Special days are difficult for me as an expat

Homesick (1)

It’s been an amazing yet testing month of  fasting in Ramadan for hubby and I. We have been through so much in such a short space of time but are thankful that we have made it to the finishing line! I feel like the whole month of Ramadan went by so quickly it all seems a blur (mainly because I was dosed up and knocked out for half of it lol!)

There are huge celebrations around the world to signify the end of such an auspicious month and Dubai was definitely no different in that sense. There were plenty of yummy Eid buffets ranging from the top hotels to budget friendly restaurants, family events in parks, strangers greeting each other with smiles and Eid Mubarak (Happy Eid), labour/construction workers socialising by the masses, taking selfies around the hot spots of Dubai – everyone just seemed so happy and in good spirits… It really was a nice feeling to see everyone just having fun.

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For years I grew up wishing to spend Eid doing whatever I wanted to do – I hated doing the mundane things like waking up early, having special Eid Milk made fresh by mum, going on those boring family friend visits where our parents sat and talked about everything they could til the early hours of the next morning. I used to dream about making Eid what I wanted it to be!

The sad thing is I never realised how much I would miss those family traditions once I moved away and got to do my own thing! I was so naive I didn’t think what I would imagine doing on Eid if it wasn’t those typical family Eid routines – and now that I’m miles away from my parents with no Eid traditions I feel lost. Yep I actually felt really lost yesterday.

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Decoration we had up in London – Eid 2 years ago!

As I watched snap chat videos of all my friends and family back home it made me really homesick – I missed our family unit. Don’t get me wrong I am sooooooo thankful I have my hubby, brother, sis in law and nephew here – which is more than most expats, but I know we all felt like a part of us was missing as our family and friends were all celebrating back in London without us. (I’d like to point out that we were really lucky to have friends in Dubai who were inviting us over to join their families for Eid but as I was still sick we decided to keep it close to home instead).

Eid is undoubtedly one of those celebrations you have to spend with family – having spent the last 30 years following a particular Eid tradition, then to move away and have to find a new way of celebrating is such a difficult thing as an expat! However this is a snippet of how our Eid day was…

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Thanks to my bro and sis in law we had a great start to our Eid morning – my sis in law made an amazing Eid breakfast including Indian Samosas, Spring Rolls, Cakes, Popcorn, Fruit Tarts and the best bit…. She made the special Eid Milk!!!!!!!! Thanks Tas 😍 .

We also exchanged gifts which was surprising to us all as we didn’t mention to each other that we were going to get gifts but it was a beautiful thought. My 8 month old nephew totally topped our Eid morning off – it seemed even he got the memo that it was Eid and he decided to be our entertainer! He had us in fits of laughter all morning and as I sat back laughing patting my full belly I felt thankful that I had family with me.

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Our matching mugs which we can personalize ourselves!

We have a couple of family friends who are in Dubai without their families so we decided to arrange a dinner for us all in a place that reminded us of home – Sahara Grill – (they have a branch in our home town and now in Dubai!) It was a chilled evening and was nice to just be around familiar people.

As I haven’t 100% recovered from the last two weeks hubby and I decided to end the night early so we grabbed our food as takeaway, said our goodbyes and headed home.

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We haven’t quite got our family traditions or routines in place, but we definitely had a special day and considering I wasn’t well more or less the whole day, I have to say I did end the day feeling happy that there are people around us we can call family. Here are a few things I remind myself whenever I feel homesick –

Be thankful for those around you, whether they are new friends, old friends or family members – there is someone out there spending these special days totally alone.

Be thankful for your health – there is someone out there wishing to be as healthy as you are even with any minor sicknesses you may have.

Lastly, be thankful for another day – there is someone out there taking their last breath and would give anything for one more day.

Love to you all from my family to yours 💗

p.s. will update this blog with Eid photos of our outfits etc ASAP!

Bean

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3 comments

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  1. Expat Panda

    I literally live for Eid milk haha… it doesn’t taste the same when you make it yourself if you know what I mean! Although it is difficult to be away from friends and family on special days, one way of viewing it is that you can choose to create new traditions or alternatively, continue with the old ones. You are basically the creator of a new legacy that will continue for the generations that will follow you if you expand your family in Dubai! Oh yes I am waiting to see the blog post with the outfits please and thank you.

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