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Is the Expat Life for You? A Memoir & Guidebook to Navigating Life Lived Abroad

Denver, Colorado (May 1, 2020) – Author Doreen Cumberford thought moving to Saudi Arabia would be an easy adjustment for her and her family. After all, she had lived and worked in foreign countries for most of her working life, including a stint in Dubai. She thought that living in Saudi Arabia as the spouse of an Aramco employee and as the mom of a toddler would be no different.

She was wrong. Cumberford explains that there are four stages of culture shock when you first move to a new country: arrival, honeymoon, frustration and adjustment. When expats return home, they should also be prepared for massive personal transformation as well. Her observations regarding the lifestyle and expat mindset pull back the veil of glamour surrounding living overseas. After living in a different culture, the next test is returning home, which can be even more challenging. Expats straddle two worlds and Cumberford clearly provides the tools for living in the “in-between” constantly.

In her new book Life in the Camel Lane, Cumberford writes about her experiences and also those of fellow expats in Saudi Arabia. In the book, Cumberford writes about experiences with the Saudi culture, lifestyle, and its deep traditions of hospitality, generosity and tolerance from an insider’s perspective. She packs entrancing stories of Saudi weddings, the sport of falconry and her own feelings about the Saudi law prohibiting women driving (that has since been relaxed.) There are also chapters on the dark experiences of 9/11 in the terrorists’ home country and the “Terror Years” of terror attacks inside Saudi Arabia.

With stories and compelling honesty, Cumberford describes her family’s most challenging journey and many of the lessons they learned together. Written to provide useful insights and inspiration to anyone considering living abroad, Life in the Camel Lane shines the light on building a new identity and home while abroad, and the difficulties of the journey home.

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