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”

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”

Emotional suitcase

Frustrated, comforted, distant, familiar, lonely, happy, uneasy, content. How can one person feel such a variation of contrasting emotions? Well I can second a guess that I am not the only expat who has had to navigate this rollercoaster during their summer break.  It seems extreme, when I see it there in  black in white, but I can honestly say that this is not an exaggeration, in fact I could probably add another half dozen adjectives, to describe my two weeks back home.  I question myself constantly and upon my return to the land of sand I ask, when did finding the familiar comfort of home, make me feel so lost? Continue reading “Emotional suitcase”

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”

Call me Michelle

Are there people in your life that you rely on no matter what? People that seem to be the backbone to their family, never faltering in the midst of drama or chaos? I know many and most are women. There is a kind of man that is drawn to this expat lark, but there is also a kind of women that can handle it. I often question whether the outside world still perceive us as the “trailing spouse”  with no real direction or minds of our own. Gin swilling, ladies that lunch, who are living it up around global locations, simply fulfilling their husbands career dreams and not their own. Is this accurate or yet another statement filled with judgement and misunderstanding? Continue reading “Call me Michelle”