Thursday 20 May 2021

14 day countdown to the end of our expat journey

We're on a 14 day one month countdown to the end of our expat journey.

It's been a bit stressful trying to relocate during a pandemic, I'll be honest, upping sticks and moving thousands of miles is very stressful regardless of where you go and when.

We've both moved a lot in our lives and since we met in 2000 we sold both our homes and purchased one together in 2002 which we still own and is the home we are returning to.

We left the UK in January 2011 for South Africa, with a 20ft container, we then relocated to Dubai in December 2014 with a 40ft container and in September 2020 we sent approximately 10ft in groupage followed by a 20ft container this morning May 2021. We will follow on in a months time. Originally it was going to be June 2nd, however there are NO direct flights from Dubai to the UK, and with both of us having experienced being prevented from travelling and in the wrong country from where we had intended to be, neither of us fancy the prospect of being stuck in a 3rd country such as Egypt, Oman, Finland etc where we are permitted to fly through currently. Either way we still have to hotel quarantine on our arrival in the UK for 10 nights, as we will have been in the UAE in the past 10 days prior to arrival.

99% of the stress of an expat move is in the build up to the packing day itself, then you sit in a trance for several months in hotels, sorting documents, applying for visas, running around to get signatures the night before you're due to submit your paperwork because someone forgot to give you something. It's the fact finding, the arranging, the booking, the handing over over money, setting up phone and utilities, trying to find internet, somewhere to live, a car, school runs, new job, how to pay for parking, navigating medical aid and dealing with HR, 3rd party agents, via your husband, through his HR department because as a 'supporting spouse' you are given no consideration from your spouses company, despite being the one person who is jumping through all the hoops and digging up long lost relatives to obtain a DNA sample to prove who you are. 

Lots of people tell me to write a book, it's entertaining, that I'm good at stuff like this and I love a challenge. Well this is all you're getting a blog and trust me, I'm not good at stuff like this, I don't enjoy it and I'm really looking forward to a simple life with Peter, our adult kids and grandkids and time to cook, garden, walk the dog up the Malvern Hills and take up new hobbies and maybe return to the workplace.


  1. Wow what a journey you've been on and an adventure too x #PoCoLo

  2. You have become so resilient through this journey and will have many stories to relate once it's really over!

  3. I remember how stressful it is and I didn't do it during a pandemic! But you'll get there and soon it will be a distant memory. I look forward to seeing photos of the Malvern Hills. #PoCoLo

  4. Wow what an exciting times ahead of you, hope it goes smoothly for you x #pocolo

  5. I can't imagine how stressful it is, let alone add a pandemic on top. Take care and safe travels home when they come. #PoCoLo