Why you should live as an expat at least once?

Hello lovely people. Hope you all have been doing great and I hope you did not forget to love yourself today. As you all know, I have been completely detached from my blog lately because there has been a lot of work to do. Anyway I am back today with a new post which basically says that,” Why you need to be an expat at least once in your life”?

expat life
expat life

If you are a regular reader, you must be knowing that I have stayed in Dubai as an expat and it has been the most life changing experience for me. Actually, I have always stayed with my parents. Dubai was the very first time when I actually went on for staying alone and experiencing the gifts as well as harsh realities of life on my own. That is why I urge everyone to go out there and live in a different country because it is going to enhance you and make you meet yourself.

expat life
burj khalifa

So, here is what I learnt after being an expat and I feel you could learn all of that too:

  • Never underestimate the power of home cooked meals

You might have been a brat back home and would have always chosen pizza over home cooked meals but that is so going to change once you start living in a different country. You are going to crave for certain delicacies as you might not even find them in any of the hotels in a there.

expat life
home cooked hummus

I am a Gujarati and we actually survive on Dhoklas and Theplas and oh boy! I missed them when I was staying in Dubai. I actually wanted to eat those and had no place to go to eat. Also, I did not know how to cook those.

PRO TIP– If you are planning to shift anytime soon, make sure you learn a little bit of cooking as Maggi is not going to save you there.

Thus, I learnt the value of fresh and home cooked meals. That is the time I understood how I took little things for granted and how they suddenly became the big things when I did not receive them.


  • You will appreciate and respect your Family more

We all love our parents and siblings, there is no doubt about it. But sometimes we take them for granted. We might fight a lot or disrespect them. When you will move out in that strange World, all you will think about is just them. You will remember them the most and it will make you catch that flight and simply come back.

expat life
A cute cafe where I cried my hear out

PRO TIP– Well, I do not have an alternative prep to this as you are going to miss them and all you will want to do is Skype.

When that happened to me, I realized the value of having a family and I regretted all the times when I had been a complete jerk to them.  That is the time I understood the meaning of loneliness and what it could do to a person. Also, I am this person who needs her own space and time (I am still this person) but I discovered I need people too.




  • You will understand your country much better

Well, even if you love to explore new places or are in a particular country which is much better than your country, you are going to miss your own country too. It is but obvious that you are going to compare both the places and trust me you will be automatically be able to see the positives of your home country. The things that made you crib about your country are magically going to disappear.

expat life
just syncing in

PRO TIP– Do not feel guilty about the immature things that you did before.

When I moved to Dubai, I realized that it is a great place. It has some great laws and the development there is top notch yet I missed that feeling of being in my own country. I realized then that there are a lot of great things to appreciate in India as well. I still believe India needs to progress a lot on almost all levels but I do not fail to acknowledge the changes and appreciate the good points now.


  • You will realize your true potential

You are going to face a lot of different situations. New country means dealing with different nationalities, understanding their currency and also understanding the means to travel as you will have to use the public networks. And trust me it does not even end there. The whole emotional belt and tornado of emotions that you will face will amaze you with the amount of things you can take within yourself

expat life
a cute bakery that i discovered in my neighbourhood

PRO TIP– Learn about groceries, the currency and the transport network beforehand.

Well, I had figured everything out, but I was not used to buying groceries back home or managing my time there. I do not live in a metro and I had my own car. So, travelling was never a problem for me before plus the city (Vadodara, Gujarat, India) that I live in is probably the most comfortable place on the planet. I was this person who used to not like Vadodara before as I used to consider it being not happening enough but after Dubai, it is definitely the place I look forward to. From not snoozing your alarm, to catching the bus for work on time to coming back home and making sure you have all the groceries to cook your meal. Well, it was tough. I will be honest with you guys, I hated getting up in the morning. I had to pull myself up in time and I completely forgot to mention that I used to make my own lunch in the morning as well. And there have been rough days when I used to get up late and not take lunch plus miss the bus and take the cab, splurging half of my salary on it. Well, the cabs in Dubai do cost you a fortune.

But, all this paparazzi of life, did make me an adult. I understood time management (though I haven’t mastered that skill yet but let’s not get there). I learnt how to make quick nutritional recipes (well, I still got to have pizzas some days for lunch and that too on a Monday) and I also learnt to manage my finances (well, that I handle like a boss).


  • You will learn to make new friends

Living in the same city for a long time makes everything easy for you. You know a lot of people and chilling and partying never seems an issue. But shifting to a new place that too on work and not to study might make things a little difficult in the beginning.

expat life
jumeirah lake towers

PRO TIP– Break the barriers and talk to people. Always carry a smile on your face because it gives an impression of a friendly and welcoming person.

I missed my friends as soon as I landed on Dubai international airport. Well, friends are also an evident part of my life and it used to make me cringe when I thought about parties, movies and dinners. But as time passed I made a lot of friends. Some who have actually become an evident part of my life now. I also realized that people are same everywhere. It is we who judge them even before talking to them. Also, I had no idea that I could easily make friends and that people could bond with me so easily.


  • The newness gives you a different perspective

A new place means an opportunity to explore everything. From tourist destinations to the neighborhood you live in, all seems interesting in the beginning. It makes you realize that you capture such a tiny place in this World and that changes everything. From the fear of being judged to the habit of showing off and the pressure of impressing the society, all will simply vanish. You will see the World from a new perspective as you will get to meet people and interact with them. You will learn different things about different cultures and see how people live and survive. That will definitely change a lot within you.

expat life

PRO TIP– Explore everything from the first weekend itself. If you do not have enough money for certain places then go and explore the nearest park or the beach.

I did not do this and hence I missed out on seeing some places. But, for me even going and buying grocery was a very exciting activity. Checking new products and buying them gave me immense joy. Also, I could see the beauty of  the Burj Khalifa while catching the bus to work or while going to grab a bite and so I have no reason to complain at all.


Thus, these are a few things that will definitely change your perspectives towards life and hence I would urge everyone to go and stay in a different country. It is not that you will always have good experiences while you are there, but the journey as a whole will teach you a lot of things which you would not want to trade for even millions. I was a crib kid while I was living in Dubai in the beginning but now when I look back and join the dots I realize I have not only got mature, patient and tolerant but it has given me a clarity in life and made me realize my true passions and made me also meet myself. As they say, “Travel far and wide and get the chance to meet yourself”.

expat life
Arabian lamps I fell in love with

On that note, I am finishing this post here and hoping that you might think of doing this kind of a little adventure in your life too.

Let me know if you liked this blog in the comments section below and if you want me to share more stories from my experiences. Also, check more updates on my journey in Dubai on my Instagram handle here

Also check my views while I was actually living there in these two blog posts here and  here




Sanjani Shah





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