Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Long-haul lifestyle

So, I've been here almost two months now, and if you'll excuse the pun, it's flown by. Even though I haven't been working - although I expect to be working part-time soon - there has been so much to do. Just settling in takes a lot of effort, I think. I've certainly had my ups and my downs. I cried for a lot of the first week, with the shock of just being here and realising I wasn't just on holiday, I think - and then I just suddenly turned a corner, and began feeling better and better. It helps that I've made quite a few friends here already, and I add more every week, which is just great. I miss my friends at home, of course - but luckily with the magic of Skype I can call them for hardly anything at all. It's brilliant. I have no idea how expats coped before Skype!

Talking of which, I spoke to my husband earlier, who was in his hotel room in the USA. Several large bodies of water, many time zones and thousands of miles lie between us, but Skype made it seem like he was next door, and it was SO cheap.

We're both adjusting to the new long-haul lifestyle. Although my husband was often away when he was based in the UK, he was often just at other regional airports, and even if night-stopping abroad, rarely so far away that there was any significant jet-lag or time difference involved. Now that my husband is doing ultra-long-haul routes, it's a complete change for us both. There are pluses and minuses to both short and long-haul. The short-haul guys generally work a busier roster, but obviously generally get to sleep in their own bed more, whereas the long-haul crews are away for maybe 4 days at a time, but then spend longer periods at home in between. We've certainly seen the benefit so far of these extended periods of time together - for example my husband had a whole week off in one go last week - but it's also very hard when he's away for 4 days, and I'm still settling in to a new country with no familiar things around me.

Still, I'm coping well. I'm learning an awful lot about myself, particularly how resilient I can be if I want to be! I'm also forcing myself to get out and about and meet people, and it's really paying dividends. This morning I had coffee with a group of other expat women from all over the world, and it was fantastic. They were all really welcoming and helpful, and had all felt how I'm feeling now, so were full of empathy. There are so many lovely people in the world! We get so bogged down with negativity sometimes, it's easy to overlook that.

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