My mistake or how NOT to spend your holidays while living abroad

2013-05-02 08.55.47When you move abroad for work or studies, at certain point you will face a dilemma – how to spend your holidays. Usually expats have four options:

  1. To go to home country, to visit family and friends
  2. To explore the country, where you are living, going to other towns, visiting new places there
  3. To stay at the same place where you live and just do nothing, relax…
  4. To go abroad, somewhere where you have never been before etc.

In general, the choice depends on personal priorities, capabilities and opportunities. Often part of the vacation expats are using to go to their home country, and the other part – to go abroad. Some stay at the same place and relax, but this is rare. And for exploration of the country, where you are living can be used also the weekends, if the distance is not too big.

IMG_0602For many years of my expat experience I used to use my vacation mainly for visiting my family and friends back in Latvia. Sometimes these holidays were nice and relaxing, sometimes a bit stressful, as during short period of time I had to do everything: meet everyone, do some paper work, visit doctors etc. While living in Italy I tried to explore the country on regular basis and to do it I used mainly the weekends. I did go couple of times abroad during those years, but mainly to the places, where I have been before and for certain reasons, like graduation in the UK.
2012-09-08 07.38.26Do not get me wrong, at that time I still traveled probably more often than any  other ‘normal’ person living in Italy, but there is a difference between travelling in general and travelling to a place, where you have never been before. My breakthrough came after I finished one self-development course. I have decided to go to Dubai to participate in another course and at the same time explore the country.

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Dubai probably is not the most fascinating place on the Earth (but definitely worth visiting!), however taking into account that I was dreaming of visiting the Middle Eastern country for 15 years, Dubai was ok, too 😉 And I was so happy that I did it. It was the best vacation I had in many years at that time!

IMG_0762Why? All these years I had been missing the main point of vacations: getting new experiences, exploring something radically new – I have been going to the same places – whether it was my native country, or the places I have been before, and was not really satisfied with that. Later I realised why. Visiting a new place makes you so much richer! And Emirates partially fulfilled my dreams: I visited many new places, got to know Arabic culture closer and even managed to argue in my very basic Arabic when I was charged too much for a fruit juice 🙂

I have been travelling a lot in my life, but when you move from country to country, settle in a new place, you sometimes forget/think it is not important to go abroad. And if do that, you miss a lot! Life goes on, it does not wait, so use every chance to enrich it! Do not repeat my mistake. Go, and plan your next vacation! 😉

P.S. I came to Emirates once again in August 2014, this was a completely different, but none the less special experience. Usually I have a rule not to visit the same place twice, but this time I did not follow it, as that “holiday breakthrough” and the fact that I realised some of my dreams urged me to come again and I did not regret it – some more of my dreams came true and I had a great experience. But remember, this article is not an advertisement for the Emirates, actually I do not think that it is a place for everyone. My main point which i wanted to deliver is: when you live abroad use some of your holidays to explore new places – such trips will stay for a long time in your memory, and who knows, might have as beautiful impact on your life as my trip to Emirates 😉

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