Reflecting on the year


What a year this has been! I’ve been reflecting on all that has happened lately. I feel quite blessed for all I have right now in my life.

The Year started off with a trip to Beirut, Lebanon in January. This was a trip for my (then) fiancé and I to meet up after being apart for several months. I flew in from the U.S. and he flew in from Saudi. We spent two lovely weeks in Beirut, drinking coffee, eating, exploring the city on foot for the most part. This was also the place where he got on one knee and asked me again, to marry him. It was a great moment in my life, and ours. Maybe one day we can go back to Beirut for another visit.

marryme  beiruterocks ruins ruinss grotto

After the trip in January, I settled back to life in my tiny one room apartment in Indianapolis, Indiana. The next months were both difficult and rewarding as my fiancé and I planned for life together, while being miles apart. It was actually hard work, but it was worth it. We grew closer together and our bond was strengthened from the distance between us. It was also a scary time in our lives, as we were both making choices, we had never made before. I was choosing to live abroad with him once we were married, and he was facing the reality of how his life would change as a married man. He is a fiercely independent person, and I had nothing but two stamps on my passport compared to the over fifty stamps on his. Life was changing in great ways.

Later that winter (March), I received word that my Grandmother wasn’t doing well, and in a rather quick plan, I headed down to Florida for a visit. My younger cousins actually drove up to Indiana to get me! I am so thankful for that time, as it was the last time I got to see her. She passed away in April. The past couple weeks while I have been working on projects, I have really missed her. She was such a creative person, and I’ll always appreciate, and miss her for that.

Also, when I got back from the Florida trip, I started a job at Gannet. Working at The Indianapolis Star doing graphic design was one of a few jobs that I have had in the past that I really enjoyed. I didn’t care much for the hours, as it was a night shift, but the work itself was rather fun. It was actually a job I would go back to if I had the opportunity.

In May I had to make a tough decision regarding my beloved dog Niles. Take him with me wherever I go, or give him up. It took months of back and forth to make the right choice for Niles. In the end a couple had found me through my fiancé and it turned out to be a wonderful match. He (Niles) loves his new family, and they love him. I know I made the right choice to give him stability over constant moving around and possible kennels while we went on trips, but I have never missed an animal as much as I have missed that little guy!

The wedding plans were very much last minute. We kept it small, and got married on the 12th of June along the White River in Indianapolis. I was on cloud nine, and so excited to be able to start my life with this wonderful man who I had actually met on a dating website. There had been countless hours of dreaming between us, and it was finally happening. It was a warm day, but pleasant and it was a bit of a rush as we scrambled to get documents taken care of immediately afterwards in preparation for my visa to move abroad. My in-laws helped us a great deal and organized the food celebration the following day up in Goshen. Once again in a rush, we left that night to go on our honeymoon. We spent the night at the airport in Chicago and landed in Puerto Rico exhausted the next day. Oh, but it was paradise! We rented a small apartment just few steps from a beautiful beach. Our first Airbnb experience was a good one. The apartment was equipped with a small kitchen where we could enjoy cooking our own meals, and relaxing. In June, the tourist population was low, and the temperature was hot, so it was a very chill time. When I think about Puerto Rico now, I dream about maybe one day buying a small villa for a vacation spot or home. My husband and I both share the dream of being near the ocean one day. Puerto Rico has some charm to it, so who knows…

puerto kites

After a couple weeks we headed back to the States, and I dropped my husband off at the airport. He went back to Saudi and I went to my apartment. It felt so strange to be married and living apart, but we had to wait on my visa in order to live together. I stayed busy getting ready to leave, which meant more downsizing. I was also doing my part State side getting documents taken care of, and everything in order for the Embassy to approve all of it. During this time we discovered I was pregnant. We were both so excited, but sadly I lost the baby in August. My apartment lease ended in August as well, so I left my little home with only the items that would fit in the Honda Accord. My family was great and put me on couches or spare beds while I spent the next two months waiting to move to Saudi. It was a good time for me also, because I was able to spend some time with them that I wouldn’t have done if I had still lived in Indianapolis. All these small things that seemed to be a bother, at times, brought me good things as well.

On the 21st of October I got on a plane for Saudi. It was really happening, yet it felt so surreal. I’ve  been here for exactly two months, and I still have days were it feels the same way. Like, What am I doing here? Other times, it just feels normal! And as far as life here since I arrived, please refer to earlier blog posts. Grab a cup of coffee or tea first though.

I can say that I feel both stronger and weaker than I did two months ago. Sometimes I am surprised by how far I have come, other times by how little. I don’t really know how to express it other than that. My husband and I even closer than before and that friendship, love, and support for each other really keeps us going. We have only been married six months, but only lived together for two. It’s been a fun journey for sure, and we are looking forward to what adventures will happen in the years to come.

I hope that my readers will tell me a little about what this past year has brought them as well in the comments section below. It’s always fun to share in my opinion. And on that note…*high-five* to everyone! We have all had some good and not so good times this year, so let those good times outshine all the bad. Xo – wifeabroad


7 thoughts on “Reflecting on the year

  1. Holly, I have been off Facebook for awhile and therefore not seeing when you made entry on your blog. I got caught up on my reading today! It is really interesting reading about your experiences and right now I’m overwhelmed to tears how good you are at your writing and sharing of all of this. So proud of you! Hugs, Trinda

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jackie Cane says:

    Hi Holly, I came across your blog today and I share similar experiences with you, im newly married 6 months now, but only saw my husband for 5 weeks after we got married, he is also working in saudi and ill be joining him in the next few weeks. Im from South Africa and its been a very challenging year being apart from my husband, im also sad to leave behind good friends and family .

    Where in saudi do you stay? Id like to keep in contact with you to share experiences with you can you give me a email address if you keen?


    • Hey Jackie, Thanks for commenting here. Yes, living apart is difficult, and it looks like you wont have to much longer. Exciting that you will finally be able to live with your husband! Yes, lets keep in touch. I look forward to finding out what you think of living in KSA.


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