Expat Expectations | Living the Confused Expatriate Life

Expat Expectations
Living the Confused Expatriate Life, Part 7

By: Ms. Hala

Now halfway through my third year of living in Qatar, I’m asked over and over (and over and over), “When do you plan on going home?”
“How much longer do you think you can stay here?”
“Why are you still here?”

What if I don’t have a set time planned? What if I don’t know how much longer I’m meant to be here? What if it’s because I want to be here? What if… why? Why should I even be answering these questions?

Originally, I had planned what was expected, to work in Qatar for one year then go home. From my discussions with fellow expats, that’s the expectation for most people that take a job aboard for the first time; one year of work to make some money then take a nonstop one-way flight home. Yet I don’t recall reading that in the invisible book, “Expat Expectations”.

I’m a firm believer of, “you want and I want, but God (swt) does what He wants.”

I moved with that “expat expectations” plan in mind. There was this management position that provided an awesome apartment with a view, a top of the line car, and an unbelievable salary package waiting for me like it’s nobody’s business!

Snap! Snap!

Let me tell you, I ended up in the tiniest studio apartment with no windows, rented an ugly orange Kia Rio (it still hurts to think about that one), and was practically living out of my own pocket my first six months. I take a look back now and realize that my original plans and expectations were not realistic nor the right plans for me. God’s plans for me couldn’t have been better timed.ExpatExpectations2

I’ve come to fall in love with this country – the region really – and after the first six months of testing the waters, I signed a long term contract with my current employer. No regrets. I’m weighing my options for my next move but the fact that I don’t know what that move may be yet, is all part of the excitement, the living spontaneously, the adventure I came seeking in the first place.

I’m not saying don’t be prepared for the worst or spend haphazardly or even to not have a goal as an expat. Far from it! I’m saying one doesn’t need to abide by anyone’s own set of “expat expectations”. Live the moment on your own terms, period. I mean, if being an expat isn’t part of living on the ever expanding global horizon, what’s the point of being an expat?

Am I still a confused expat? TOTALLY! Would I have it any other way? Nope.

Snap! Snap!

6 thoughts on “Expat Expectations | Living the Confused Expatriate Life

  1. I dont believe in destiny and I dont believe in the idea that we can control our lives 100% of the time. I find that expectations (no matter the subject/scenario) almost always become an obstacle when we go beyond a goal and become attached to the expectation within.


    1. I believe in destiny as well as our choices changing it. I agree that we do not have full control of our lives but we have the choice to take charge of it.


      1. Oop, my initial reply did not come out right. I was more or less trying to say that Im in the middle on this. I “cant believe” in one or the other…only both. When it comes to expectation, it puts alot of weight on the latter and can make us mad (pointless really) at the former.


      2. Sometime it is good to have expectations, standards, etc… other times, it’s best to not have any expectations, especially when doing something as spontaneous as moving to another country.


  2. Well all that happens , happens for a reason.

    As an Expat we can always wish for the grandeur that dots this world Black Gold but then all that shines is not gold. I am basically an Indian but born and brought up in this part of the world.

    Yes! The “Expat Expectation” is a book i have not “read” yet but have been witnessing it ever since i can remember. It is indeed quiet a dazzling glitter when seen from the shores across the Atlantic/pacific/Indian ocean. The initial days/weeks/months is indeed testing but then, if you have the will and the faith in yourself then all will fall into place.

    Great Blog Hala. Loved it


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