An expat love letter

Lately I feel that I have hit a little slump. Even with my blog posts, there seems to be way more negativity or little grumps about desert life. Now, don’t get me wrong there are totally days where we all feel like screaming, but I was feeling a little overwhelmed by the negativity, irritation and frustration. This is the danger zone. In my opinion, this is where you can so easily start spiraling into the depths of expat blues, which isn’t just some smart social media slogan, but something that definitely exists. All that change in one’s life in one single moment, loneliness or just feeling like a fish out of water can impact you so deeply. 

I recently caught myself stressing about the next step on our adventures and they are not even on our horizon! Why I am worrying about something that could be years away? But it entered my head and that was it, I was mentally on a plane panicked about a hypothetical scenario.

At this point you have to just STOP……take a breath……and check yourself.  

So over the last few weeks, I have made a conscious decision to pull back, take stock and really be here.  It is so easy to get sucked in my the Facebook memories of my past lives, hankering after Czech autumns and walks in one of the world’s most beautiful cities. It’s easy to get ahead of yourself and starting thinking about what the future holds and where do we fancy going next. Instead, what I realised is that both of these thought processes are taking me away from NOW.

Why am I focused on what was and what could be?

I think, as a nomadic expat, we are so used to transient adventures, we almost can’t get too comfortable for too long. Feet itch or we just start tapping into that rough timeline we gave ourselves, upon arrival in our latest location. So I stopped. I took a breath and became present.  Guess what? I was reminded that this expat life is a bloody great one. It’s a roller coaster but I love it and I appreciate everything that is has given me and everything it will bring me.

I love that….

img_5344I have a more open view of the world. I see things so differently, to what could have been a somewhat sheltered island perspective. I have met so many people over the last 7 years that come from different countries, cultures and backgrounds. Some have challenged me in ways I didn’t expect, some have surprised me for the better but one thing I know, is that this island girl was pretty naive when she backed her bags for Praha. Life in the Middle East has certainly made me aware of how ignorant the rest of the world can be. Views of religion and the misconception of the culture are sad to hear and not the reality of the majority people. So, I know it sounds clichéd but I am definitely more worldly, I have opinions I may not have previously had and I am never too old to learn or see things differently.

I love that….

I get time to be me. I think (or I know) I was at a point in Jersey, where I was probably doing more what I thought I should do, rather than what I wanted to do. Removing myself from this bubble and starting a fresh somewhere, where no one knows me, having to throw myself into the deep end and have to swim, was scary but also empowering. This life has given me more confidence and given me an amazing opportunity to become the real me.

I love that….

img_0430Friendships are birthed from random corners of the world. When I think about the people that have become true friends over our travels I feel very blessed. This abnormal, non conventional life has thrown us all in together and a connection is made and in some cases deeper than I ever imagined. This desert life especially, has delivered people into my life that I truly believe will be there for a very long time, regardless of our location. I really didn’t think those connections where even capable into your 30’s but I am happy to say that, the backbone to my land of sand are my desert girls. Hubby and I have a desert family, people that give a shit, people we are supported by. I really had no idea this was going to be the case, when I stepped off that dusty plane, but I am so thankful.

I love that….

IMG_3933We get to travel to places we would never have dreamed of or thought of going to. Our life in Czech landlocked us in Central Europe, whilst this wasn’t great for my island girl need for the ocean, but it enabled us to visit some great cities we may not have managed to get to. The fact that Germany, Austria, Slovakia were all train rides away, opened up a wealth of culture so cheaply and we loved it.  Life in the Middle East is not all war zones and risky travel. We have tried to get to most of the gulf nations, falling in love with Oman, a place would not have even been on our radar prior to life in Kuwait. We are now closer to The Maldives, Sri Lanka, India all places on the bucket list, now only 5 hours away rather than twice that from London. It still blows my mind that I have been to all theses places and so many more in our future.

I love that….

Hubby and I are even more in tune. Going on an adventure with your soul mate is the best experience you can have. We have learnt so much about each other and ourselves, realising that actually it doesn’t matter where we are in the world, as long as we are together (sorry if you just threw up a bit there). I have realised that I play an important part in our life abroad, that constant support and calming influence, not just a housewife, as many perceive me, but crucial in our survival.  We are an expat super team and we both relish in the fact the other person is enjoying the ride, as much as they are. I know so many expat couples that are so strong, so stable and whilst some on the outside think that this life can bring uncertainty, that’s just the geography, if anything it makes marriage even more certain.

I love that….

I have surprised people. There were plenty of people who thought I was just doing this for a couple of years. I was the home bird that would never survive a long-term life abroad, all of them waiting for an inevitable return to my little isle. Well to their surprise and my own, I am stronger, braver, more spontaneous, more adaptable, more relaxed, more self-aware, healthier, happier than I have ever been. I have grown as a person, learnt so much about myself and realise that actually, I can do this.

I am doing this!

I love that…

imageSometimes you just need a moment to re gather yourself and observe your life. I was guilty of getting so sucked into the momentum of frustrations, which this country and this life can cause, that I was no longer present. I know that this life is the best thing I have ever done, it has changed me for the better, it has given me an abundance of opportunities. Yes I am away from loved ones, there will always be moments where I want to be home, miss people, places, smells, foods, all these things that make you happy. But I also know that, that this feeling is fleeting and that right now there are plenty of things that make my desert heart sing.

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4 thoughts on “An expat love letter

  1. I like this post a lot! If I think about the things I enjoy about expat life it would be getting the chance to live by the rhythm of another country – you commute, work, grocery shop, eat and drink with the locals and so many people from other countries! As a traveler, you usually don’t get this level of interaction, of understanding or of acceptance. When that happens, you belong there too; that country becomes more than just a stamp in the passport, an album of photos, and some beautiful memories – it becomes another place in the world to call home.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s so much to win as an expat. Having some blues moment is natural, and it is important to do what you did: remember why you took this decision, what are the positive things it brings to your everyday life. Thank you for this post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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