If you read my story, you would know that I come from a very specific community in Saudi society. I was born and raised in Al Khobar, I went to an all-girls private Arabic school, we were privileged enough to travel during school holidays and just like everyone else in the cosmopolitan, coastal city, we would spend most weekends in Bahrain (shopping, watching commercial flicks at the cinema and dining out).
With this highly exclusive, elite and privileged lifestyle came a very tight and comfortable bubble. We mainly socialized with others who were from the same community and background. I didn’t really know what the rest of Saudi society looked like or how they behaved.
We were tightly connected to our own kind and living far from reality. As such, we had no clue about the daily struggles of the average Saudi citizen. In fact, I was living in this rosy picture until I was 29 years old! That was when I decided to move from Saudi and explore the rest of the world as an ordinary person. No elite social status or private driver. No house maid army or posh friends. In addition, definitely no support or guidance from any soul.
Was I happy with the true colors of the world and people outside the fancy Saudi society bubble? I must admit I have mixed feelings. I’m extremely grateful and content that I made this bold move. After all, I stepped outside my comfort zone into the unknown. It’s an experience that I can never put a price tag on or even begin to describe. The life lessons that I’ve learned since moving out of home in the summer of 2009 are invaluable. They have greatly shaped the person who I am today. I’m wiser, more street-smart, tougher, with a more rounded personality.
The many life experiences I’ve had since moving out of Saudi have made me a real Saudi Diva. Despite being a diva all along – with my exclusive background and all – I’ve actually developed a solid character. This is at the center of a culture and lifestyle blog. I believe that I couldn’t have reached this phase if it weren’t for my leap of faith. It just wouldn’t happen without taking a bold step towards a completely different and new life.
Thanks to my big life-changing decision, I now have a renewed approach to life, an entirely fresh perspective on almost everything, a more evolved personality, a bigger vision, greater dreams and life goals, a sophisticated lifestyle and a tribe of followers who want to copy my every move.
After completing seven years of living in Dubai and networking with people from diverse backgrounds and walks of life, I feel like I’m now ready to step back a little into my own comfortable bubble. This time though, the elements of the restricted access circle have changed. They are no longer based on financial or social status. Or, any of the standards that I used to identify with when I was living back home. The criteria for who can enter my life and social circle is now based on my personal values. These include: freedom, independence and autonomy as the top three. Surprisingly enough, I’ve already attracted many new friends who share those values and my single status too!
More about my renewed life outlook in a future post. Stay tuned for that.