Our first flight OOK (Out of Kingdom) was to Oman. A little setup to the situation; we had arrived in KSA at the end of July and had gone through the processes with the company to get our iqamas (national ID cards) and visas which would allow us to travel. Until this was completed, we weren’t able to leave.
While our first trip OOK was technically dinner with friends in Bahrain for an evening, our first vacation was Oman. Eid al-Adha (the second of the Eid holidays) gave us the opportunity to take a few extra days off while technically not taking official time off (frowned upon during probation). Cate found a smoking deal at the Al Bustan Palace Ritz Carlton in Muscat, so a few plane tickets and a taxi ride (with a side visit to Starbucks to get our country mug, of course) later, we found ourselves sitting by a lagoon pool and swimming in the Gulf of Oman.
It was a splurge, a definite extravagance, however after a little more than seven months of interviews, background checks, leaving my previous job, farewell tours, packing, cleaning, relocating, adjusting to culture, experiencing never-ending heat, dealing with foreign country procedures…. I think you get the idea. We needed a nice break. This did the trick. It was absolutely spectacular.