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From the Philippines to the UAE: The Geek Chronicles

13 January, 2014 07:54  Erin Erin

Geek ChroniclesI am Gail Monique, a twenty something year old social media specialist and freelance writer. I love anything that has to do with food (cooking, eating, and more eating), rain, collecting rubber duckies (don't ask!) and taking out lines from good books, movies and lyrics. I currently live in Sharjah, an Emirate 20 minutes away from Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. .

1. Why did you move abroad?

My move abroad was a result of a healing process after I lost my father to cancer two years ago. I figured that I needed a major change in environment to deal with my grief and Abu Dhabi was my first choice because this was where I went to high school.

2. How do you make a living?
I am, by profession, a social media specialist and a web content writer. I worked at a start-up in Abu Dhabi for about a year before I had to resign because I got married and my husband took on a new job in Sharjah.

3. How often do you communicate with home and how?
I get to communicate with my mother and my sister everyday through Facebook Messenger. Sometimes we Skype or I call them by mobile phone.

4. What's your favorite thing about being an expat in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates?
Sharjah is an Emirate that is just 20 minutes away from Dubai. So we get to live the quaint city life and the bustling city life if we choose to because Dubai is nearby. The UAE is an excellent place for expats because it is a melting pot of people of different culture and the population is made up of mostly foreigners like me.

5. What’s the worst thing about being an expat in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates ?
Sharjah is one of the stricter Emirates than Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It’s smaller and more laid back than the two cities, which sometimes can be a disadvantage if you have been accustomed to the city life where everything is within reach.

6. What do you miss most?
I miss my family the most, my baby niece and nephew, driving and having all that freedom in Manila albeit the horrible traffic, food and having Asian ingredients for my cooking stocked in almost all supermarkets!

7. What did you do to meet people and integrate in your new home?
I try to socialize as much as I can. When I started blogging about living in the Emirates, I get readers from the same country as I am, also expats who are finding their way to call UAE their home. It feels great!

8. What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?

I have great respect for the fact that they pray five times a day. Although strange, I can’t help but marvel in the fact that they wake up at the crack of dawn for the first morning prayer. I think it is an excellent way to start each day.

9. What is a myth about your adopted country?
Prior to moving to Sharjah from Abu Dhabi (a two hour drive), I read up about living in Sharjah. I found forum discussions about how you should not talk to a man here because it is not allowed, fitted clothes are also not allowed and women are supposed to be accompanied by males at all times as it is a stricter Emirate. However, all of these are not true. Stricter, yes but not that strict as I have read.

10. Is the cost of living higher or lower than the last country you lived in and how has that made a difference in your life?
The cost of living in the Emirates is higher than the Philippines but if I compare rent rates  between Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, Sharjah is definitely lower when it comes to cost of living.

11. What advice would you give other expats?
I would tell them to “explore, dream, discover” just as Mark Twain said. Don’t be afraid to venture out of your comfort zone, go on an adventure and take in everything around you. It will make you feel glad that you are a live.

12. When and why did you start your blog?
Geek Chronicles
I started my blog a year ago. I’ve been a blogger for more than ten years now but this nice of Living in the Emirates is new. I started it because writing/blogging has always been therapeutic for me and it is where I get to share my adventure here in the UAE.

Blog LinkGail's blog, The Geek Chronicles

  Guide for expatriates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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