And a Happy New Year

New Years Day 2015

To start off… I know it is WAY late. But seriously, a very very happy new year to you. I hope this year has been wonderful so far and continues to be filled with excitement and fun and laughter and happiness and all the beautiful things in life. And if there’s sadness or unhappiness in your year… I hope you are surrounded by people who lift you up and encourage you and make all things bearable or even enjoyable!

And 2014, really, it’s been grand! Seriously! This time last yaer I never thought I’d end up moving to Saudi Arabia… but then, it’s been a year filled with surprises and crazy twists and turns! I’ve had the opportunity to work with some absolutely inspiring people while doing a job that I love… a job that I started out in as a brand new baby nurse… with brilliant colleagues who helped raise me into the slightly wiser and much more confident and competent nurse that I am today! I will miss working on THPCU and it will forever hold a very special place in my heart! The memories and friendships I made there will always be very dear to me!

Unfortunately, all things come to an end, even the best things… and when I signed up to work in Saudi Arabia, I resigned from the fantastic unit that is THPCU and took  a whole, wonderful month off to spend time in the summer with my family before I embarked on my huge adventure to Saudi… BBQing, lake days, weddings, day trips to Vancouver, pool parties with the my adorable niece… and just a whole lot of fun and loving in the sun! And then when August 8 came around, I embarked on the greatest adventure of my life which has exposed me to this amazing culture that’s just absolutely different from what I know… but has challenged me in ways I never imagine and allowed me to learn many new things and move into a new role as an Oncology Nurse… meet many other expats of whom so many have now become like family to me… and on top of it all… I get to travel the world too!!

Egypt and Bahrain so far in my first 5 months… I’ve still got a good 8 weeks of annual leave yet. So where to next??!!

Well… home in 3 weeks… that much I know for sure!

And thank you so very, very much to every single person who has loved and supported me in 2014. There were definitely some really rough patches and I wouldn’t have made it through them so intact without you all! And I appreciate more than I can ever express adequetely, the advice from close friends and family… the hugs and laughs shared with so many of you… the shoulders to cry on… the glasses of wine shared… and just all the precious memories I made throughout the year. I know my decision to leave home was not easy for everyone… especially my family… so I really appreciate the support regardless!! So thank you again! Love you all from the bottom of my heart!

And so… New Years Eve in Saudi is nothing like new years eve in the rest of the world… check out this link. It’s amazing and totally hilarious and completely accurate!! Watch til the end… it’s the best…

Needless to say, my NYE in Saudi was not like it is depicted in the video…

My NYE was filled with music and laughter and dancing and happiness!!!! I rang in 2015 with bubbles and so much laughter and dancing as I celebrated NYE at the New Zealand embassy at a masquerade ball with my closest friends here in Riyadh… My Saudi family!

We all dressed up and put on silly masks… ate a really delicious meal at the embassy… watched the massive 2014 ice sculpture slowly melt (clarification: observed it at periodic intervals), and danced our hearts out, barefoot on the soft Turkish carpets, to all our favorite songs of the year and the past!

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And when the countdown started at midnight… it was to my absolute favorite song of the past couple years… Animals, by Martin Garrix. Glass of bubbly in hand… the music started to build and the seconds counted down… and when we all started screaming Happy New Year, the beat dropped… and it was emotional!!!!!

Such a fabulous night filled with the funnest, most fabulous of friends!!

So cheers to everyone who made 2014 fabulous… and cheers to what will most definitely be an incredible ride in 2015!!!

And then… New Years Day… Masquerade [arty number 2!! Apparently it is the season of masquerade parties?!!! But they are so fun!! Props for dayzzz!!!

imageimageimageimageimageimageAnd then… at the end of a long and fun night… the end of a wonderful weekend… I watched my first sun rise of 2015 and it was glorious… It was like watching a new beginning… the start of something completely special and totally amazing… which is what I know 2015 is going to be!!!

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And sharing this moment with some of the craziest, funnest and really most genuinely awesome people I’ve met in Saudi… it really was a perfect moment!!

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Honestly… what a wonderful way to start 2015. Loving life in Saudi Arabia on this gorgeous day… after dancing through the night into a beautiful new day of sunshine and water fountains and happiness!!

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And so ended my first New Years Eve and Day away from home… in this gorgeous country of Saudi Arabia with some of the most wonderful people a girl could ever be blessed to know.

Moving on now to all the exciting and fabulous adventures and experiences of 2015…

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