It’s 2:06 PM and I’m ticking off all the last minute tasks I need to complete before I leave the States.  Cancel cell phone plan - check.  Make copies of passport - check.  Pack snorkeling gear and extra toilet paper - check and check.  Print out the contact information of the embassy and ambassador for my parents - check.  Mentally prepare myself to live in Saudi Arabia for three years...check? 

While I’m looking out the window of my parent's home in New Hampshire and gaze upon the 4 feet of remaining snow, I dream of the 88 degree weather that awaits my arrival in Jeddah.  This winter has been brutal, and with snow still falling and temperatures dipping below 20 (regardless of the fact that it's the second day of spring), I'm naively excited to experience summer highs of 110 degrees with 100% humidity.  At least I'll finally be able to get some sleep without having to wear three layers of everything.       

My jet black abaya and hijab are pressed and ready, the straight pins to secure the hijab in a little ceramic bowl by my bed.  My three piece, neon pink suitcases are each maxing out at about 50 pounds.  Shoes, toiletries, books, and clothes are packed like a perfect Tetris puzzle.  Did I pack enough underwear?

I, Sydney Meredith, having been offered a job at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology as an events assistant, am feeling a mixture of three parts excitement, nervousness, and awe.  I was offered the job on January 1, 2015; what better way to start a New Year!   So I gave my notice to my boss, packed up my tiny studio in Southwest D.C., said many tearful goodbyes to friends, and moved back to New Hampshire while awaiting my work visa.  

Two months and 22 days later and I’m about to embark on the adventure of my lifetime (so far).  I hope you have as much fun reading about my new experiences as I'll have living them!