The expatriate life may sound exciting and glamorous - places to see, people to meet and jet setting all around the world. Well, take it from someone who has moved house / country / continent almost every two years for the last ten years, it's also a lesson in patience and acceptance. Being married to a hotelier has meant living in different cities and moving often, something that I have grown to love. Our first posting was in Santiago de Chile where we were for two and a half years. This was followed by Dubai - something completely new and in a region neither of us had been to. We lived there for two years before we were transferred to Montreal which was a short and sweet posting of 18 months. And now, Marbella, where we have been for almost four years - the longest we've stayed put so far.
What have I learned from all these moves? Many things but the most important one is that nowhere is perfect. We have to balance out all the pros and cons of each place and make the best with what we have. In Santiago, it was to appreciate nature and the Swiss-like organization of the Chileans. In Dubai, it was to be thankful for help and to appreciate the luxury of service in all aspects of daily life. In Montreal, it was to live in a place that combined the charms of the old world with the efficiency of the new world. In Marbella, it's to wake up every morning to clear blue skies and to be able to eat al fresco by the sea with ones toes buried in the sand. Even as I write this, I'm already wondering where our next posting will take us.
About the author:
Roselyn Sugay-Helbling is the creator behind the popular food/travel blog: Travels With A Gourmet. She was an accomplished restaurateur in the Philippines before embarking on her expatriate life. Her blog is one of the inspirations for My Hotel Life.