This might be the most challenging, exciting, nerve-wracking, life-changing moment in my 32 years… but I am FINALLY moving to Saudi Arabia! (I say finally because I was originally supposed to move in 2020, which you can read about here). I have accepted a job as a NICU nurse and as of July, I will be taking off on the adventure of a lifetime to live, work, and explore Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. To say I’m excited is an understatement, but it’s also so much more than that…
Last September (2021), I hung up my travel nurse hat and decided to go permanent staff in Chicago in order to put roots down, create stability, and decide what I wanted out of life (without moving every 13-weeks). I full heartedly believed that I was ready to make a life in one place. But as life happens, I realized… was that really the case? Sure I was craving normalcy, a sense of belonging, and a deep desire to “know” the people and places in a city. But as each day passed in Chicago, I truly missed the adventures, randomness, and travels that travel nursing allowed me. The truth is, I desperately wanted both of these worlds – to live in a place of stability and randomness; having a plan, but also having epic adventures. So earlier this year when I thought about what I wanted out of life, I decided that I wanted to take the road less traveled. Because after all, my motto has been and always will be, “You don’t want to look back on your life in 10 years and think – ‘Man, I wish I had tried that’. But instead you want to look back on your life and think, ‘I tried everything and not all of it was for me but I’m sure glad that I did it'”.
So as I pack my bags (for the 15th time since 2016), quit my job, say my goodbyes to new and old friends, and leave behind the comfort of knowing what each day is going to bring… I can’t help but look back at these 10 months with bittersweet appreciation. Appreciation for the chance to sit in stillness and figure out what I want in life (although I know this is an ever evolving journey), the chance to sharpen my skills as a NICU nurse at a top 10 level IV NICU in the United States, the chance to feel like I had a “home” with my own furniture, and most importantly the chance to create meaningful connections that I was able to foster for longer than 13-weeks.
I know that this journey is going to bring some uncomfortable moments and hard times, but I am genuinely all in and can’t wait to see a part of the world that has been a mystery for so long.
If you want to follow my adventures, I will be regularly updating my blog, restarting my Podcast – Passports and Preemies Talks (wherever you get your podcasts), and posting regularly on both TikTok and Instagram. Remember friends – you have one life to live. One chance to explore. And sometimes only one opportunity to say “yes” to an epic adventure that may just change your life. My advice? Take it.
If you’re interested in pursing a job abroad; don’t miss:
Different Ways to Pursue International Nursing
Getting a Nurse Job in Saudi Arabia with Helen Ziegler