Eliza: pumpkin polar bear
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Oman, etc.
Hey, everyone! My name is Eliza and I’m from the USA (Massachusetts to be a little more specific). I moved to Oman in May of 2011. Prior to that, both my husband and I worked for an airline in the states; he is a pilot and I was a flight attendant. My husband and I dated for a couple years before he decided to look for jobs internationally. He wanted to find a job with better quality of life. In February of 2011, we both flew out to Paris for his interview with Oman Air. After his interview he asked me to marry him and move to Oman with him… A lot to absorb in one night! I was a little apprehensive but I knew that I was ready for the adventure. Two weeks later we eloped in a small chapel, no family members, just the two of us. One week after we eloped, my husband headed off to Oman and 2months later, I joined him. Voila!
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I started blogging in July 2011, shortly after arriving in Oman. I started blogging to keep friends and family informed with all our new experiences. It was also my creative outlet. It allowed me to document our adventure in an artistic and pictorial way. The blog has evolved over time and much to my surprise, I’ve picked up a few new followers along the way!
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
My husband and I travel quite a bit and I’ve really enjoyed capturing all of our moments around the world. With that said, here are some blog posts from different destinations, not just Oman related.
Here are some of my favorite posts about Oman:
Tell us about the ways your new life in Oman differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
Since my life changed so fast in such a short amount of time, I experienced quite a bit of shock. I didn’t have time to fully digest everything that was happening until I arrived in Oman and had endless time on my hands as a new stay-at-home wife. Not only was I adjusting to a new country and culture, I was also adjusting to married life and learning how to cook and balance things at home. I had had a full-time job ever since I was 15 yrs old; I wasn’t used to relying on someone else. It was a huge stretch for me.
Moving to a country that is so culturally different from the USA was also a stretch. I remember food shopping at Carrefour was very overwhelming for me at first. Dealing with the large amounts of crowds and unfamiliar foods with Arabic labels, wobbly wheeled shopping carts, figuring out the foreign currency and trying to convert things into the dollar amount. I had to learn fast!
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Oman? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
Neither my husband nor I were fully prepared for what awaited us. Then again, if I had time to contemplate everything, I may have had doubts moving to the Middle East. Thankfully, I had no time for doubts and taking the leap ended up being a great decision.
One thing that both my husband and I would agree on is that we both wish we had purchased a 4-wheel drive vehicle from the start. May sound funny but it’ll get a lot of use!
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
The time I forgot to fully roll up my car windows and a sand storm rolled through shortly after. That mistake was never made again.
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Oman?
- Make friends! Nothing will help you settle in faster than a great group of people to surround yourself with. InterNations is a great start!
- Explore the great outdoors! There are so many activities and places to discover in Oman. Get yourself a 4-wheel drive vehicle and start planning your adventures!
- Make sure you have patience when adjusting to a new culture. Research as much as possible (schools, housing, dress, weather, etc). Don’t be afraid to contact people currently living in Oman to ask questions.
How is the expat community in Oman? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
I am a stay-at-home wife so I really had to try a little harder to find people to connect with. In the beginning, I was shy and introverted and didn’t put forth the effort to make any friends. Because of that, I found my adjustment period to be long and rough. My best advice to anyone would be to go out and make friends. In time, you’ll find like-minded individuals. One of my good friends in Oman (whom I found off of InterNations) happens to be a stay-at-home wife as well. She and I are the same age and our husbands are the same age … couldn’t have asked for a better match up!
How would you summarize your expat life in Oman in a single, catchy sentence?
One of my favorite quotes: "Be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become." - W. E. B. Du Bois