Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Aspects of Expat life

The great guys of HiFX have come up with a campaign which offers tips to people looking to move abroad. When I was approached I immediately loved the idea. I am both happy and excited to be working with them in this new campaign. You can visit their page for more information and other contributions from fellow expats at www.hifx.co.uk/resources/expat-tips/.  In my contribution I decided to start with a list of a few things that future expats may consider. Do you have what it takes to be an Expat?
Let’s find out! Being an expat is not an easy task. You have to think hard and plan ahead. There are some factors you should consider. If you have what it takes, your life will be full of surprises, challenges and adventures.
Here is a list of things that will put in perspective what life as an expat is like and will help you make a decision.

Be ready to miss Special Events: If you are thinking that you will get a flight when your best friend or family member gets married… think again! When you are living in another country and far away from your family and friends it is not going to be easy to attend these special occasions. Not because you don’t want to, sometimes it just might not be possible.  

Social Media and the Internet are your new best friends! If you are not a big fan of social media, well I suggest you reconsider it. Social media is going to be your best way of staying in touch with your family and friends. Share with them your experiences and also for you to keep up with what’s happening back home. It also works as an excellent tool to find expat groups.

Search for words like expats in (country you are going to) you can ask to join them and most of them are very friendly and willing to help you out with any kind of information. I recommend you join before going to that country as it will help you. They have gone through the same things and can lead you in the right direction.

 Language- This is your opportunity to learn a new language! Embrace it. At the beginning is going to be a little difficult but do not despair, keep moving on. I suggest that you try to learn some basics before moving, that way you won’t be so lost. Learning another language can have a positive impact on your CV. If you love languages this is your opportunity to expand your knowledge. Do not make the mistake of thinking that because English is the universal language everyone will understand what you’re saying. You are no longer in your country so not everyone will be happy to talk to you in English and some may not even understand.

When in Rome… Ever heard this saying? Make it your motto for the first few months. Become an observer and try to blend in as much as possible. Some countries are easier than others to adapt to. Be careful and always be aware of your surroundings. Become a chameleon. If you are a person who complains about everything, then maybe you should reconsider the idea of becoming an expat.  

 The eternal tourist: Do you enjoy being a tourist? Well when you are an expat you’re kind of an eternal tourist! Isn’t that amazing? Everything is new for you! Even the smallest things get you excited.  Don’t forget to explore this new place, go out and make new memories.  

 Try new things: Lose your reservations and go all out! This is a time to try things you normally won’t try at home. Don’t be shy! Especially with food! What a wonderful experience is to eat new things! Forget about searching for new recipes, you have the opportunity to learn from the locals.  If you don’t cook, then is your chance to indulge and be happy doing it.  Picky eaters can suffer in an expat life but there are always ways to find your favorite foods.  Choose your country wisely so you do not encounter too many problems in the food department.

 Fight for what you want: This point is very important. For you to be a successful expat you need to be a fighter. Do not give up when loneliness rear its ugly head. Do not consider going back because it just wasn’t what you expected. If you really want to be in that country and enjoy this new path, sometimes you have to fight for it.

I hope that you find these tips useful. I have been an expat for two years and I don’t regret it. Sure there are times I get homesick but I love my life. If you are thinking about being an expat let yourself be captivated by where you’re going it will help you ease in to your knew life to have a little crush on the country. If you want to learn more about my life you can look for me in Facebook and Twitter

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Opposites attract?

Hey everyone! I hope you had a fabulous Valentine's day yesterday. I passed the day thinking about love and relationships. I mean me and habibi have been together for two years already and we feel like it was the first day all over again. At the same time we are total opposites! I mean I am the kind of girl that likes to laugh, hyper, love food, I am totally loud in everything I do and love music! My habibi is so quiet and serious but still has a sense of humor he is the one that does things and you are not sure if he did it or not! He doesn't love music as much as I do! I mean I hear music for everything! I sing out loud and dance. I concentrate the best when I'm hearing music or background noise. My habibi is the total opposite, he likes silence and if he wants music he enjoys classical the best.

He always says to me you are so noisy! LOL I say yeah so what? He already got use to it. If I am too quiet he just goes to me and says, "You okay babe?" to what I am surprise and say "Yes, Why?" he says "Well you are so quiet today... you sure you are ok?" Isn't he a cutie? He understands me so well! Same as me I already know when instead of putting the music loud just use earplugs because he is in thinking mode!

Even in food we are different. He is the kind of healthy eater. I am the total junk food eater! I learned to make a balance with the food but not with desserts! I am a total sugar freak. I mean I can eat pizza, french fries, potato chips, nuggets, burgers and sweets every day. See a unhealthy pattern there? Habibi loves to eat veggies and fruits. He loves french fries and burgers too don't get me wrong but he prefers always healthy things. I have ruin him in a way he loves to eat desserts with me now! There is always cookies, cupcakes and anything you can imagine. I make them or he buys them for me.

My point being that I feel like we complete each other. I believe opposites attract because in a way they have things the other doesn't have. I am totally emotional for everything he is totally rational. But in a way we make it work. There is not a dull moment in our house. We laugh more than anything and we play pranks on each other. We enjoy the chance that we have. We learn from each other also. Our religions are different, our cultures are different but in all the difference we found a perfect blend.

Love is in the air! Well maybe is not! LOL My advice just enjoy life. Sometimes we focus too much in finding someone perfect and we are not going to find it. There is compromise in every relationship and the secret of success is to look at the bigger picture. Focus on the good things and not the bad things. Forgive and forget and move on. Wishing you all the best from a very rainy day here in Cairo!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Abdeen Palace Museum

This past weekend I went to Abdeen Palace Museum. It was built by Khedive Ismail to become the new official government headquarters. The construction started in 1863 and it took 10 years to be finished. It was inaugurated in 1874. Now it serves as a Museum.

The lower part of the palace was divided into five museums. The Arms Museum, Medals Museum, the Presidential Gifts Museum, The Silverware Museum and The Documents Museum. All of this are not that big and the prices are 15 LE for the entrance and 15 LE for your camera. Is open from 9am to 2:20pm from Saturday to Thursday.

The ticket place is a little tricky because it doesn't have a sign. I suggest you just go to the back entrance which is the one opened at the moment and ask there, they will redirect you. The first thing you see when you enter is this huge chandelier which is stoning! Then after passing security you get in the gardens. The gardens are beautiful but unfortunately you can't see much because is closed due to the Army closing off most of it. They will provide you with a guide once you enter the museum if you don't see anyone, don't be afraid to ask they are very polite. The tour will last about maybe two hours maximum. If you want to see the living quarters and ballrooms you need to pay 350 LE which to be honest is too much! You can see a movie of the inside of this rooms once you finished visiting this mini museums, so you can decide if is worth a try.

I enjoyed the collection of weapons. I am a little of tomboy in some of these things and I love swords, daggers and all that stuff so for me was fascinating. King Farouk the 1st was a vast collector and the museum is filled with every weapon you can imagine. He even had a dagger from the Nazis. In the document section I saw letters from Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1936 as well as a letter from Adolf Hitler. All in all it has a lot of great history. If you are a history buff and want to see some interesting weapons, documents, silverware and medals this is the place for you. Even if you don't is a good place to go and see for only 30 LE.  One of the things I really found hilarious was the Presidential Gifts you would think that country's will give meaningful gifts to one another... not! That was interesting to say the least. I would give this museum a 7 out of 10.

Here is the website of the Palace for more info. http://www.abdeenmus.gov.eg/intro.html

Here are some pictures I hope you enjoy them and go visit the palace. Thank you for reading and following me!

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