A Long Way to Go for a Sun Tan

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A Long Way to Go for a Sun Tan
a blog about an Irishman's experience of working in Afghanistan & Saudi Arabia in 2011 / 2012, work, life, culture and of course missing home......
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  • Gaelic Football in the Kingdom ?? 8 months ago A taxi ride at rush hour through Riyadh’s chaotic traffic for almost forty minutes brings us to the gateway of one of Riyadh’s better compounds to the north of the city. Any taxi ride around this city is eventful to say the least, road etiquette simply doesn’t exist and neither does public...
  • Sitting in Bahrain Airport the other day....... 10 months ago Sitting in Bahrain Airport the other day, waiting for a flight back to Riyadh and sipping on a cold beer, that old familiar feeling returned that I know so well, here I go again back to Riyadh, starting back to another year in the Kingdom, and reflecting on how transient and different and sometimes...
  • A few things I miss from Home.... 10 months ago I am just about to commence my fourth year away from Ireland and am already into my third here in Saudi Arabia, where does the time go ? Its been a time of great change for me both personally and professionally and I’m often asked what I miss most...My SonsThe recent trip to UAE with Daithi &...
  • Boys in Arabia.... 11 months ago It’s been almost three years now since I left home to come and work in the Middle East region, and I’ve mentioned many times here how I miss my sons, who are now 11 & 9. We had a great trip last summer to London and it was there that we hatched a plan to do a trip to Dubai in 2014.So on April...
  • Empire State of Mind........ 1 year ago I was back home last month to wet and windy Ireland and enjoyed a break with my sons in lovely Galway, the boys thought me how to a head-stand in the swimming pool , always a first !!They also showed me this video clip, Oisin got himself a laptop from Santa and is busy e-mailing, skyping and...

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Website Reviews » There are 15 reviews on A Long Way to Go for a Sun Tan

Jack Kiely
15:22 PM November 05, 2012

Noel's view of life in Afghanistan reads like he is sitting in the pub next to you drinking a Pint. It's not about what can be done for the people there, it's not about what has happened. It's about the here and now the everyday. You get a feel from reading his pieces that its the village next door. He manages to make what we might consider unreal to be real and he does it in a way that you never feel full after reading it. A good guy in a difficult place, make a difference everyday.

Cathal O Connell
05:59 AM November 24, 2012

I had the pleasure of working with Noel in Afghanistan prior to his moving to Saudi Arabia. His blogs on Saudi life are not only revealing as to the trials and tribulations of working in Saudi Arabia, but also an insight into the culture and lifestyle of the country also for both expats and Saudi nationals.It is clear Noel has found a balance between being a professional in a difficult environment and that of adapting to the Saudi way of life.His blog demonstrates a willingless to embrace the vastly different aspects of life as it is known by those back in Ireland.Keep the entries coming Noel. A thoroughly good read.

08:15 AM November 24, 2012

This blog has a great mix of posts from the general day to day hapenings and light hearted random incidents right down to the deeper personal expierences that an Expat goes through. Having to leave his home and family behind as really a last resort is something that Noel openly shares with his readers and you get a real sense of the raw feelings and emotions that goes along with such a reality for so many like him.

09:15 AM November 24, 2012

From reading Noel's blogs you get a great sense of what life is like living so far from home in vastly different lands. After reading one of the earlier blogs from his Afghanistan days, you can almost feel the dust and heat. These are great chronicles of what life has become for a man who took the tough decision to move abroad to provide for his family, and he shares these feelings openly. Good man Noel.

Keisha LaRaine
11:56 AM November 24, 2012

Noels blogs are not only interesting but also quite insightful as it reminded me also of days spent in the broiling sun of the Middle East. I truly appreciate how Noel tries to create a honest perpective of the life and culture of the people he has worked with and also how he tries to make a difference and a positive impact with every one he meets. When you go to work in such places you truly need to have a great sense of humour and also a passionate and positive nature, traits which I know Noel has, and will continue leading him to interesting and exotic places in the world.

Patricia Irwin
18:27 PM November 25, 2012

I love reading Noels blogs. he writes them from his heart , so I am sure to be reading the truth. congrats Noel Keep up the good work.

Maria Donoghue
11:29 AM November 26, 2012

Noel's blog makes the realities of living and working in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia very vivid. Events and cultural differences are brought to our doorsteps in a real and relevant way. The writing is very authentic, you certainly get a strong sense of his own experience and personal journey of being so far away from home, all the while balancing his professional life against this backdrop of cultural and traditional contrast. Keep up the blogging, Noel.

Eddie Grace
14:04 PM November 26, 2012

Noel's blogs have an extraordinary quality. He has the gift of making his posts feel like a conversation which is both personal and informative. Too often we know of friends that go abroad for work and are rarely heard from again, Noel reminds us of the challenges and adventures faced by our colleagues in foreign lands in a way that makes it feel real and immediate. Keep writing Noel, can't wait or the next one.

Margaret Tyrrell
15:48 PM November 26, 2012

I Noel a long time...a wonderful guy who loves his family so much...its hard for him every time he has to back...but he tells his story in an honest...genuine way...a pleasure to read...

Emmet O Mahony
21:01 PM November 26, 2012

Noels blog gives such an interesting and honest insight into an Irish mans expierences working abroad after being forced to immigrate to save his family and pay the bills to keep the ruthless banks from closing in and taking the years of hard work and sacrifices from him.I love the way this man takes on whatever life throws at him with such dignity and bravery.Keep writing Noel.

Laura Scanlon
22:26 PM November 26, 2012

When a family member goes away for long periods to join cultures we have no experience of, we turn to communications methods such as this blog to stay in touch and to get a flavour of what daily life is like in these places and how different it is from our own experiences. I would strongly recommend it to others who find themselves in similar situations.

Stephen Kane
14:15 PM December 01, 2012

While we get TV coverage of life in Afghanistan, Saudi and other parts of the world in blazing colour from seasoned journalists - they have not given me the insight into life in those countries that Noel has achieved. The blogs by Noel, (by now - surely a very well sun tanned gentleman) work I feel because of Noel's ability to describe places, events and in particular the openness with which he exposes his feelings. Keep up the good work Noel, and looking forward to continued reports from Saudi and of course the next 'hotspot' on your journey.

Toireasa Rock
10:01 AM December 02, 2012

I've been following Noel's blog for some time now. The warmth and honesty that comes from his words are refreshing. There are very few blogs I follow, but Noel's writing style is so engaging and informative that I'd feel like I was missing out if I didn't get to read it. I feel privileged to get to vote for him here. He's a real inspiration and a voice of reason that's badly needed in our world right now.

Annette Stanford
22:04 PM December 03, 2012

I've always known Noel to be an honest and driven character and his blog reflects that no end. I enjoy having an insight into places I have never been and the honest and poignant writing is so refreshing. What you read in this blog is not what’s written about or reported in mainstream media and hats off to Noel for leading us into worlds that may otherwise remain alien. Keep up the good work Noel!

Patrick Mercie
22:50 PM December 04, 2012

Noel is an insprirational man, both individually and as a business person. He is also a master and putting things in perspective. While a lot of people loose their heads and seek blame and entitlements; Noel went and upped sticks to care for a family he loves very dearly. To me his blog is refreshingly devoid of a need to justify or explain things and full of honest stories of a man living in the moment and sharing his expriencs, allowing us a glimpse of life as he ncounters it. A compelling read, every time.

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