From a beach getaway to a whole new life

After years of working tirelessly and only leaving the house for a quick lunch date every two months, my boyfriend finally said the words that I had long been thinking about: “we need a vacation”.

On our third anniversary we started searching for all-inclusive hotels in Punta Cana for a week of complete relaxation. It wasn’t far from home and the prices were reasonable, so it felt like the perfect fit. About a week later, I was at my mom’s house when he called to tell me about this idea that he had. “How about we go to Dubai instead of Punta Cana? We can stay with my brother for a couple of months”. Of course my response was to be expected – “are you insane??? Isn’t Dubai like, on the other side of the planet?”

It might sound like I overreacted, but when your boyfriend tries to swap your week-long beach getaway for a glamorous two month vacation in one of the world’s richest cities, I’d say it’s normal to question it. But I went with it in the end, and I’m so happy I did. 

A few months and about 4 flights later, we landed in DXB. And that’s where my journey began – I just didn’t know it yet. 

The first month was great, we camped at the desert, swam at the beach, ate incredible food, and pretty much indulged in all of the freedom that we didn’t have back home. 

When the second month came, I decided to clean up my CV and test my luck here. Coming from a third world country, it’s only natural to look for better opportunities wherever you are. I didn’t expect much of it but I knew I had to try. 

I applied to a few jobs and two of them called back the next day. So I put on my favourite pair of heels that I (thankfully) packed and headed to Downtown for two interviews. Less than 24 hours after that, I heard back from both companies. They both wanted me. I naturally went with the best offer and signed the letter, and that’s when it hit me – I have a job in Dubai! 

Oh no. I have a job in Dubai. I’m not coming back home. God what have I done? This was the scary part. But just like I told my mom that day, I felt like my job here wasn’t done. I felt like there was more.

My family and friends were happy to hear the news. Of course they said they’d miss me, but if I had managed to find a job in a foreign country in less than a week, well that’s something worth exploring. 

That’s where it all started. As for how it’s going, it’s even better than I could’ve ever imagined. Dubai has given me so much already – amazing friends, everlasting memories, and outstanding work experience (also frizzy hair during summer but we won’t go there yet). 

Living here feels like a new beginning every day. I’m not sure what’s next in my journey, but I will say this: I’m so glad we didn’t go to Punta Cana. 

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