It was literally hours before I was due at the airport to return to Abu Dhabi when I got the phone call to say that there was a strong possibility that we were getting transferred to another country.
Slow to invite disappointment into my life, I hesitantly asked as to where the new location might be. ‘It begins with “I” and it’s an eight hour flight from Abu Dhabi” was the response I was received, the reply obviously worded to evoke surprise. The excitement quickly grew as I entertained the possibility of the Arabian based Construction Company winning a large job in Ireland, “begins with an an i and an eight hour flight from the UAE” – it had to be Ireland. We were going home! – my prayers were answered, Arabs were going to build a series of skyscrapers in Ballincollig and work would be plentiful for the coming years. Alleluhuia or Allah Akbar –whichever, thanks to both.
Since emigrating nearly four years ago with the intention of returning after three or four years the focus has always been on coming home or at least heading back in the direction of home. Germany, France, Austria or England would have all been considered a step in the right direction but back in Ireland, this was just a dream come true!
However, on further clarification it would appear that this was not the case, the new location was not Ireland, (somehow the only direction I assumed we would travel from Abu Dhabi was back towards Ireland and never in the other direction) but alas our new home is eight hours past Abu Dhabi, INDONESIA.
It surely doesn’t bode well for a reluctant emigrant when you first have to Google where your new home is on the world map. Skimming my eyes past Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia and just before Papa New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, there is was, Indonesia, next stop Mars.
The realization slowly hit hard that instead of nearing the end of our journey abroad we were taking another giant leap further into the abyss. To describe my feelings as disappointment would be a gross understatement as the possibility of returning home seemed to be further away than ever.
I was becoming an eternal expat, having first moved to Doha in 2010, and Abu Dhabi in 2012, now 2013 and its destination, Indonesia. Without three kids in tow, this could be viewed as an adventuresome world tour however responsibility and practicality promptly quench that trickle of enthusiasm and replace all wanderlust with a daunting fear of the unknown.
The move, due to happen immediately means that there is likelihood of returning to Abu Dhabi. Having a home there full of all your personal possessions and worldly goods, doesn’t constitute a visit back in expat circles, especially when packing companies in the middle east are adept at packing up people’s homes and shipping their lives in a container to their next country of residence with more ease than others change around the furniture in the sitting room.
Little did we think when we left our home in Abu Dhabi for summer that we wouldn’t be back – ever. So no goodbyes to close acquaintances or friendly neighbours and no goodbyes to Abu Dhabi, such is the transient nature of living life on the fly.
So bye bye Abbi Dabbi, hello limbo and see you soon Indonesia.