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A Family’s Journey Relocating to Dubai – Part 2

With five weeks to go I can all ready feel the familiar stomach churning that always starts with obtaining removal quotes.  There is so much to do and so little time. I remember these emotions very vividly as it has only been one year since we arrived in the Southern Hemisphere (Australia)! I know it is mad but this morning I found myself making endless lists and starring at the Hoover.  I always start to neglect the house as the panic sets in!

When we came hopeful to Sydney in August 2010,  I remember the relocation expert driving me mad by constantly asking me ‘what’s your motivation for doing this’?  I would look at her blankly and think fondly of my family, friends and Waitrose and swallow hard. I can tell you with certainty that this moving lark does not get easier with age and experience. Quite the opposite, as there really is no pulling the wool over my eyes now. I go in very aware of the pit falls and the emotional roller coaster that seems to double with every move. The more prepared you are and the more you are able to draw on resources in your new country the easier you should find it all. Right?

So I guess your first question is why move so soon? First, let me tell you I am relieved! We are are going to only now be a seven hour plane ride from home. Secondly, we have experienced pretty much everything that can go wrong with such a monumental move! I am truly amazed that we are still standing emotionally and physically. It the old saying “be careful what you wish for”. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? Sometimes if you don’t ask yourself the right questions in the beginning then disappointment, homesickness and angst can set in rather quickly.

On a personal level I have suffered crippling homesickness. This even surprised me. To be honest I look back now and I’m surprised I wasn’t locked up. I’m a social butterfly but take away everything I know and love and I was just a train wreck. I woke up several times in the night to find tears running down my cheeks. It was difficult to function. As a mother and wife one has to be everything to everybody, ultimately the first port of call in a storm.  I do hope I didn’t fail. My dear husband found sympathy hard to muster as he settled in to the job and company from hell! My son having quit Uni to follow us leaving his first love behind had problems of his own. We have experienced landlords trained in how to make your life a misery. Schooling was just one of the many culture shocks. My youngest daughter has found her year at school a complete misery. She is desperate to make the same caliber of friends she made at prep school in the UK. We speak the same language so it should be easy? Not so.  So our move is well underway. Phil has secured a post in Dubai that appears to offer everything on the wish list.  So that’s tick no.1 in the box.

My son left us on Saturday and has now arrived back in the UK for university having decided that Australia wasn’t for him. So he’s back where he started and there’s a young lady that will be incredibly happy he’s seen there.I do believe my son has grown during the last year. No not in height (he’s still fairly diminutive) but into a lovely young man. He worked in a fairly lousy manual labour job to put away a nest egg to soften the blow of leaving home. No that won’t stop us putting a tidy sum in his bank every month but still. He surprised me. Getting up at five and working long tedious hours in the heat. I was so very proud of him on his last day when his boss handed him a very large cash bonus. Lesson one learnt. He also learnt to surf and his board stand lonely now waiting for his return. So we feel now that things are moving along nicely. It will probably take me another couple of days to venture into his room and I’m still going to cook way too much but I will get there.  We are moving onward slowly.

The next major challenge is my eldest daughter Beth. Having been a prolific boarder in UK she now faces being left behind. Having completed a year of A’levels in the UK she decided to join us. Of course NSW does the HSC which is virtually untransportable mid way through, so bless her she is going back to boarding school to finish. This means staying in Sydney by herself!  Take off is T minus 33 days.

Donna Holland is from Lincolnshire, England. She is a home maker and mother of three children Ash 21, Beth 18 and Helaina 9. Donna is an ex British Army wife and is a very well traveled expat. She has been married for 22 years to her husband Phil who is a professional engineer. The family is currently based in Sydney, Australia and have lived there for just one year. The family has previously lived in Germany, France and Bahrain. Donna’s family is currently on the move to Dubai and she will be blogging about her family’s experience.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Donna and her family’s journey to Dubai!
If you missed the first installment click here.



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