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Book: Life in the Camel Lane
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.
Part memoir, part primer on learning to lean into the transitions of life led across cultures, Doreen Cumberford’s thoughtful Life in the Camel Lane captures her years in Saudi Arabia against the backdrop of an entire life lived globally. She invites the reader into the concept of liminal living – embracing the in-between – setting aside an “either/or” perspective for one wholly rooted in the growth mindset of “yes, and.” It is the lovely, instructive chronicle of one who continues to approach cross-cultural adventures from a place of respectful, curious, lifelong wonder.
–Linda A. Janssen, The Emotionally Resilient Expat: Engage, Adapt and Thrive Across Cultures
Her memoir of this otherworldly experience takes the reader on a journey deep into the heart not only of the expat experience but also life “in the economy” of the fascinating and enchanting Kingdom of Saudi Arabia…A rich and rewarding read as we dive into a journey into the mysterious world of a very different way of life in “the camel lane.”
–Jo Parfitt, A Career in Your Suitcase, Managing Editor of Summertime Publishing
“Her personal experiences, such as when she and her husband decided to learn the art of falconry, a pastime taboo for women, are the book’s most compelling parts. Here, her writing comes to life and her lessons are inherent. Similarly potent is her chapter recounting living in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War and before and after 9/11.”
–Blue Ink Review