Arnica Cream Had Me Evaluating My Expat Life

One of my favourite things about being an expat living in a compound is the spontaneity in which events pop up, particular around Christmas time.

Last night was no exception, a quick text and the next thing I know we’re off to have a cup of tea and a few Cadburys Roses in a neighbours garden. As more and more people gathered, and the festivities ramped up, I found myself sat next to a friend who suddenly exclaimed about the bruise upon my arm where I had managed to put myself in the way of an assault bike in the gym.

“Never fear” she told me, delving into her Mary Poppins bag and pulling out some pain relief cream. I must have looked at her like she had two heads when she began to explain about her lack of co-ordination leading to a lifetime of bruises hence the arnica cream within the depths of the Mary Poppins bag. Which she then pressed into my hands, letting me know she has plenty more arnica cream at home.

It got me thinking, before moving to Qatar arnica cream would not have been on my radar. Though believe me it needed to be, the amount of times I have ended up walking into walls, trees, bikes. The list is endless, as my many bruises testify to. Though WHY arnica cream wasn’t a thing I’ll never know – it’s not like it’s not available in the darkest depths of Derby (it is).

Expat Life has Changed Me as a Person

The transient nature of people coming and going has made me much more open to making friends. The extrovert in me revelling in the meeting of new people, coffee dates and learning about each other. Expanding our friendship circle – both within Qatar and beyond as those people who became family leave for their next country assignments.

It’s opened my eyes to new travel experiences – we took our three boys on an epic cross country trip to Vietnam lasting four weeks, travelling from North to South – something I would have thought was totally crazy before leaving the UK.

It’s led me to new foods (hello Pho), new gadgets (hello Thermomix), and new beauty treatments (hello Vitamin A!) but more than that it’s led me to opening myself up to trying new things, grasping new opportunities and having new experiences.

As I stood there rubbing in the arnica cream to said bruise, I marvelled on how that little tube of arnica cream represented so much more within my life as it stands, numbing the pain from the bruise as I smiled to myself.


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