My home is in Dubai with my husband, cat and dog. But I also spend 6 months of the year in South Wales with my mother and adult children and family. I spend most of the summer in the UK. Peter joins me a for a week or two a couple of times. Most of the time I have car hire so I can visit child 1, 2, 2a and 5, who live in Gloucestershire and I'll visit 4 &4a in Belfast and they come here. Child 3 & 3a are based in Australia and currently travelling the world, I haven't seen them since July 2017.
I arrived the end of May, I'm not going back to Dubai till the end of October. I was here in February and March and will be back next March also. Peter joined me in June for child 2 & 2a's wedding then again in July for another wedding and we're meeting in Greece for a weeks holiday together next week. I've also got a trip to South Africa in September with a few days stop over in Dubai. I've also been to Belfast to visit child 4 & 4a and spent a week in Germany with friends.
I'm lucky to be able to travel so freely, but the novelty does wear off and after 8 years with 'not allowed to work' written on my visa, I need a change. That change won't happen till 2022 when Peter retires and we return to live in the UK and I can go back to work. I'll be 51 by then, will I want to work? Will I be able to work?
I have a few friends in Dubai, but contact always cuts back when I'm not there. The UK and Dubai are so different. Despite the heat in the UK this summer, which I'm enjoying as I'm actually able to get out and about and enjoy it, it's 200 degrees hotter than the sun in Dubai and the lifestyle is based indoors for much of the year.
In South Wales where we have a flat, I know all the neighbours, they know my drink in the coffee shop and my drink in the local pub. I have friends here, my family are here, but it's only for a short period of time and by October, my life will change again as I rebuild friendships back over in Dubai and get back into a different routine where I pretty much only have my cat and dog for company.
I did work over in Dubai for a year, as a teacher, but it became impossible to dedicate the time needed for my family around the world. I also worked as a volunteer for 4 years in South Africa, hence the reason for my trip there in September. When my father died in 2017, I turned down another job due to needing to be here, for both myself, my mother and the family, I don't think it will be possible for me to work again until we relocate in 4 years time.
When I return to Dubai my contact with family and friends is greatly reduced as there is a total ban on voice over internet, so no Skype, FaceTime or WhatsApp calls. It distances me from my family and friends.
I currently don't feel that I actually belong anywhere. I'm busy when I'm in the UK. I'm busy when I'm in Dubai, but these constant changes mean that as soon as a settle into one place, I'm making plans to head back to another.