Amy – Essex to Dubai

Moving to Dubai was an easy and exciting decision to make…

Luckily for me, my best friend was already there waiting for me and we had an amazing new addition; my Goddaughter Isabella. I felt like I had missed a lot of the milestones whilst living so many miles away, so I knew I was making the right decision when I booked my flight for 17th September (10 days before Bella’s 1st birthday).

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The 17th came around quick and as expected, my excitement turned to nerves. To pack up my whole life and leave everyone I love behind, was the toughest thing I’ve ever experienced. I questioned if I was making the right decision constantly and toyed with the idea of cancelling my flight to resume my okay lifestyle in Brentwood. But instead, I pushed past the fear and packed my suitcase.

So my Dubai experience was off to a perfect start when I was seated next to the silver fox businessman with an American accent on my flight. I had originally planned to sit at my window seat and sleep away the 7 hour flight with my headphones in to avoid any human contact… But when wine and great chat came as a pair, the 7 hours was over before I knew it. I was hoping this was a sign of what was to come.

I felt like I may need a miracle as I had moved to Dubai with no job, no place to live, and only a handful of friends in the UAE. Staying on your best friend’s sofa when you’re unemployed and watching her live her dream life with a husband, child and great job was the kick I needed to get the ball rolling. Day 1 would be purely focused on job searching and apartment searching. NO TANNING ALLOWED.

1 week in and I was no longer on the sofa. I found a 2-storey penthouse in the Marina, full of young professionals to live with, and finally I felt some independence. 3 days later, I have a job for a very successful investment company in DIFC and I finally feel like I can relax, knowing I won’t be struggling for rent in the months to come.

However, week 2 hits and I still feel like something is missing. I wasn’t loving life in the Essex as I was working a mediocre office job and never felt excited for the work I was doing. In the back of my head, I imagined living in the sun and surrounded by palm trees would change that feeling… but I quickly realized that wasn’t the case and I felt unfulfilled once again.

Sian had always told me that Dubai had much more opportunity than the UK, and that if you really wanted to pursue a career in something you love, this was the place to make that happen. So, why not at least try?

My original life plan was to one day retire and own a cute little bakery where I could spend my days in an apron, drinking endless cups of tea. I hadn’t really thought much on how I was going to get there, always being scared of failure and the anxiety of not succeeding. But I knew I couldn’t carry on working these jobs that meant nothing to me.

Less than 2 months later… I was starting a new job that I could only dream about. A job I would never have had the chance to do back in the UK. A job that I wake up excited to go to in the mornings.IMG_4040

Now, I’m 3 months in and the homesickness is long gone.

With 90% of people living in Dubai being expats, you’re surrounded by like minded people that are all in the same boat. People that want to be successful, make money, and yet still enjoy the nightlife throughout the week…

Dubai has allowed me pursue the career and lifestyle I’ve always wanted with ease, and I can happily picture myself here for the next few years.

So if you’re thinking of moving here:

1) Just do it! And give yourself at least 3 months before even thinking of going home. (We all have homesick days)

2) If you’re not hearing back from recruiters whilst applying from the UK, don’t worry they only tend to care if you’re in Dubai (take the plunge!)

3) On arrival apply for EVERYTHING, you’re dream job, something you’ve not done before, Dubai is a place where you achieve anything.

4) Find a great friend with a sofa for at least 2 weeks… and if you’re half as lucky as I was, you may get to wake up to a face like this every morning…

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Love A x

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