As an American living in the United Kingdom, I have never felt at home here. I have been living in England for almost 9 years.
Milestones have come and gone in my time here and as each one passes I tell myself, I am settled here, this is my home. But, it is not. And it never has.
In nine years I have:
-bought a house
-graduated from university
-bought another house
-got my UK driving licence
-kids started school
-bought another house
-and God knows what else
and the entire time I have struggled to find my place here. The longer I stay the more I realize two things:
1. England will never be my home.
2. I’m not sure I can readjust to American life.
So where does that leave me? Looking. Looking for something new, somewhere else.
My husband and I always talk about moving. We have explored the idea of Australia, and when the job offer came, we turned it down. Lets wait a few years. We looked into Sweden, but taxes were quite high. The USA is always on the table but my Husband doesn’t want to retrain for the same job he has done for 15 years. (Boo!) Canada! Yes! Lets go to Canada! It’s like America but better! Hubs thinks its too cold. (Are you kidding me!) UAE, what could be better? The best of Islam, halal McDonalds, and great shopping to boot. Yes, we’ve found our new home. Job offer was excellent, we were ready. But in the end it wasn’t meant to be. I was sad. I knew I had to stay longer in England.
Now in February 2013, I am presented with another idea. Saudi Arabia. Hmm. How do I feel about this? This isn’t just a Muslim country, this is the Muslim country! While I do want my kids growing up with a strong Islamic foundation would this be too much? What about me? Can a white girl from Michigan cope in Saudi Arabia?! Well, I think I can but only God knows for sure.
It’s all just speculation right now but agencies have been contacted and jobs applied for. It’s a matter of time to find out whether or not my husband has what they want or not.
In the mean time I’ve been reading what I can on life for women, schools, hospital life, etc. As far as I can tell my life there would be very similar to what is here. Me being at home full time looking after the family and house. Spending my days at the gym or salon it with girlfriends. Can’t beat that, right? I wouldn’t mind a maid or a driver and take the whole lady of leisure to a new level. Might be nice.
I know how my parents would feel about all of this and all of their concerns are justified and right. But life is an adventure only to be lived once. Gone are the days of living in closed communities because travel was expensive, or difficult, or just not something that was done. Where the farthest you went was Green Bay or Chicago at a stretch.
I need to see the world. God has given me the opportunity to travel and I will take it. I want to debunk any myths about Islam and its culture. Fox News and the likes spin it so its something scary and mysterious. It’s none of those things, 25% of the worlds population is Muslim. 1 in 4 people. That is amazing. Subhanallah.
So lets see what the future holds for Saudi and my family. Inshallah, it’s good for us.