Teach Middle East Magazine May-June 2016 Issue 5 Volume 3 - Page 41

Repatriation

Why repatriating from the UAE is not on the bucket list

By Suzanne Berg of a rather small , tight-knit community of adventurous educators .
With good reason , many bucket lists include more travel destinations than the average person might visit in a lifetime . The chances of debt-laden westerners country-hopping multiple times per year , while living on teacher salaries are slim-to-none . But here , travel is de rigueur ; in fact , prepare for the sideways glances if there ’ s a break and you opt for a ‘ staycation !’ “ You haven ’ t been to Sri Lanka yet ? Thailand , Jordan , Egypt , Vietnam ? Why not ?!” I ’ ve been fortunate enough to cross six countries off my bucket list in the past two years while meeting personal financial goals as well . Many Asian countries are not only accessible but super affordable once you arrive , so it ’ s beyond tempting to explore this corner of the world as much as our work schedules allow .

Expat life is usually a temporary state of living , and the term repatriation applies when those living abroad move back to their country of origin . As my two-year contract has been fulfilled , I find myself among the hundreds of teachers who will repatriate this July .

Seriously … I ’ m heading home ?
Admittedly , back in 2014 when I took the plunge into Middle Eastern territory , I was homesick for quite some time . But as I ’ ve acclimated myself to Abu Dhabi , it ’ s becoming more difficult to picture my return to Chicago . One strategy I ’ ll employ to sort out mixed feelings is to review and update my bucket list . Many expats keep such a life checklist ; if you haven ’ t created one yet , I urge you to do so .
Moving to the UAE has allowed thousands of teachers the freedom to live more fully . Whether it ’ s higher pay , shorter working hours , or widely available activities that allow us to feel like we ’ re living large ( can you say “ Friday brunch ”? Every Friday , if you choose !), conversation has turned more than once to the fact that many of us have been able to catch our breath for the first time in a long while .
After all , outside of work hours , living in Abu Dhabi is a type of fantasyland . Caught between local and tourist , we eventually find our niche in the UAE . Though not ‘ A-listers ’, we partake in adventures that would be few and far between at home . Aside from gathering in 5-star hotels to brunch , we attend yacht parties , concerts , and safaris , all while enjoying the company
Whether or not you remain in the UAE after the school year comes to a close , a bucket list can motivate you to make the most of your time , money , and opportunities . In an area teeming with millions of expats , it ’ s easy to cultivate friendships and seek out adventures together . If travel isn ’ t a priority , jot down other important goals and treat your bucket list like a to-do list for your life . I vowed to eradicate my graduate school loans , a feat that would ’ ve taken me 15 years at the rate I was going in the States . Bucket list item # 1 : Return home debt-free . Check !
Closing the chapter on expat life isn ’ t easy , especially with many friends staying for at least another year . Some have no plans to repatriate and will move around as long as possible . I may not know what lies ahead , but in modifying and updating my goals , I have a slew of new possibilities to achieve .
Either way , as an expat or a repatriate , organise your bucket list and start living ! After all , the more you see and do , the more you realize how many experiences await , and you only have one life in which to do it !
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After The Bell May - Jun 2016
Repatriation Why repatriating from the UAE is not on the bucket list By Suzanne Berg of a rather small, tight-knit community of adventurous educators. With good reason, many bucket lists include more travel destinations than the average person might visit in a lifetime. The chances of debt-laden westerners country-hopping multiple times per year, while living on teacher salaries are slim-to-none. But here, travel is de rigueur; in fact, prepare for the sideways glances if there’s a break and you opt for a ‘staycation!’ “You haven’t been to Sri Lanka yet? Thailand, ܙ[Y\ Y]•Hx'Hx&]HY[ܝ[]H[Yܛ^[Y\ٙ^HX]\[H\YX\[HYY][œ\ۘ[[[X[[\[ X[B\X[[Y\\HۛHX\XB]\\YܙXHۘH[H\]K]8&\^[ۙ[\[^ܙB\ܛ\وHܛ\]X\\ܚY[\[˂B]YH\\X[HH[\ܘ\B]Hو][[H\B\]X][ۈ\Y\[B][XY[ݙHXZ\[HوܚY[\^H^YX\۝X\Y[[[Y H[^\[[[ۙH[YوXX\[\]X]H\[K\[\x)x&[HXY[šYOYZ]YKX[ M[BH[H[ZYHX\\\]ܞKH\Y\X܈]Z]BYH[YK]\x&]HX[X]Y^\[XHXK]8&\XZ[›[ܙHYX[X\H^H]\XYˈۙH]YHx&[[\Hœܝ]Z^YY[[\]Y][\]H^HX]\ X[H^]šY\XHYHX\Y[H][&]ܙX]YۙHY] H\H[H˂[ݚ[HPQH\[Y\[وXX\HYYB]H[ܙH[K]\]8&\Y\^Kܝ\ܚ[\܈Y[B]Z[XHX]]Y\][\™Y[ZHx&\H][\H [[B^H8'Y^H[8'O]\HY^KY[HHJK۝\][ۈ\\Y[ܙH[ۘHHX]X[Hق\]HY[XH]\X]܈H\[YH[Hۙ[KY\[ ]YHوܚ\][š[XHXH\H\Hو[\[[ ]Y]Y[[[\\ B][X[H[\XH[HPQKY8&K[\\&KH\ZH[Y[\\][H][\]Y[]YK\YHB]\[[ K\\[[ H][XX\Y\ۘ\[Y\\[[H[Z[H\[B]\܈[H[XZ[[HPQBY\HYX\Y\HKHX]\[[]]H[HXZBH[و[\[YK[ۙ^K[ܝ[]Y\ˈ[[\XHY[Z[]Z[[ۜو^]]8&\X\H[]]BY[\[YZ]Y[\\]\Y][\۸&]H[ܚ]Kۈ\[\ܝ[[[X][\X]\ZHHY\܈[\YKHY\YX]H^HܘYX]B[HX]][8&]HZ[YH MHYX\]H]HH\[[H]\ˈX]\][HN]\YHX YYKXB[H\\ۈ^]YH\۸&]X\K\XX[H]X[HY[œ^Z[܈]X\[\YX\YB]H[\]X]H[[[ݙH\[\ۙ\XKBX^Hۛ]Y\ZXY ][[YZ[[\][^H[H]HH]و]X[]Y\˜XY]KZ]\^K\[^]܈H\]X]Kܙ[\H[\X]\[\][HY\[ H[ܙH[HYH[H[ܙH[HX[^HX[B^\Y[\]Z] [[HۛH]BۙHYH[X]BY\H[X^H H[ M B