The reality and compromise of being friends with an expat

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We have made some AMAZING friends since moving to Dubai – this includes people we met in the most random situations but instantly clicked with, people we knew in the UK and got closer to in Dubai, and lastly friends we met through friends of friends of friends of friends LOL!

See being an expat you naturally have empathy for other expats – you understand what it feels like to leave what you know and settle into a new way of life, so for this reason you’ll find that expats are the most accommodating and supportive people around. This means you won’t find it hard to make friends in Dubai (as long as your social too by accepting offers for dinner and days out etc). Expat friends are the ones you turn to in your darkest days, the ones who are there to guide you and advise you as family would naturally do. Our expat friends have seen us through difficult times and have done a lot to make our move to Dubai that much easier.

However, the difficult thing about being an expat is that you never know when your time will be up. For example, hubby dropped off his good friend this morning who is going back to France to get engaged, my ex colleague turned family friend is moving back to the UK as it’s difficult leaving her family behind each time 😟  and another beautiful friend moved back for better job opportunities (I miss you Sarah!!!!!!). Regardless of the reason behind friends leaving, it is so difficult to be the person who is still here, as friends very quickly become family and when they leave it really does feel like a piece of you has gone.

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As an expat you will find yourself going through the motions of making new friends A LOT more compared to if you stay in your home town – these friends we have back home are ones we became close to over the years, and even though you miss them you know you can just go visit when you’re home. Having expat friends means you never know when you may see them again as it’s all a matter of visiting someone else’s home town – the number of nationalities in Dubai means this is almost impossible to visit each person’s home town lol!

Having said all of this, it’s great to remember that in this day and age there are multiple ways to communicate with friends from all over the world – thanks to Skype, Whatsapp, SnapChat etc! So you never feel like you are totally disconnected from your expat friends and you’re able to explore other countries you may not necessarily have dreamt of going, through social media!

As much as we miss our friends that have left over the last year, we are so thankful that we are meeting people from around the world and we can now say we have friends in parts of the world where we previously had no connections!

Thank you to all those who have supported us through this transition and we miss those that have moved on to better things!

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2 comments

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  1. JerseyGirl

    You are so right and I wrote a similar post a while back. Expat friends are so important to any transition and you need people around you that “get it”. There will be some very close and stay with you long after you’ve moved on from your shared location, others are purely situational. Whichever they are they are the roots to my settling and enjoying the adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

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