Ayshe: Life Outside of M25
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Oman, etc.
I moved to Muscat, from London, in February 2014. My husband had already been living in Oman for three years, and after much trepidation I took the plunge and not only married him but decided to join him here.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I already blogged when I was in London but it was about beauty, so it seemed obvious to continue blogging when I moved to Oman but this time about my new life and experiences. It has been a great way for me to document everything and to let family and friends know what I am up to.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
Tell us about the ways your new life in Oman differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
The pace of my life is much slower now, which I hated in the beginning, but you learn to appreciate it. The biggest shock was the heat and humidity, but you learn to hide. The thing I still struggle with is the isolation and the loneliness that can just descend on you out of nowhere. When you don’t have a support network to lift you out of that, it is really difficult.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Oman? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
I was very naïve about the move: I just thought I would be fine. That said, I don’t know what I could have done differently before moving. I made the mistake of isolating myself when I first arrived, and I really should have made more of an effort to make friends.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
I do. Actually, you’ve reminded me of another blog post. Let’s just say, I was a little confused about the penalty for speeding.
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Oman?
- Pack comforting things. This can be anything, including cosmetics and biscuits, just anything that will give you a sense of familiarity and comfort in those first few weeks when everything is a bit crazy.
- Like the Facebook groups related to Oman and get involved (including my blog page, of course). But seriously, there are some great groups for buying and selling things, getting questions answered about where you can find what, restaurant reviews, and much more. The information available in invaluable and it stops you feeling quite so lost when you need an answer.
- Don’t isolate yourself! It was my biggest mistake, go out, meet people, explore, have adventures, it will make the settling in process that much easier.
How is the expat community in Oman? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
Most of the expats I have met have been very friendly, especially the women at the women’s expat groups. That said, it’s hard making friends. Maybe it is that awareness that no one is going to be around for long.
How would you summarize your expat life in Oman in a single, catchy sentence?
I can do it in a word: unpredictable!