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Showing posts from July, 2017

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12 Things I Learned my First Year Living as an Expat in the UAE

12 Things I Learned my First Year as an Expat in Abu Dhabi.  Just before I made my move to Abu Dhabi, I was given a thoughtful gift from a former coworker- a notebook with a kind inscription which read:
 “Ashley, I love how your eyes are filled with wonder and excitement; how you see change as opportunity. Stay curious. These qualities make you interesting and beautiful. Never lose them. They will always serve you well! Enjoy your next chapter and write about it. You’ll be missed.” 
This unexpected gift inspired me to journal my new life abroad, to ensure I would not forget a single detail. Now I am reflecting on a years’ worth of memories written in those pages. Looking back here are 12 things I learned in my first year as an expat in Abu Dhabi.  1.) Facebook is your Best Friend (and your most reliable source for information)  Word of mouth is best when finding out the most helpful and up to date information in the UAE. If you are new here and don’t know many people yet (or anybody a…

Pregnancy and the Loss of your Identity

When first learning I was pregnant, I had all sorts of expectations of what would happen to me physically and emotionally. Most of these expectations I gathered from friend’s or family’s’ pregnancies, and tidbits I’ve learned in school or picked up in the day to day. I knew I would gain weight, I knew there were restrictions on what I could eat or drink, and I knew cravings and a heightened sense of smell were involved in the whole baby making process, as well as many other wonderful and equally annoying grievances that come with the territory.
The one fact I did not know, never thought of, and was never told by anyone was the loss of your identity once you become pregnant- or at least when others find out. It took me by complete surprise and I would identify as my biggest struggle throughout my own pregnancy.

Once the word was out I was forever known as a baby vessel and that was about all I was good for, or at least that’s what it felt like. I knew my self-worth didn’t change, but …