Expat Life : Saying Goodbyes

As an expat, you are used to saying goodbyes to your friends/loved ones and welcoming new ones. While based in Dubai, we were fortunate enough to have our closest friends and family living here. So Dubai was REALLY home for us. When most of our friends relocated to new assignments, we were naturally sad but still very grateful for having spent quality time in a foreign land with our childhood friends.🙏

As an expat, you are used to saying goodbyes to your friends/loved ones and welcoming new ones. While based in Dubai, we were fortunate enough to have our closest friends and family living here. So Dubai was REALLY home for us. When most of our friends relocated to new assignments, we were naturally sad but still very grateful for having spent quality time in a foreign land with our childhood friends.🙏

Our move to Nigeria was very sudden. There was a lot of anxiety. A place so far away, new norms, culture, way of life etc etc. But once we started looking around, we found out links and connections and everything unfolded and then it was not scary anymore😊.

We were welcomed in Nigeria with open warms by the Pakistani community. People we never knew welcomed us into their homes with so much warmth and hospitality. We were really overwhelmed. The sense of loneliness and feeling lost quickly evaporated.

Its been almost a year in Nigeria and we are bidding farewell to a 4th couple since we are here. Who knows when we will meet and if we even meet in this pace of life which pulls us in different directions of the world.😕

Due to pandemic, we could not give a proper send off to these lovely couples but a social distant meet up and good wishes is all we could manage. 😷

And yes, tea was served, incase you were wondering ☕️ . I hate using this word but in it seems to have become a vital part of the vocabulary now😤.

And I Wait for my Shipment to Arrive

We have been living out of suitcases since Aug 2019. Though we have shifted to our own apartment but it is mostly empty

We have been living out of suitcases since Aug 2019. Though we have shifted to our own apartment but it is mostly empty. Meanwhile, we bought some essentials to get by until our shipment arrives, like a mattress , a three seater sofa and cooking utensils. And to be honest, it still feels like home . Which makes you realize the difference in need and want in its true sense.

So as it seems, the shipment will not reach us for another month. Apparently it is quite a tiresome process here . By the time the vessel docks and reaches you , it takes addition 3 weeks easily!! Things move a bit slow around here.

You know the best part of each relocation, at least for me is setting up the house. Filling each nook and corner with your touch and making it your own. This house is so much more spacious than our previous homes and so much brighter, so this time It will be fun to play around. I have moved three houses with the same furniture and in each house, the same stuff has looked totally different. Like seriously . I think the natural light plays a HUGE (Donald Trump style) part here . So when ever you look for your place, just do not see the layout, also check for the natural light, It does make a world of difference .

Important thing which I have learned while moving around is to keep it light. I don’t know where I will be after 5 years and what my house/apartment will be like . Invest in paintings and wall hangings if you may, at least that can go where you go but with the bulky stuff , keep it light. Not saying that you become a Japanese minimalistic but perhaps somewhere in between .

What is the single most important feature in your house ? Do share.

Welcome to Nigeria

Expat feedback on what to expect when you land in Nigeria

We have recently moved to Lagos recently and everyone we know is interested to know how is it like. Unfortunately, there is not much information on internet as you would like and whatever there is, you are better off not knowing.

I was among the fortunate ones who knew people living there and could be counted on for an honest feedback. So one thing which I was totally prepared for was the airport itself. Yes, this needs to be discussed! You need to be mentally prepared for it. The airport experience would be the worst part of your journey. The airport is dingy and gloomy. We were asked if we were carrying any new clothes??? Like is it a crime to carry them? And then they may ask for a token for their family.  It is NOT a compulsion. You can politely ignore their request or simply say next time.

Once you have left the airport, the worst part of your journey is over. The city, to be honest is cleaner than I expected and there is greenery around, so it is pretty decent. It is a big, thriving city; it took us good 45 minutes to reach hotel with no traffic. The traffic jams are legendary here, so once you come you will know what timings to avoid traffic hour etc.  

The city is expensive. I don’t think one could afford to stay in the island, (where all expats stay) and study in international schools if it is not covered by your company.  Eating at restaurants is also expensive. Just don’t think that since you are in Nigeria, things will be cheaper. Your grocery bill is going to be more because you further add duty and margins to it.

The only thing which will be cheaper and a huge blessing here is domestic help. Be prepared to become Martha Stewart in the kitchen as you will end up eventually making things you crave as they are not easily available or it is just more convenient. You will also be planning your annual shopping in your travels. So you will not only become an expert cook  but also super organized.

Now the silver lining to this, expat community is very welcoming here. These people will become your new family and you will make life long bonds with them.  The weather is pleasant all year round and there are very nice options for housing. So these friends and your home will be where you meet and entertain mostly. Haven’t explored many dining out options, but will definitely share with you when I have tried them some.

The price gap between the rich and poor will sadden you and even more so when you know it is an oil rich country with so much potential. Like any new country, it will take a while to settle. More so, because of security restrictions. But keep an open mind, have a taste of adventure , who knows you might end up liking it.