Monday 20 October 2014

Only the lonely

Living in Dubai can be lonely at times. It's such a transient place, with people coming and going all the time, that you have to be 'out' and making new friends constantly. In the two years that we've lived here,  the friends who we've had BBQs with, spent weekends camping with, shared milestones with now live in places like Dublin, Vienna, Buenos Aires, Singapore and Montreal.

It can be exhausting always trying to be 'on', always trying to find like-minded people to connect with and share milestones with. I'm not naturally a person who feels comfortable striking up conversations with strangers. Being shy and, occasionally, socially awkward doesn't make it easy. Also not going to a work place each days, means that you really have to make a big effort to connect with people. Talking to strangers, turning up at groups, smiling at that person and making small talk to find that 'connection'. When you finally do reach out and make that connection, create that friendship and share those milestones, it's likely that they'll soon be packing their bags and you have to start all over again.

That's why it can be very lonely. It's very easy for me some days to only talk to the people who live inside the walls of my home. When those conversations centre around Spiderman, Zelfs and homework, it can make it lonelier. 

While it's nice to have met wonderful people and have Facebook friends all around the world who you can 'drop' in on, it's much nicer to have those friends to chat with at school drop-off, to call when you're completely confused at Mall of the Emirates and to laugh with over the weekend.

Expat life can be incredible, so rich and rewarding. The places you go, the experiences you have and the people you meet. It's unlike anything else. As with anything there has to be a downside and for me, this is it.


  1. We have recently returned to Abu Dhabi after two years away so I can relate to this. It can be difficult to reconnect and have energy for new friendships. But relationships as an expat can be so rich and rewarding, and full of brilliant stories! :)

  2. I can relate to this a lot. I live in Australia but such a transient town due to mining and army. As soon as we have made friends with someone it feels like we are farewelling them. It can be exhausting and at times I just don't want to make the effort. I am fortunate to get a lot of social time at work though. It must be ten times harder in a placDubai. I am sure the adventure makes it worthwhile but I really empathise with you! It must also help having blogging friends although it's never the same as being in the same place!

    1. The adventure does outweigh the bad. Also, when you do make the effort you can meet some amazing people, just saying goodbye all the time sucks.
      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!


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