This time last year I was sat, much as I am now, at my mums house in Derby. Waiting for the call that said we were ready to move to our new life in Qatar. We were waiting to take on our next expat assignment in Doha. Having to leave behind our friends in the UK, our expat friends in Dubai. Getting ready to make new expat friends in Doha.
So there we were. Waiting.
Around this point last year we were getting closer to a date where we were packing up and leaving. But it wasn’t confirmed.
Fast forward a year.
Tonight I have been busy keeping in touch with people that this time last year I didn’t even know existed.
The hand of expat friendship
I’ve lamented many (many) times on expat friendships.
The friendships that grow out of necessity and blossom into something you could never of imagined.
This time last year I hadn’t met some of the people who were going to have the biggest impact on my life whilst settling in Doha. The expat friends that I didn’t realise were going to become the people that we relied on most.
Those expat friends
I hadn’t met the girl who washed my pants for me as we were cooped up in a hotel room, the boys bouncing off the walls. The girl who knew my pain with sleepless nights, and breastfeeding that at times felt like it was never ending.
I was yet to meet the girl who fed me tea and sympathy as I pulled into her drive with a sleeping baby having dropped my eldest at his first days at school. Who went running with me (well we went once) and who is there at the end of the phone whenever I need to vent, or gloat, or just say hi.
I hadn’t met the woman who was to beat my husband playing tennis, but the less said about that the better. Who cornered me on the way out of the supermarket after I had first met her and I couldn’t remember her name (the shame!). Who is always there for coffee. And circuit classes. And burpees.
That’s not to mention the wonderful, beautiful friends we’ve made along the way. The class mum who feeds me coffee and sanity during the school run. The one who found me through my blog who is now firmly in our expat family grasp whether she wants to be or not. The ones we’ve met once, twice, a million times. The ones that were there at the start of our journey and are now back home.
I hadn’t met the families who would become so intertwined with mine. The children that my boys would love like brothers, like sisters.
This time last year we were standing on the edge waiting to leave. Taking a deep breath before plunging into our second expat life.
Luckily for us we knew what was waiting on the other side having gone through it once in Dubai, that expat friendships were waiting.
This time last year I didn’t know you.
But now? Thank you for being in our life.