Once it again it’s my turn to take you on a journey in my travelling series, after a fantastic cruise from Cathy and a wonderful holiday in Paphos with Elaine I am taking you on a different kind of journey. Not a holiday but our emigration story as, following on from Mauritius, this is chronologically the toddlers next travel adventure.
Those of you who follow my blog will know by now that I am not based in the UK but in fact Dubai and have been for the last 2 years, this post is my memory of how we got here and how it actually is to emigrate with a baby as we moved over when the toddler was just 6 months old.
The journey started in a cold, frosty London, the husband had just declined a promotion in favour of an interview for a job posting in Dubai and we were still waiting to hear the outcome. I was on my way to a baby yoga class **how yummy mummy was I?!** with one of my NCT friends when the husband rang and uttered the words “Fancy living in Dubai then” cue much squealing (and then dismay as I realised I had women the baby up!) I managed to calm down enough to check that meant he had the job…… it did.
After that January was a bit of a whirlwind as we left for my dad’s remembrance holiday to Mauritius 3 days later, it was in the pool bar here sipping on a cocktail or two that the husband negotiated his contract and salary, not a bad life!
Everything kind of took a back seat in February, for February was the month of the stag do. The husband jetted off twice, once to Romania for his own and once to Slovakia for a friends while I headed to Derby to hide out at my mum’s and do some final organisation of our wedding. While I am talking of this, we decided not to pull our wedding forward as by the time contracts were negotiated we were looking at 3 weeks between leaving the country and our wedding which we would fly back for anyway and I wanted to walk down the aisle in our fairytale wedding unmarried to marry my best friend then.
Was where it began to get real. And I began to get cold feet. I had friends in London. I had baby friends who knew exactly what I was going through. I loved our life. What were we thinking?! It took some straight talking from the husband to get myself back on track, my main worry was, would I be lonely on my own with a baby. As you can see here that was not to be the case and I was to make some wonderful friends. And I did that by trawling the internet for as many mum groups as possible, a tip for anyone emigrating to Dubai – FACEBOOK! So many mum groups on there you will be spoilt for play date choice.
Back to London though, the flat was packed up on the 25th March, the husband was due to fly out on the 5th April and I was due to fly on the 11th April.
At this point we need to thank our wonderful London friends for putting us up in their houses and my mum for having me and the toddler for a week!! Again, I wouldn’t recommend the nomadic lifestyle with a 6 month old!
D-Day. The husband boarded his flight on the 5th, incidentally the morning of my second hen do at Ladies Day in Aintree. And landed to sandstorms and rain!
Then it was mine and the baby’s turn. We flew out on the 11th April. Due to land at midnight Dubai time, which we did.
Sleeping at Birmingham Airport
He was an angel on the flight, slept when he was meant to, I watched twilight, the wonderful family I sat next to held him while I sorted my bag out. All in all we survived the solo trip with the help of the baby Bjorn. Then we landed in Dubai airport.
Don’t land on a Thursday night.
Don’t even think about it.
2.5 hours later with a hot, sweaty, grumpy baby I managed to make it through customs.
It had taken so long that all my luggage was already lifted off the carousel as it had finished.
And I had a lot of luggage as well, we were emigrating!
A lovely couple took pity on me and helped me pile it on a trolley and we went to find the poor husband who had been sat in the airport for 3 hours.
And so led my second mistake, I didn’t stop at duty free.
So no wine for me.
At the time I didn’t care, 3 days later….. I did.
The husband did warn me that if I wanted anything to buy it but at that point I just wanted to get to bed.
So we did….
We spent our first weeks here exploring the area, finding somewhere to live, finding our feet and meeting new people.
Exploring Dubai Marina
Some of those people have gone from our lives now but others are still there and still in Dubai, my lovely friend who turned up to meet us all at the Dubai Mall with home made baby purees for us, leading to a long leisurely breakfast together and an invite to a bbq where I got wine! From that one internet email and baby puree handing over I’ve made a wonderful friend as has the toddler. And that is just one example of friendship here I have many many more!
In short, Dubai for us, has been an amazing journey starting with those months leading up to the travel, and then the travel back for our wedding.
It truly is home for us now.
Can’t believe it will be 2 years tomorrow since I first boarded that plane!!
Have you emigrated? Have a fantastic holiday you want to share, get in touch and feature on my “Travel with Me…” series, don’t be shy, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org