My life changed a few weeks ago. One minute I was doing the normal airport thing in Chicago, the next I entered a whole new world at the Etihad gate —- loaded with all the different fabrics and notes of a multitude of cultures. Thirteen hours later, I landed in Abu Dhabi.
It’s been a nonstop whirlwind of do this, do that. Thankfully, my employer put us up at five-star hotels, so when we got the chance to sleep it was in luxurious rooms. Last week, however, I moved into my apartment, and while I have to make my own bed, it is nice to have my own home again. I’m having fun decorating it, and I bought all white couches simply because I can. My children are in the states attending college, so we’re all experiencing our own version of living on our own.
It is still sometimes hectic here, and there are communication gaps thanks to cultural differences, but, overall, it’s a pleasant experience with so much new to take in. I am honoured to have been invited to work and live here.
My one disappointment was that I was placed in Al Ain and not Abu Dhabi —- especially after seeing where my friends on Al Reem island are now living. I really wanted the hi-rise, city-girl life style. Then I buddied up with four others and took a drive to Al Ain. My apartment is not at all like the Al Reem complex. There are no amenities, nothing past the second floor, and no beaches. But, I absolutely love it. It has so much personality. The apartment is spacious while the building is small, so I will get to know my neighbours. One of the ladies I rode to Al Ain with lives right next door. Another lives in the adjacent building, and the woman who lives across the hall from me writes a blog I’ve been enjoying for months. I love her writing, so it almost felt like I was meeting an idol. I am sharing a building with people I like and find fascinating. Yay me!
I also really like Al Ain, even with all of its roundabouts (something Americans are just not used to). It is completely different from Abu Dhabi, and just as beautiful. I’m looking forward to discovering more of what it has to offer. I am also so incredibly happy with my school and adore my new students. I’ve only had two weeks with them, but I am enjoying our time together, and I’m looking forward to all that we have to learn together this year. I truly do feel like I’m living the good life.