I’ve been an expat now since 1994 and this type of life has been very kind to me both in terms of lifestyle, opportunity and the chance to grow as a person experiencing people from all walks of life. It has taught me to be tolerant, grateful and accepting of every person or opportunity that has come my way.
One of the things that has always irritated me over this time has been this constant phrase from other expats about returning to their home environment. “I want to go back to reality,” is a saying I have heard often over the years. I can understand it in a lot of ways especially after a recent trip to Dubai which is a city which has lost it’s soul to tourism. Buildings and places designed specifically to look old but which in fact just look out of place. Dubai is like Toy Town, a perfect place for perfect people…….
However, there is this sweeping image that as expats we live in a bubble and to some extent this is true. Expensive cars, swimming pools, private schooling etc all things that most of us would not be able to afford in our home country. However, much as it is a bubble, it is your own bubble and as such it is your reality. The reality you are living now.
The only thing there is in life is now. The past was now when it was happening and the future will be now when we get to it. There is actually no other state other than what is present right now. So my feeling is that as expats we should enjoy what is our present reality and not wish the time away to a future reality that may or may not be different.