Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Living in Kuwait: How 'real' is life?

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately...a dangerous game, I know. Thinking about my job, my life here in Kuwait. I've been wondering if I have made the right decision in staying on for another year recently. I must admit, I have been a little homesick.

Maybe it is just because school has been hectic and the final push of the year is upon us. Maybe it is because those friends of mine who are still in University are all finishing up school and finals and getting ready to head back to their hometowns for the summer - and I am still here working away.

I have been thinking about how much my life would change if I were to take a job in Alberta, and bide my time waiting for a teaching position to open up that is made for me (a fantasy, I know). 

Well, in Kuwait I have certain luxuries that lead me to often ask the question: "Is my life real?" Certainly I go to work everyday, I earn a salary, I take work home, I grade papers, I create appropriate assessments for my students; BUT, my household responsibilities are significantly less than what I would have living in Canada. 

I equate living in Kuwait as something of a fantasy - the cost of living for me here is dramatically reduced thanks to an international contract. I think that it will be difficult to adjust to what is 'normal' for most people. 

Let me run it down for you: this year I have been able to afford to travel for extended periods to Thailand and Sri Lanka. I have also been able to take weekend getaways to Bahrain, Doha, and Dubai. I was able to afford to fly all the way home for Christmas. I will also be spending a month travelling to Indonesia and Australia this summer before finally making my way home to Canada for two months. Some parts of these trips have been generously paid for by others - for which I am grateful, but the majority of my travel expenses have been covered out of my own pocket. 

The memories of these trips, the delightful experiences I have been lucky enough to take part in, and the cultural enrichment that I have gained are incalculable. 

 My experience as a teacher has been wonderful here. I believe that I have grown as teacher and as a person. I don't believe that I was ever closed minded, but I do believe that living over here has really made me open my eyes and look at everything with a fresh view. 

My worldly knowledge has gained exponentially and I pay more attention to news abroad and back home than I ever have before.

I may have been able to afford some of the same experiences living and working in Alberta, but would I have taken the opportunity? Living out here has taught me one thing: take advantage of any opportunity to better yourself. Travelling is one of those opportunities.

So, while life my not be the same as in Alberta that doesn't make it any less real. I truly believe that moving across the world has made me appreciate how global society is, and how lucky I have been to experience many different cultures. 

If I am able to do so much in one year, what is possible in my second year?

I suppose this serves as my official announcement that I will be moving back to Kuwait after a summer at home. Can't wait to see what the rest of this year and next year will bring!

So, If you are considering moving to Kuwait or anywhere abroad I say: Go for it! The memories will last a life time and you will not be disappointed that you went for the opportunity!