Back to London – is expat life right for me?!

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A little leaving cake from Hubby!

After a year of living in Dubai I have finally made the trip back to the UK. It was a sudden plan and I had one evening to pack so it still feels like a bit of a blur leaving Dubai to now being in my parents’ house. I sit here writing this blog post in the house where I grew up – the house that holds so many memories – the house where I went through all my milestones throughout my life…the house that I once called home. So why is it a place that once held such valuable moments, can’t stop me feeling homesick. YES I feel homesick being away from Dubai!

I feel like my parent’s home was mine a long time ago and while there’s always a part of me that loves being in this house – I feel like hubby and I have changed so much through moving abroad that I feel like I’ve totally outgrown the life here. It’s hit me that this is no longer my home.

The people I’ve spoken to have told me I feel this way because I have the “holiday blues” or that the Winter season brings on sad feelings – but I honestly feel like it’s much more than that! For the past year we’ve lived a totally different life in a totally different place, establishing a totally different routine, so coming back to the UK I’ve not only seen what’s changed but I’ve also noticed the huge contrast between life in London and life in Dubai – this is the reason I want to explain why expat life in Dubai is the one for us right now. p.s. I am totally not bashing London I just feel like right now it is definitely not the place for us to be.

  1. The sun shines all year around in Dubai, which means you wake up to sun no matter what season you are in! – I want to do a full blog post on this later but I strongly believe the sun has a HUGE impact on a person’s physical health and emotional well-being.
  2. I don’t appreciate the sight of drunk people in the morning laid flat out on the high road or being harassed in the car by people banging the window asking for money with beer cans in their hands – this was on day 2 of being in London lol.
  3. I know people complain about Dubai’s road system etc – but seriously have you driven in an area where they have tried to incorporate a Mini Holland?! If not please do so and you’ll see what ridiculous road systems mean, especially during peak times! Oh and the amount of potholes in roads are disgusting!
  4. Everyone is more robotic in London – by this I mean if you smile at someone they will look at you like you’re some kind of crazy person. In Dubai people talk to each other, people smile and people sure as hell acknowledge that you exist! At the airport it felt like we were all machines programmed to rush through passport control and rush to continue the rush of living our rushed lives! It was quite overwhelming.
  5. My dad has hurt his leg and has been off work for a few weeks – most of this time was wasted on waiting for appointment times to see consultants so he had no choice but to go private and pay for a proper diagnosis so he can start treatment! In Dubai every company is responsible for paying for medical insurance so majority of tests/appointments/treatment are covered for private health care and are done ASAP.
  6. There is a big expat community in Dubai so you’re never short of things to do or people to meet. Socializing is huge in Dubai, however I feel like in London people just seem to be locked away in their houses and wanting minimal contact with other humans lol.
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Miss watching the sunset like this!

So what did I miss? Well my family and friends of course. I’ve often said if I can move all my friends and family members to Dubai I would be a happy bunny lol! But of course that will never be the case and I guess as the UK still holds a lot of memories for me, having people here means I get to reminisce and try to enjoy the time I have here as much as possible!

p.s. as this is my first week here I thought I’d do a comparison blogpost just before I leave the UK and see if anything changes how homesick I feel!

p.p.s. I have come down with a cold thanks to the good old British weather, and so this could slightly add to the homesick feeling lol!

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This is what Heathrow passport control line looked like lol!
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6 comments

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  1. JerseyGirl

    Yep know all about this one, even down to getting a cold!! Funny isn’t it how you pine for home, in the early days of your new life, and then when you do go back you want what has become your everyday life. I never thought the adjustment period would happen being in the U.K. I always presumed it would be on the return to the desert. It’s a funny old expat life we lead

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    • thexpatduo

      I know right?! It’s like you just don’t know what to expect with expat life! I’m going to start seeing all my old friends and family so I wonder if that will change how I feel lol!

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  2. kate

    After being in Australia for 6 months I was so ready to go home and see my people again… but I know how you feel. Being abroad changes you a little, going home doesn’t feel the same as when you left.

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  3. ispyprettyplaces

    A lot of your comparisons on ‘sunny London’ and why expat life suits you guys now resonated with me as it was the same for us. I do notice how friendly people are on the street in other places I live and it’s nice to actually be a human and smile at people you walk past. I did make some amazing friends in London when I moved back as an adult, most of them were expats themselves though. The expat community is truly special. I feel it may have been the way the world once was! Hope you get well soon. x

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