‘And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.’ Confucius
Today marks my four years of living in the desert.
To be honest when this opportunity came up for us, I had not even heard of Abu Dhabi. As a family we flew over to visit in the summer of 2008 so we could see what was on offer first hand and let the children be part of the decision-making progress that would change their lives forever. With a big fat YES from everyone, pros and cons list gone over and over, we embarked on this crazy journey with my ‘it’s better to go and try, rather than not try at all and regret it‘ mantra.
And here we still are, four years later and nearly five for the other half! Since arriving my view on the world has certainly changed, from a leafy Hampshire village to the hot and humid desert of the UAE. Now I see the sea every morning from my window which I still find surreal, quite a change from my lush green garden back in the UK.
For back garden in the UK complete with snow and snowman
Today also marks my daughter returning to school for her last year in secondary education and the final push towards her GCSE’s. When we got on the plane on 1st September 2009, she was just about to start secondary school and my 16-year-old son was starting sixth form, my eldest son was off to Australia to start his gap year and we as a family unit were starting a new adventure, seriously where has the time gone!
Today also marks the start of a new era for me as my very good friend has returned to her old life in the UK and I need to motivate myself to do all the things we used to do together during the school day on my lonesome!
Being an expat can be quite a challenge at times, filled with both good and bad experiences. It’s a transient existence where people come and go and that can be tough. Friendships are formed quickly, friends become your expat family, your confidants and advisors as we all muddle through discovering how to survive in a new environment.
So I need a new Abu Dhabi BFF, available during school hours from Sunday through to Thursday, term time only with a GSOH, likes Pilates, Spa days, shopping, drinking coffee (other cafe beverages accepted), lots of chatting and cake! Additional extras may include after hours Whats App conversations, drinking cocktails and days out in Dubai…….anyone interested please apply within…….
All views are my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett. 2013. All rights reserved