I haven’t been blogging much for the past couple of months for several reasons.  The main reason is because I’ve been super-busy at work and going through the motions of making another significant life change.

My time in Shanghai is coming to an end.  I didn’t think it would be ending as soon as it is, but life never quite works out the way we plan.  Either way, I’ve had a blast living in this amazing city and having the adventures that I’ve had.  There is so much to love about this beautiful, vibrant city and the wonderful natives who inhabit it. I will be quite sad on the long flight home, but satisfied at the things I accomplished.

Now I can say to you with certainty that I am continuing my journey abroad by moving to the Middle East.  Where, you may ask? I’ll give you three guesses, and the first two aren’t Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

Courtesy of jaffagaznian.tumblr.com

 

I firmly believe that I’m on a journey of enlightenment, education, and the betterment of myself…which may or may not be an inspiration to other women.  The decision to relocate to the Middle East was not made lightly.  I spent five days in relative solitude in beautiful Phuket before I realized it was clear as Swarovski crystal where God wanted me to be.  Why?  He never says, but I have learned to listen and to obey.  But at the end of my time there, I’ll know.

China was not even remotely close to a destination I would have selected as my first stop as an expatriate.  But I came here and learned a lot about myself and my craft.  I learned that there is a difference between what is said, what is done, and what is enforced.  I never ever thought I’d come to love Shanghai and these good Chinese people as much as I do.  There is no reason for me not to feel the same way about my next destination.

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If you’re wondering if I’m willing to wear an abaya (especially one like the above), the answer is yes.  I don’t have to wear it constantly, as I’m not a native and I’ll live on a Western compound. I’ll wear a beautiful garment like this, this, or these before returning to US public education.  I’ll have to cover my hair when I’m off the compound, but I don’t want to be bothered with my hair a good 60% of the time anyway, so this isn’t a problem either.

No fear.  Well, maybe just a little, but that’s to be expected. Yes, there will be adjustments, but if I could do it in Shanghai and thrive, I can do it in the ME. The restrictions don’t bother me because I live the type of life that fits inside of them rather easily.

I was told in Thailand that people like me should disregard the CNN Effect.  In short, discount the filtered American media when it comes to what life is like in other countries.  A lot of stuff was said about China, but then I got here and was like, “Seriously?”  Now while the ME is more strict than China, I’ve already been told by past residents that basically, same same.

So there you have it; what I’ve been up to for the past few months. My blogging won’t be as frequent as I’d like, because I am going through the close-out process here in Shanghai and I have to start prepping for the next job.
Now for those of you who feel the need to question my decision and think you should to respond to this post with judgmental negativity, please don’t bother.  For others, if you have questions, feel free to ask.

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The next volume of The Expat Diaries will come from underneath an abaya.

 

Featured image from imgkid.com