Lock-down, taking stock & a barrel of laughs

I didn’t think I would find myself perched at the laptop, still writing about the situation the world finds itself in. My last post was a mere week into our lockdown in Kuwait and here we still are, day 70 and counting. I guess I am here because this situation is a unique one, one that I will want to remember and forget all in one go, but also one I want to document. There have been so many questions asked, so many unanswered, so many emotions felt. I can’t be the only one that has been on the verge of breaking down one day, rolling around in fits of giggles the next. Schizophrenic mood swings, transforming me into a positivity guru on Monday and by Wednesday she’s replaced by Oscar winning drama queen! None of this is me, none of this is normal, but I ask you, in a global pandemic what is?

Continue reading “Lock-down, taking stock & a barrel of laughs”

Life in the time of Corona

Anyone else get the feeling that 2020 is taking the piss!? We are less than 3 months in and already we’ve had Megxit, Brexit and now Covid-19. We all started January 1st with so much optimism for the new decade but looks like the universe had other plans. There isn’t anyone in the world that isn’t aware of the global pandemic that is currently causing havoc but what some people may not know is that this random corner of the desert is in lockdown. It’s certainly an unique experience in my expat journey and one I am sure we won’t be forgetting in a hurry. It is also a personal experience, as in all my posts these are my ramblings and others may not share my view or emotions. Yet, whilst I can’t help but chuckle at the irony that this dry state is fighting a virus named after a beer, I have to say yet again, I am sat in the Middle East feeling safer than I would at home. Continue reading “Life in the time of Corona”

The sin bin

It’s been a while but here goes nothing. Firstly how is it 2020?! A decade of my expat journey done and dusted. I can’t believe at the start of 2010 I was happily sitting in Jersey, starting a new job and had no idea that by the end of that year, I would be sat in Prague beginning a new life abroad. Ten years of this life and it’s gone in a blink of eye. As I marked this milestone, I asked myself am I a better expat now than I was then? I can’t definitive say either way, somethings are way easier now, but the longer you’re away the worse somethings get and  I confess, at times, to be blighted by the 7 deadly expat sins. Continue reading “The sin bin”

Face off

When you are far from home, connection is so important. Connection with your new location, with new friends, to the new culture, just to name a few. For me, there are two other vital connections which I have always tried to maintain, connection to where I am from, as this gives you some kind of identity in the sea of expats and their stories. Two, connections with the people back home, ensuring that those thousands of miles between you, are not a catalyst for distance becoming more than mileage. As I was sitting down with one of my weekly chats with home, I realised how lucky I was to be an expat in this moment in time, technology has changed the face of the earth, for good and bad, but for a me, sat in a random corner of the Gulf, its a god send. I ask, can FaceTime really be a substitute for face to face time? Continue reading “Face off”

Under seasoned & over done

After a long weekend in Dubai, I’m fully recharged and my spirits lifted. There is nothing like a change of scenery to put things in perspective and after a week of being full of a desert cold, feeling very sorry for myself, the stark contrast of a weekend in Dubai helped a lot. Whilst I was more than happy to come back to the sandpit and normality, I find myself not as settled as usual. For the first time in a long time, I feel that I am on December escape countdown. Am I getting sentimental in my old age or are even the most seasoned Kuwait expats missing the seasons? Continue reading “Under seasoned & over done”

Fake it ‘till you make it

There are many life scenarios where that element of self doubt creeps in and we smile and nod our way through that awkward dinner party conversation, which you have absolutely no clue about. We have all embellished a CV or done a little bit of self PR in an interview but these are socially acceptable moments to sprinkle a little of that BS glitter. My question is when does that fake it till you make it attitude become detrimental to your expat experience? Do we really know who are the oscar winning actresses are in a sea of bad ass, we totally got this women? Continue reading “Fake it ‘till you make it”

Here but anywhere

Most days living abroad are just like every other life, days turn to weeks, which turn into months and nothing extraordinary happens. If you are lucky, you even forget where you are, it becomes so normalised and routine, that you barely even notice that you are in this random corner of the world. The environment melts away and you’re simply going about your business, no longer aware of the cultural or climatic differences. Last week I was fully in the swing of my usual antics, which led into a wonderful social weekend, when it dawned on me, I could have been sat anywhere in the world. Kuwait had faded into the background. When did somewhere in the world become anywhere in the world? Continue reading “Here but anywhere”

Calendar girls

Most people I know work in a 12 month cycle, the year begins January 1st and ends on preferably a drunken night on December 31st. I used to be one of those people, living the standard calendar and making those new year resolutions to be broken my mid Feb. Expat me, works in a completely different way. My annual flags seems to have moved and fall into 3  distinct phases. Pre Ramadan, summer break and the new year. In this case the “new year” in my expat circle is September, this has now become the clean slate, the bench mark for all the great intentions for the 12 months ahead and the re setting of routines. When did my end of the year become the start, the middle become the end and the start become the middle? Welcome to my expat life! Continue reading “Calendar girls”

The knockout punch

It’s funny, this expat life seems to be life of extremes. Nothing is every truly easy, even when things are going well. Sometimes even in the relatively calm, mundane, nothing to see here moments, you can get an extreme emotional reaction. You can’t actually fathom why or how this has occurred but whether it be  no sleep, change in the weather or lack of caffeinated wisdom, you can have an off day. When is a bad day just you needing a slap and when do you need to land the killer blow? Continue reading “The knockout punch”

The summer make or break

As I suspected, my last post caused a few ripples through my expat world. I knew that not everyone would agree with me, which is one of the things I love about this blogging lark, allowing debate amongst expats and see what different perspectives people have. So here we are again, with probably a less divisive post. Schools out for summer and the mass expat exodus has begun. There are a few that will be literally running for the plane, eagerly waiting to be out of the hot sandpit, have a G&T in hand and know they have the next 2 and bit months to enjoy the normality of their home countries. Then there are a few of us, deemed hard core by the rest, that aren’t running for the hills but instead plan to hang around that little bit longer.  I pondered this vast difference between my circle of friends and asked myself, does the summer break, make or break a desert expat? Continue reading “The summer make or break”