Just a brief introduction…
My name is Annemarie. I’m a Registered Nurse from Canada. British Columbia to be specific.
When I was still in the process of gaining my qualification as a nurse, I didn’t think that if I ever did international nursing I’d end up in Saudi Arabia. Africa with Doctors without Borders or something like that. But Saudi Arabia?! Never even crossed my mind.
However, 3 years out of nursing school… on August 8, 2014, I made the move to Saudi Arabia on a one year contract to King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center, one of the biggest hospitals in Riyadh, a major referral center for cancer and liver disease in the entire Middle East actually.
I have wanderlust… I love travelling and exploring new places in the world. Learning about the culture and the history. Appreciating the people, languages and natural beauty of a place.
Saudi Arabia offers so many unique opportunities for the individual with wanderlust. It’s quite a central location in the world. Europe is close. All the Middle East obviously. Asia. South East Asia. Africa. Unfortunately Australia, New Zealand, North, Central and South America are very far away though!! But I can see those places at a later date.
Right now, with my 54 days annual leave, and my close proximity to Europe, Asia and Africa… I’m trying to experience as much of the world as I can.
Also… not many people are gifted with the opportunity to live and work in Saudi Arabia. It’s a very unique culture that not many people get to experience as Saudi Arabia is not a country you can visit generally as a tourist.
So I am loving this experience of living and working in the Kingdom. The impact on my life has been incredible. I’ve made beautiful friends here, learned so much about the culture and religion and have a much greater appreciation for it now… and really it’s helped me grow as an individual in more ways than I ever experienced.
Plus… the experience of nursing in Saudi Arabia is just mind-blowing. Frustrating in so many ways. A challenge is an understatement. But I’ve seen things I’d never see anywhere else in the world… diseases that are unheard of elsewhere in the world. As an oncology (cancer) nurse, I see cancers that at home in Canada wouldn’t occur in young people but generally only in the middle aged or elderly, but here are common in young men and women. And then the language barrier… makes nursing here such a unique experience. And I love it!
So… follow my blog to see where I go in the world… and to hear about my experiences as a nurse in Saudi Arabia, as a western woman living in one of the most conservative and restrictive countries in the world!
Please keep in mind… these are only my experiences, views and perspectives on life in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I have so much respect for the Saudi culture and this blog is not at all intended to be disrespectful in any way. Also, each person here has a different experience… and you may not share my beliefs and values. Please respect mine as I respect yours.