Canada bound – moving from Dubai

Canada is such a beautiful North American country. The major cities are Toronto, Quebec City, Vancouver, Montreal (French speaking) and the capital city of Ottowa. Apparently, Canada, is one of the best countries in the world to live. This is Maria’s story of moving from Dubai to Canada.

I met Maria many years ago and we have shared tears, laughter, and a lot of fun together. Another example of expat friends scattered around the globe.

What led you to become an expat?

I was living in London, although life in London was good, it was time for a change. A job opportunity came up in Dubai and I thought why not give it a chance?

Where do you currently live in Canada?

I currently live in Calgary, Canada. Calgary also has the nickname “Cowtown” stemming from the Calgary Stampede, a massive rodeo held in July.

Which other countries have you lived in apart from Canada?

I was born in Ireland and lived in the UK, UAE and now Canada.

What have you learned from being an expat?

Being an expat opens your eyes to a wealth of culture, knowledge, understanding, and tolerance of other cultures.  This is if you allow yourself to be open, some expats choose to live in a bubble.

What were your least favourite things about being an expat?

Being away from family but also the transience, sometimes you feel that you don’t belong anywhere. 

What were your favourite things about being an expat?

The people you meet and the things you get to see.   In addition, the amount I was able to travel.

If you could give advice to anyone thinking about becoming an expat – what would it be?

Be open, most of all, accept that it will be different. In other words, don’t expect your new home to be the same as what you are leaving behind. Embrace differences and learn that sometimes you need to go with the flow.

Do you feel that the expat experience shaped your life in some way?

Expat life has made me more tolerant. As a result, it has taught me to be more open and helped me understand everyone, no matter how different, brings something to the table. 

What is your favourite local dish of that country?

 This is a girl who never liked spicy food and now loves Indian curries, however, hummus wins the day everytime

What did you find the most challenging about being an expat?

Firstly, my family at home couldn’t conceptualize my life in Dubai therefore, took no interest in it.  Secondly, the other challenging part was when people leave or you leave. Most importantly,Expatriate friends are like family so the hole that is left in your heart is very real.

Inspirational quote? 

“New friends are like new adventures. You never know what lessons they will teach you.” 

Any regrets or anything you would have done differently?

The only regret I have is that I should have tried to save more, other than that not really.  I met wonderful people and saw amazing places. 

Another lovely expat interview. Reading about expat experiences gives a unique insight into how life really is. This may help you in your own experience. Feel free to read more interviews on the blog. Similarly, if you need a little help and guidance, feel free to get in touch


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