten since announcing our move to Saudi Arabia for Brad's work in the Living Our Dream post.  I had intended to write this post a month ago but life is crazy... so some of these answers are already out there but I'll still include them and details.
Am I/ are we scared?  That's a question we get asked a lot!  Our main response is "Have you turned on our news lately?!?!"  You can hardly turn on the news without hearing of something awful happening due to someone else's bad choice.  When we looked up the statistics the United States beat out Saudi Arabia in crimes BIG time!!! Overall crime is 139 times higher in the US than Saudi!  On a ranking system US ranks #1 and Saudi ranked #32....something to think about. Not only that but, if I was scared and felt unsafe we would NEVER subject our kids to an unsafe place just so we could live our dream!  Our kids and their future were first and foremost at the top of our list when making our decision! Not only is Saudi a safe country but, we will be living in a gated community where everyone has had a background check and everyone knows everyone and what is going on.  We have been told is it much like living in the 1950s where people let their kids out front to play and no one worries!  So no, I'm not scared... not about that at least.  Wanna know what I'm scared about?!?!  Flying with 3 kids by myself!!!!  That SCARES me!!  We have 3 flights; 1 hour, 14 hours, and another 1 hour flight.  I'm nervous!  But I recently flew to Canada with the 3 kids by myself as a trial run and it went pretty good.  So I'm a bit less scared about that aspect of our trip.... so bring on Saudi!  We are ready!
Will we be taking our pets?  No.  We just had Shilo and the fish when we confirmed we'd be moving and we heard that Saudi isn't really fond of dogs, it is hard to get them in country, and once there it is hard to find dog food.... so we called up the rescue organization we got him from and they took Shilo back and found him a new home.  The 2 fish are living at my mom's house and will need new homes at the beginning of August if anyone is interested.  Since making these decisions, we have learned that people do have dogs, cats, and bunnies on our compound and I think a lot of them just get passed to new homes when a family has to move...... so, I'm not sure what we will do about pets once we are living there.... but I do know that Owen asks on a daily basis what kind of pet we will have so I'm sure some little furry creature will be joining our family soon.
What will I miss?  There is SO much I'll miss.  Family and friends rank high on that list!  There are also a couple of "Forbidden Fruits" that we won't get in Saudi... a couple of them are alcohol and pork!  We have heard that people take advantage of long weekends and drive to Bahrain (we have been there and I look forward to going back) or fly to Dubai to partake in Forbidden Fruits.  We also are not allowed to bring in "games of chance" so anything with cards and/or dice and we are not allowed to bring in our religious items.  We were worried about our kids missing out on their religious sacraments but have heard that there is "community" group there and we will have access to such things... but it is very secret and not allowed to be talked about so you probably won't hear much about those things on the blog.
Will you sell your house?  We actually sold our house in 3 weeks!  We were not suppose to do it that quick!  his company recommends waiting to sell your house until you get your final letter (there are MANY steps to the hiring process and if you fail one you cannot be hired) because if you sell any time before your final letter you are taking a gamble... so we learned!  My fear was being stuck with selling the house on my own and packing up by myself after Brad left... but that wasn't the case. 

Where will you live?  We will live in a home provided by his work.  We will have a townhouse that is about 2,300 sq ft that comes with all bills included for a very MINIMAL fee!  As you know, Brad is already there and we have our new address.  Many of you have gotten address cards and all that was missing was the box number so here it is.....- PO Box 585.... and if you didn't get our card but would like our address feel free to contact me.  I'd love to get fun mail or have our kids be pen pals!!!
What was the problem with the visa?  So we had A LOT of paperwork to fill out.  Paperwork to find.  So much to do.  We had to prove Brad graduated from his 2 universities and a copy of his diploma wasn't enough.  We had to prove we were married.  We had to prove the kids were ours.  The list goes on.  One of the things for a visa to Saudi is you have to prove your "expertise".... see, they are really good about trying to keep jobs for the local so you have to be something VERY special to get a visa to go and work in Saudi....  For a M.D. Doctor that is easy... there is a degree for that.  For a coach/trainer, like Brad, that isn't so easy.  There isn't a degree for that.... and past work experience doesn't count!  No letter for a boss.  They don't take much... so we got stuck on that.  Brad has his CPLP which is the hardest certification to get as a trainer and they didn't even accept that.... but we don't think the government really knew what that was... which is why a representative from Brad's work personally met with the consulate to take him the CPLP paperwork to prove how it displays Brad's expertise.... and thankfully that worked!
What will you do with all of your stuff?  As you may have seen in a post The Great Pack-Up, we packed up most of our house and it is currently on a big boat headed to Saudi.  We were able to take all of our furniture.  We also did a lot of shopping.... we had box(es) showing up daily.  See, we get ONE time to ship stuff so we tried to think about anything we might need in the next year or years and bought it.  Also, our community is adapted for expats so we have 110 electricity and American plugs.... so if anything breaks and we have to buy new it will be hard to find things over there that are 110 (they use 220).... so we bought most of our small appliances new so they would have some extra years on them.... after all, most of them are about 8 years old!  So everything is packed up but I did keep some clothes, toys, books, and household items behind to take with us since our shipment won't arrive for about 4 months.  The kids and I get to take 8- #70 suitcases with us so I will pack those full of things to get us through these next 4 months!  With that in mind... who wants to help me get to the airport with 8 suitcases, 3 car seats, 4 carry-ons, and 3 kids?!?!
Why do you want to do this????  It is simple.... we want to live OUR dream.... and not build someone else's!!!  And there is NO better time to start than NOW!!!!  What is your dream???  Are you living it?

I hope that helps answer some questions.  Please feel free to ask us more.  We are excited to share our journey with you..... thank you for following!

1 comment:

dave and jenn said...

Good post! Very informative!