Exactly six years ago today, I headed to Aberdeen Airport to commence my journey to the UAE. So far it’s been quite an adventure
The weather – I just love warmth. Not necessarily sun – you will never catch me lying sunbathing but that may have a lot to do with my inability to keep still – these days I start moaning about the cold if the mercury hits 20C.
My husband’s shifts – 3 weeks on and 3 weeks off mean we have traveled extensively throughout the UAE and Oman and beyond.
The cars – never in a million years could I have imagined that we would be running his and hers Nissan Patrols, certainly it wouldn’t be happening if we lived in Scotland!
The country – clean, tidy, safe.
The outdoor life – True, it is unbelievably hot in the summer, but even then it’s worth sneaking out at 5am to get a few hours driving in the dunes before the mercury hits 40C about 10am. Similarly, end of day drives are possible year round with the bonus of a stunning sunset to photograph. In the winter there is nothing better than driving in Liwa and camping overnight with a great big campfire to keep warm!
The people – I’ve met and made friends from all over the world, thanks to the UAE being a truly eclectic, tolerant society. Some western expats I know rarely mix with people outwith their culture but I think they are missing out on one of the best parts of expat life.
Desert driving – passionate about it, no hobby has ever consumed me in this way before.
Patience – I’ve had to learn to be patient. Well appear patient. All of the time. Perhaps some of the time. Ok, occasionally.
Networking – I’ve honed my existing “work the room” skills to encompass bbq circles and any other social gathering where I find interesting people. In other words, almost anywhere. The UAE is 90% expat and each individual has their own interesting background.
The downside is that I miss my mum, sister and my boys but it’s easy to keep in touch these days with the interweb – and it’s always nice to go back to Scotland for a visit!
So here’s hoping for another 6, or even 16! If the business I am currently working is successful then they will be carrying me out of here in a box – hopefully not until sometime in 2063!