Books by Doreen

Expat or Re-entry Coach

Doreen Cumberford book Life in the Camel Lane cover

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 

Practical advice from Cumberford’s life experience is the book’s forte. When weighing up the opportunity to travel and live abroad, Cumberford attests that life is “portable”—“you can take it with you wherever you go.” When reflecting on belonging—the primary challenge in any expat’s life—she concedes that, while the act of leaving involves loss, it also includes opportunities to seek adventure and forge a new identity.

--Clarion Review (4 stars)

While her experience will likely be filed in the travelogue section of the library, to limit Life in the Camel Lane to the armchair adventurer alone would be to do it a disservice. Much more than a survey of another culture and lifestyle, Life in the Camel Lane is about making the kinds of mental and social adjustments that allows better understanding, revised perceptions of humanity's connections, and a better affinity for Middle Eastern cultures and lifestyles.

--Midwest Book Review

I thought the tone was quite breezy, conversant, easy to ready, clear, and engaging.  Your style is straightforward, deeply first-person, and inclusive of small stories, snippets, quotes, anecdotes, and remembrances.  You move smoothly across the variety of scenarios, circumstances, situations, and points you wish to make.  The pace is relaxed.  There’s good variety in your sentence and paragraph length, and this makes it even more engaging to manage and read.  You make your points about the hazards of driving the inherent sexism (if not misogyny) in the culture and how it has changed, and back your philosophic points with very pragmatic realities. There are several light touches of appropriate humour, which adds colour, depth, and dimension to the writing.  The comments are mostly incisive and don’t get dragged down into heavy politics as they could; you keep the tone light, make your points, give your examples, and move on.  Though I’ve never been to Saudi ... there was a whole lot that I could personally relate to through my own personal experiences and observations.


Daniel Cantor Yalowitz, Ed.D., Author of:   Journeying With Your Archetypes: The Search for Deeper Meaning in Daily Life”.

Doreen Cumberford eBook Arriving Well

eBook: Arriving Well

Culture shock and reverse culture shock are very different experiences, but there is one particular difference, almost never acknowledged or addressed, that makes re-entry an especially troubling proposition: There is no Plan B.

Arriving Well is a helpful cure for returnee anxiety. As the stories in this collection show, most repats do just fine.

You don’t have to worry that there is no Plan B, in other words, because Plan A, successful readjustment, is well within your grasp. You will make your peace with home in your own unique way, as these stories demonstrate, but you will cope. And then you will thrive.

Stories About Identity, Belonging and Rediscovering Home After Living Abroad


Guide Book: Home Again Home Again Jiggedy Jig

This guidebook provides the step by step process on a successful and comfortable re-entry when you have been traveling abroad.  The perfect accompaniment to Arriving Well.

Due out Feb 2019. Join the mailing list below to be notified of its release


About the author Doreen Cumberford

Doreen believes:

Everyone deserves to live the life of their dreams, and that Re-entry can be the BEST time of our lives, if we harness it properly.

That everyone has the possibility of creating a new adventure – whether moving home or abroad. No matter the pain, dislocation or disruption associated with moving cross-culturally.

Entry and Re-entry to be the most fertile ground for personal growth and still consider my own personal Re-entry to be ongoing.

Read more about Doreen Cumberford here:

"Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance.”