Oooooooookayyyyyyy. I’ve been trying to write this for too long, and it just hasn’t been coming out right. With all that’s been going on, I think I just needed to be in a better place to give an update, so here goes:
We are THIS CLOSE, SO CLOSE! to getting Matt’s residency visa (FINALLY). Once he has his, he’ll apply for the rest of ours as he is sponsoring us (sort of, I think); however, with just his we can look for a house (FINALLY). Oh yeah, that’s right, folks, we are still in a hotel. Three (plus) months in a hotel in Abu Dhabi. After one month living between our parents’ houses in the States, and two weeks before that in hotels in Sweden and Iceland. Did I mention we’re doing this with a young toddler and only two packed suitcases split to include clothes suitable for winter in the Arctic and summer in the desert?
All of that sounds really ridiculous, right? Who’s life is this, because it surely isn’t mine? This is as ridiculous as having to explain a spot on every picture from Egypt (post coming soon) because my lens might have been damaged from water or ice after getting too close to a giant waterfall in Iceland. Goodbye. Ridiculous.
I don’t want to complain about anything, but it has been very difficult to live without our dogs for so long. If we didn’t have dogs, or if they were able to be with us in a hotel here, I would just be impatient to start decorating a new house. Since we are without them going on 150+ days, I actually have a lot of complaints. I don’t know where or how, in the line of events leading up to obtaining our visas, things got so delayed…but I’d really like it to never happen again. And frankly, I’d like Matt’s company to acknowledge, apologize, and make it up to us somehow, but even asking for that seems eye-rollingly selfish and at this point I just don’t care about anything except for bringing my Pete and Piper home. So, there’s that.
However, now that we are so close to getting that magical visa that allows us to look for a home (and get our dogs back, and a whole host of other things like an address, health insurance, stability, a cell phone plan, etc.) we are finally allowing ourselves to get excited. I will admit that it is a lot of fun to look at house listings, imagine how we’re going to live, and then getting to set up a new home?! I love it and I can’t wait! It really was a contentious subject in our
home hotel room for a while there, but things are slowly getting better as there is more progress with the visa. Matt even wandered into West Elm of his own volition “just to look around”, so even he must be getting antsy for a home because this would never ever happen in any other world.
In the meantime, we’ve been trying to keep ourselves busy and entertained around town. I had mentioned in a previous post that we had moved between two hotels, and now we can add another to that list. This third one has been very nice and we have a bit of outdoor space for a bbq and grass for the toddler to toddle around on. We’ve hit up some events around town, I’ve done a few fun runs, we’ve visited beaches and pools, and of course there is always the incredible shopping here. Getting together with new friends has also been really nice. People here are so refreshing to be around after Sweden.
Matt’s company paid for a group of us to go to Cairo for our second visa run. I’m not sure why they decided to do that, but my guess is to make up for the burden of all of us having to leave each month, they just sent us on a mini-vacation to see the pyramids. It was an eye-opening, awesome trip. I honestly never thought I’d see the pyramids or visit Egypt, but there we were! Despite being a bit worried about traveling there, and with my toddler, we couldn’t say no to the entire experience. Our most recent visa run was far less eventful, just a quick pop over the border and back. We appreciate the less eventful trips just as much, haha.
What else? The weather has been getting hotter – don’t let me shock you with that one. Most days are actually glorious and beautiful, but the heat is something we’re still getting used to right. I think it’ll be easy to acclimate, but you know…anything above 100 F is just plain hot. There have been a couple of sandstorms, which are cool because they’re different for us, but can also disrupt a lot here. I worry about Matt driving to work with such little visibility, and it definitely makes for an indoor play day. Luckily, this last one cleared up quickly. After that sandstorm, the weekend had California-like weather, just so perfect! I’m afraid of the summer temps, but honestly so far so great.
There is a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks and months and I’m relieved things are finally happening. Other than being away from the dogs for a very unplanned long time, there is a lot to be grateful for right now. Like, a lot. That fact is not lost on this family, at all. We are hoping Abu Dhabi is a great place for us right now, and it already seems to be. I also hope we can share this time and place with our family and friends; we really can’t wait to get some people over here to visit!
So, there’s that. Three months of tourist-style hotel living down. It’s been awesome, but I’m ready for the real deal!