Before moving to Dubai, I had no idea what to expect. I’ve never been in a different country for longer than the traditional two-week-family-summer holiday. My entire life has been spent in one tiny village in the middle of Buckinghamshire – apart from when I moved to Brighton.
Living the high life
The thought of moving to a new country seemed so thrilling, and slightly glamorous. In my mind, I had this image of small-town girl living it up in a big city of shiny lights. I was so incredibly excited to get this chance.
And for the first year, I was experiencing everything Dubai had to offer and more. I was basically a sponge travelling around the city soaking up all of the culture, food and places I could. It was something that dreams are made of. My life consisted of after work drinks, pool days at fancy hotels, browsing art galleries, eating delicious food and relaxing in the desert.
Can I go home now?
Now it’s coming up to 18 months and things have been starting to feel different. For the past couple of months, I’ve been feeling so lost. Kind of like when you go to the loo in the middle of the night and then have to blindly stumble back to bed. Fumbling around for something to hold onto. Living abroad started to become really challenging. Everything was just feeling so much harder. I started viewing every so negatively – apart from home.
I started to miss Britain so much, which is really unlike me. Never have I considered myself a patriotic person because most of the time good old Blighty is a shit storm of a mess. We have a fucked up past of colonial rule, the whole frenzy with St. George’s flags everywhere during the World Cup makes me want to do a little sick and the political situation right now is unbearable.
However, I missed Britain. I missed the melting pot of culture we have on our little island. Whether it’s seeing a band live in a slightly grimy pub with a lukewarm pint or getting some fresh air whilst exploring a Natural Trust site – I absolutely adore being British. Aside from Tango Ice Blasts and my loved ones, these are the kind of things that I’m really struggling to find alternatives to in Dubai.
Giving myself a kick up the butt
For the last few months, I’ve been fixated on how much I missed Britain. All I could think about was how better my life would be if I was back in my home country. It was controlling everything about my life in Dubai. I was comparing everything and nothing lived up. Which is a really fucked up way of living my life. I wasn’t even living my life, I was just bumbling through and surviving.
It’s a really fucked up way to view my situation. A really ungrateful way of being. It took me a minute, but I had to step back, give myself a little mental slap and recognise my privilege. Across the world, many people don’t have the ability or means to travel. Here I am living a relatively wonderful life that I could have never imagined.
And yes, I do miss Britain and everything that comes with it. But not appreciating what I have and just muddling through until I can go home again is not only a really sad way to exist but also very ungrateful.
So right here, right now, is my vow to make the most and appreciate everything my life has to offer.1