What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?

My favorite memory of Jeddah is actually flying into the country; not because we were flying in, but because there were always people on the flight who were going on umrah or hajj. You always knew who they were because they'd go change into their towels or white abayas either shortly before or during the flight. They were also so happy and excited to be there, and their excitement was catching. One flight, the guys were so thrilled that they were going up and down the aisles, happily singing songs and getting everyone to sing with them. And another, I was surrounded by a huge British family, maybe a dozen people of all ages, who went on umrah every year. Mixed in the group were a couple singletons who were on their first umrah. And the family spent most of the flight giving the newbies all their hints and tricks and advice, and it was just a joy to listen in. You couldn't help but feel their enthusiasm and love. - Oct 2019


The underground scene here is great if you can find it. Beach clubs which rival the ones found in SE Asia with dance music and quinoa bowls. This place is far superior than Riyadh because at least we can always either 1) go to the beach or 2) hang out at the compound pools and grill or hangout. People living on the DQ in Riyadh don't have either of those options or have to go to the Embassy to use the pool. I prefer to not go to work when I'm not working. - Jan 2019


Rug shopping at the Souq - Apr 2016


The life outside is kind of difficult. The best part here is the life in the compounds, the families are now in Sierra, and it has a gate to the American school, so the kids just take their bikes and go to school. Trips to marina sleh, Taif. and go to the beach but the beach is not free, you have to pay around US$37 per person. - Nov 2015


The compounds. You can go to the beach, but is not free, you pay around 40 usd per person. you can travel to the emirates - Oct 2015


Nothing. I guess being Muslim is good because of Makkah and Medina. - Oct 2015


Definitely our trip to Mada'in Saleh - "Saudi Arabia's Petra". 7-hour drive away from Jeddah. Some people find a lot of things to do, but with a new baby and the bad traffic here, we haven't been too adventurous around the city. - Aug 2015


Scuba diving, finding this to be a great place for kids. It is not true that women can't go out alone, I always go out by myself, and have never had any problems. It is true that women have to wear an abaya, a black dress, when you go out, you don't have to cover your hair (just when the "mutawas" - the religious police - are around, you have to carry a scarf to cover your hair but in almost 2 years I only saw the mutawas 2 times - and in those cases, people around you tell you so you cover yourself before the police tell you). Women can't drive here, but honestly, you don't want to drive here! It is crazy. We use motor pool and it is one of the most difficult aspects here (sometimes there are no vehicles available). - Feb 2014


Exploring green southern Saudi mountain valleys filled with striking Yemeni architecture, being invited to meals by hospitable desert bedouin and eating chicken and rice with only the stars for light, diving WWI shipwrecks off the coast, evening strolls along Jeddah's seafront "Corniche" with a cool seabreeze blowing by. - Dec 2013


Mada'in Saleh, meeting awesome people from all over the world, spending time at the beach. - May 2013


Money, visiting the al-Wab'ah crater, camping in the desert. - Nov 2010


New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More