Let me be clear: I absolutely love Toronto. The people, the walkability, the abundance of coffee shops, the seasons. And not to mention, it’s where my family and friends are. I was born in Toronto, I grew up in Toronto, I went to school in Toronto, my first jobs and first loves were in Toronto.
So then why did I decide to leave and take a job 11,103km away?
I am deeply passionate about international emergency medical aid. Having worked for the same organisation in Toronto, I knew I was committed to its values of providing independent medical care to those who need it most.
The position available in Dubai as a partnerships officer offered me an opportunity to combine my passion for the organisation with the chance to work internationally, and to use my existing fundraising experiences to stretch into something new.
My then partner – now husband – is incredibly supportive and always up for an adventure. Also, he’s an emergency nurse and therefore able to work almost anywhere! Knowing that moving to Dubai could be something we did and enjoyed together made the decision that much easier.
I didn’t have a mortgage. I don’t have children. And I had always wanted to work internationally. The timing was perfect.
Dubai is an international, diverse, accessible city in the United Arab Emirates. The primary business language is English. It’s remarkably comfortable (malls, hotels, and most importantly, I can get soy milk in my coffee almost everywhere!).
Dubai gives me the opportunity to see a completely different part of the world and understand a different way of doing things. At the same time, it’s incredibly familiar – I go to the mall and I can shop at H&M and get a coffee from Tim Horton’s.
All of the elements aligned and in January 2015 I made the move. Over a year in, it’s been challenging and exciting and frustrating and wonderful all at the same time.
I look forward to sharing about what it’s like to live and work in Dubai as an expat. I hope you’ll join me as I explore and share my personal and professional ride!