Sunday, April 22, 2012

My life in Riyadh versus My life in New York

A purely humorous exercise: comparing my life in New York to my life in Riyadh. I'll let you decide if the things I experienced were good or bad. Either way, I had a good life in New York and look forward to returning to it. I also have a good life in Saudi Arabia, though I don't think I would want to go back to Saudi Arabia again.

Life in New York
Expensive living costs--required a lot of tight budgeting
Rented a smallish house
Owned and drove my own car
Husband drove his own car
Great access to great medical care
Busy with PTA and church responsibilities
Hobby shopping (i.e. scrapbooks, paper, and books)
Limited access to gyms and swimming pools (too expensive)
Gravel driveways meant that my kids had a hard time biking, roller-blading, or scootering
Snowy driveways
Catching the train to Manhattan
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Manhattan LDS Temple
Pork and pork bacon
No helper or housekeeper
Gorgeous scenery
Apple picking in the fall
Farmers markets
Wildlife: deer, raccoon, skunks, turkeys, birds, mice (yuck)
Small school
A great ward with many friends
The Hudson River
Lots of work cooking and cleaning
Lots of work raising 5 children
Dh has long work hours
Playdates require time and planning
Activities for kids are expensive and time-consuming
Busy life
Lots of shopping choices

Life in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Access to 5 swimming pools
Warm weather
No humidity
Shopping buses
Private school
A helper who cleans my house twice a week
A piano
No temple in a 1000 miles
Camel burgers
Lots of middle eastern food choices
Opportunities to meet people from all over the world
Free time to spend working on hobbies
Lots of work cooking
Lots of work raising 5 children
Dh has weird work hours, trying to juggle Saudi Arabia and New York work hours. . .
itunes (it is becoming a vice for me)
Paves roads so my kids bike, skate, and scooter all day long
Friends are close so playdates are instantaneous
Activities for kids are cheap and easy to schedule
Not so sure about the great medical care here
Close access to a great gym--lots of opportunities to work in exercise
Slower pace of life with more time to do things I enjoy
Not being able to drive
The chance to travel and see places in the Middle East

Fewer expenses and so we can save more and pay off debts (thanks to the company)

I'm sure I'll think of more, but in the meantime, it is kind of fun to compare the two.


  1. I enjoyed that. Having only lived in a handful of states, but moved 15 times in my adulthood, I often mentally do the same types of comparisons.

    Oh, and yes, my garlic breadsticks are very similar to the ones my mom makes--probably the one in the Cody 1st ward cookbook :)

  2. Definitely pros and cons in both places.

  3. I'm surprised you do not have access to Netflix/Pandora (I'm assuming no access due to censorship), but do have access to iTunes.


  4. Summer, it's actually a copyright issue. Netflix is only available in the U.S. and Canada. Pandora and Iheart radio can only be used in the U.S. Amazon Prime, from what I understand cannot be used in Saudi Arabia.

  5. I am in Riyadh and I know how it feels to compare with your own country...

  6. I can see there are many pros for Ryadh. I love the gyms there, I have only visited Ryadh for two weeks.