Cathy: A Nomad in the Land of Nizwa
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Oman, etc.
I'm Cathy and I'm an American. I come from northern Virginia, right outside of Washington, D.C. in the USA. I moved here in September 2011.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I started blogging about my Oman experiences as soon as I arrived in September 2011. I had written a previous blog about my life and work in Korea (where I taught for one year), and my Oman blog is just a continuation of my expat experiences.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
- A Misguided Trip To Ibri
- National Holiday Chapter 3: Sharqiya Sands & Al-Areesh Desert Camp
- A Treacherous Drive Through Wadi Bani awf: A Near-Tragedy, The Picturesque Village Of Balad Sayt & A Glimpse Of The Infamous Snake Canyon
Tell us about the ways your new life in Oman differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
My life in Oman differs in every way from my life back home. My three children (28, 21, & 19) live in the USA and they are what I miss the most about home. In my classroom at Northern Virginia Community College, I had state of the art technology and the ability to talk about any subject under the sun, with absolutely no restrictions. If the pay hadn't been so bad, I would have stayed there and I will eventually go back. I also miss being able to wear anything I want, without worrying about offending someone. In Oman, what I have enjoyed most is getting outdoors for hikes and exploring the country. And I have most definitely experienced culture shock in Oman, mostly in the attitudes of students.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Oman? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
I was not totally prepared because at the time I came there was very little information available online about Nizwa. However, I don't think I would have done anything differently, as far as preparations.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
Some of the funniest and most bizarre anecdotes are things I cannot share in a public forum.
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Oman?
- Be prepared for a very traditional culture
- A very slow lifestyle
- The fact that public transportation is practically nonexistent so you will need a car.
How is the expat community in Oman? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
I have had a hard time meeting other expats outside of the University because I live in Nizwa and it is not easy to come to Muscat at the drop of a hat. I'm going to try to get involved this year in more InterNations activities.
How would you summarize your expat life in Oman in a single, catchy sentence?
Oman is a good jumping off point for the rest of the world!