SA_Blog_Header_SAA recent phone call from a friend has the potential to turn my life as I know it upside down. This friend is planning to live and work in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, next year, and suggested that my husband Keith and I might consider moving there too. It wasn’t a formal offer, I think he was just planting the seed of an idea in our heads. To my great surprise, neither Keith or I rejected the idea outright, and in fact the more we think about it, the more the idea is starting to have great appeal. It is still just a possibility, but what is unexpected is how little daunted we are at the prospect of living on the other side of the world.

I realise that moving houses, towns and even countries is not unusual, but it is for me. Although I was born overseas (in Oxford, England) I came home to Australia before I was a year old. I’ve lived in the same town all my life. I now live less than 4 miles from the house I grew up in. I’ve lived in my current house for 22 years. Although I love to travel, and like to think I have a bit of a spirit of adventure, I always have the safety net of home and familiarity to return to. So the thought of pulling up all our roots, packing up the house and moving to a foreign country is pretty scary!

Or is it? I well remember the days when an overseas phone call was very expensive. It would be charged in 3 minute lots, so when those beeps went you would hang up, even if you were mid sentence! If you were really extravagant, or for an extra special occasion you would allow the call to go past the beeps and last a whole 6 minutes. I know there are plenty of you who remember that! Nowadays it is so easy to make cheap phone calls, or Skype or facetime that we think nothing of chatting away for hours at a time. When I was overseas with my Dad in June this year, I would “facetime” with Keith and take my iPad and show him around the places I was staying. It is getting easier to fly around the globe, and as Qantas now uses Dubai as their main hub, I expect we would get plenty of visitors. (Note to self – make sure you rent a three bedroom apartment). I know it’s a cliche but it really is a small, small world.

That we know hardly anyone in Dubai is the other part of the move that a few years ago would have worried me more than it does now. If we go, we will be getting involved in a local church in Dubai, so I’m sure we will meet lots of people.  But meanwhile, my friendships are no longer limited to the people in my neighbourhood, or even my city. Through Facebook, blogs, and email it is so much easier to keep in touch than it ever used to be. I have to confess I was never a very good letter writer – OK, I was pretty terrible! But I’m great at electronic communication! I have an online social life that I can take with me wherever I travel. I talk to my “pixie” friends every day, and I am part of a wonderful community of digi-scrappers and memory-keepers who enrich my life immeasurably. Even though I may never meet many of them face to face I consider them my friends. Through Facebook I keep track of weddings, babies, graduations and other life milestones – not to mention food! Even from Dubai I’ll know what some of you had for lunch 🙂

So, nothing has been decided, and it’s at least a year off, but the more we think about this plan, the fewer reasons we can find not to go.  We visited Dubai for 3 days a couple of years ago, and had a great time. I remember saying to people when we returned that Dubai is a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there …

Here are a few pages from the StoryBook I created after our previous visit to Dubai, to give you a little taste (click on the first image for a larger view, then scroll by clicking the arrows to see the rest)


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40 Responses to Blog: A New Adventure?

  1. Carolyn says:

    I’ve been thinking about you. What’s the verdict? Dubai or not Dubai? That is my question.

  2. Tina Bruderer says:

    Living abroad is very exciting and not easy having done this several times let me just say look at all sides a few important points to consider int shipping is a biggie -get on the expat site and ask questions about what is vital to bring personal care items are so different around the world and spices for cooking and vacation time many times are not vacations anymore you wind up visiting family. just a few thoughts. we have found its not worth taking furniture or cars expats coming and going all eager to sell their mostly new stuff to you at very good prices.

  3. Bonnie says:

    Pray about what God wants for you and you’ll get your answer. I’m sure whatever God’s answer is you’ll be blessed beyond your wildest imagination. I look forward to seeing what you get to do.
    I love your pages and I look forward to when I’m as good as you are. They were an inspiration to me. Thank you!

    • Shelley says:

      Oh, thank you Bonnie!! I am flattered.
      You are quite right about the need to pray, and that is just what we are doing. And I trust that God will lead us to where he wants us.

  4. Barbara Mitchell says:

    What an excellent opportunity Shelley! I am excited for you. God often starts a new adventure by just planting a seed. My husband and I went on a Work and Witness trip to Haiti, and I would love to do more! I would love to have the opportunity to live in another country! My prayers are with you in this decision.

  5. Caroline Mohr says:

    And WHY would you not go??? What a fabulous opportunity!
    What font did you use for the word “Spices” on the page about the spice market? Beautiful font!

    • Shelley says:

      Oh, I can think of a million reasons not to go! Leaving family & friends, and everything I’m familiar with, for a start. 🙂
      That font is called Hotel Coral Essex. It could be my favourite font ever!

  6. Mary browder says:

    I think this is so very exciting! You and Keith would have a fantastic time.

  7. junegauntley says:

    Wow, Shelley — what an opportunity! I am not one bit surprised that you are seriously considering the move….you love adventure and travel, even though you say that have lived in the same house for 22 years! What a different perspective this will be for you! I am excited for you! 🙂

  8. Deanna Emmert says:

    From all your posts and pics, I have learned that you are an adventurous person. You love travel and going places. If you have discussed, researched and answered all of the questions of financials, living in another country, “what ifs,” etc., then you pretty much know in which direction you will head. 🙂 Either way, I am pretty certain that with you, Shelley, there will always be an adventure waiting to happen and I will be blessed to hear about it and see it in photos. 🙂

  9. Suzdust says:

    If you have the opportunity – Go for it Shelley! Although I don’t remember much of it – I spent the first 4 years of my life in Japan because my parents took an overseas job. I definitely contributed to my love of travel. Oh – and what is the font you used on “The Waterfall”?

  10. Life is an amazing adventure Shelley, as you well know with all your travels! Every day is an opportunity, and it looks like you’ve got one here. What a diverse place to be in such a very interesting time. I trust you’ll know what direction to head when the time is right! I always enjoyed traveling vicariously through your photos!

  11. Brenda Franck says:

    I watched a documentary on it once and it said that it is the wealthiest city in the world, People make a lot of money but you also pay that out in rent ect. I have seen it on house hunters international also. Good luck if you do, how amazing would it be to experience a new place like that except the heat in the summer.

  12. Anita Albritton says:

    Congrats on your wonderful opportunity! There’s no doubt, Shelley, that you have an adventurous spirit! And that you and Keith share that sense of adventure is fantastic! All the best to both of you as you pray and ponder!! 🙂

  13. Tracie says:

    My sister and her family lived in Dubai and Abu Dhabi for over ten years and liked it very much. They enjoyed fellowship in their local church, too. Now they are back, living one mile from where we grew up, and I know they miss Dubai. It’s an adventure worth considering.

  14. Kathleen says:

    Shelley, Peace & joy. One of the things I have learned is to follow my heart… if I do that then no matter where I am at I am at home. I have LOVED traveling with you on your adventures, and get all excited at the prospect of following your journey of discernment and decision. *U* Kathleen

  15. Sonia says:

    We recently finished a 2 year stay in Japan for my husband’s work. Although we had never expected to live overseas, when the opportunity presented itself, we could see few reasons not to go and thought that the experience for our children would be amazing. We were right! It was a great experience. We met so many amazing people and now have friends all over the world. It also taught us so many things about how we live (in the US), and how we think about different things. Good luck with your decision!

  16. jolleyontheroad jolleyontheroad says:

    I loved making our plans to go full timing! We took two years to research and study and downsize, but now we are going on eight years on the road! I love it!! Have a great year planning and praying and making decisions!!

  17. Anne says:

    Holy Moly Shelley, that really is news! We waved goodbye to our oldest as he left for work in Abu Dhabi a couple of years ago – it seemed forever away! I have no doubt that you and Keith will make new friends – there’s a big ExPat group. In fact, I think that 80% of people working there are not native. Those pages are fantastic – have always been a favorite of mine.

  18. Carolyn says:

    This is exciting! I remember our conversation about the difference between our lives as I’ve moved around a lot as an adult and you had been in the same place. One of my high school buddies has lived in Dubai for years, so when the time comes, if you need a local connection (doesn’t sound like you do, but you never know), let me know. I’ll connect you on Facebook. 🙂

  19. Lori Bickford says:

    WOW!! What a fantastic opportunity!!! Would you both get jobs there for the year? Is the cost of living phenomenally high? That sounds so much like something I would LOVE to do!!!! Very COOL!!!!

    • Shelley says:

      Hopefully my husband will get a job, and I will be able to do pixels2Pages full time! I have NO idea about the cost of living – I think I have some research to do!! It is exciting though.

  20. carolyn18 says:

    Shelley, you are a fascinating person and such an inspiration! Good luck in whatever you decide and let us know. Carolyn
    (PS When I clicked on the pics, I only saw the last 2 + the blog title pic. )

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