Almost six years ago, I stepped off the plane and into to my new home: Dubai. Those first few months of becoming an expat were such a blur now that I think about it. They were a tornado of emotion, loneliness, excitement, disappointment, and stress. I was only 12-years-old when I moved, so my worries were mostly about school, classes, making friends, and the weird tie I had to wear as part of my new uniform. After that first year things started to settle down: I moved school, made great friends, found my hobbies and interests, and Dubai finally started to feel like home.
Six years on, I wholeheartedly call this place my home. This is where I spent my teenage years – the place where I really grew into the person I am today and found my identity. I love the people I’ve met here, the activities and places I go to here, and the small quirks about living in Dubai. But as I turn 18 and finish my last year of high school, a change is on the horizon.
Many of you know, if you’re familiar with my blog, that before living in Dubai I lived in London. So when it came time for me to choose where I wanted to go to college next year, a huge part of me thought that it would be easy to go back for college. And while I had some great options in the UK, I felt like it wasn’t where I was meant to go. At the age of 17, choosing where I’m going to live for the next four years of my life is pretty scary and a lot of weight falls on my decision! I could have picked the familiar option and gone to a school in the UK, but instead I picked the school I thought would be the best fit for me and decided on Georgetown University in Washington D.C.!
As an expat and an international student, unlike most other students, I’m moving across the globe by myself at the age of 18 to go to college. I know it will be scary and there will be times where I want to go back to Dubai. However, I’m so excited about the college I’ve chosen and the prospects of moving to the U.S.
My expat life so far has given me a perspective I would never have experienced otherwise. It has shaped my morals and values so that I am the person I am today. I’ve had so many amazing and utterly unforgettable memories during my time living in Dubai, and I know that while moving to a new location next year may be a struggle at first (just like it was when I moved to Dubai!), but the experience will be enriching.
Whether it comes in the fall or winter because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am ready for this new adventure! It’s sad to say goodbye to Dubai and everything it’s given me, but I know I’ll be back during the holidays and maybe even to live here in the future, who knows?
I’ll be documenting this new chapter of my expat life on this blog: the good and the bad. If you have any request of topics you’d like me to talk about or posts you’d like me to write, leave them in the comments! Additionally, if anyone has any recommendations for restaurants or places in Washington D.C. I would love to hear them! I hope you’re as excited as I am for this change…
See you next week!