The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of planning and paperwork. Moving and packing. Goodbyes and “see-ya-laters.”In the last month I’ve wrapped up a job that I didn’t really love, but that I loved those I worked with. I’ve moved, sold some stuff, cancelled phone service, banks accounts, and heroically tried to fit in as much bacon and alcohol as one person can before I enter the land of illegal alcohol and banned pork products.

In less than 12 hours I’ll be on my way back to Saudi Arabia. It seems almost surreal that I’m going back. My memories of the 15 months I spent there in 2010-2011 are mostly good, but some are difficult and returning there is a mix of excitement and trepidation. I’m excited to see my Kiwi partner in crime who I met while in Saudi and have shared many adventures with. I’m looking forward to living in the same country as her, and planning some more amazing trips. I’m excited to see people from my Saudi past and be in the midst of such extreme cultural diversity. At the same time I’m sad to be leaving the comforts of home and of people that I love dearly. I know from past experience that life moves on both for me and for those that I leave behind, and that this distance can change relationships both for the good and bad.

As I finalize packing I’m trying to be brave and believe that this next adventure is the right step for me. My next post will be from inside the Kingdom, likely jet-lagged and delirious from the heat. If you are curious about life in Saudi you could peruse my previous Saudi blog here.