The fun in being an expat child

I think one of the best decisions we made has been to move to Dubai four years ago. Growing up in a city that has so much to offer is definitely a great start in life for Little Dude. Apart from the summers being unforgiving, there's actually so much to do in this country that we don't mind. I was an expat child too, and I think I'm a better person for it. We do miss family and friends back home, and there will come to time when we have to move back, but I am glad that my son gets to be here and always have these special memories! I think kids growing up as expats here in Dubai have so many advantages because they are exposed to so many different people, experiences and cultures.

The fun in being an expat child

Here are the best things about being an expat child:

1. You have friends from all over the world

It's wonderful to be living next door to people from across the globe. We've already met people from places we've never seen, and it's good to see kids from different places playing together in the same playground. Sometimes, they end up being lifetime friends, even after moving back home.

2. You can't be picky about food

The variety of food where there are a lot of expats is really wide. It's hard for kids to be picky about food when they can have hummous, kebabs, and other delights. It's always great to try food from other countries, and especially when your friends invite you to lunch!

3. You go on a lot of plane rides

Travelling and the annual family vacation is such an inherent part of being an expat. Visiting family becomes all the more important when you only get to see them once a year, mostly during school vacations. That, coupled with other family vacations, means expat kids travel a lot!

4. You learn about other cultures

Being friends with kids from around the world also offers insights into different cultures. I think growing up in a multicultural environment makes children more open to learning and taking in new experiences. This is another important aspect of expat life, and parents should take the initiative in enabling this.

5. You value extended family

Not being around grandparents and the extended family only makes children value them more. This makes every moment spent with them more special. Nothing can really replace growing up around them, but that's something to look forward to in their home country.

I think we've been lucky to have given Little Dude these experiences, and this is something I would recommend to other parents too. If you get an opportunity to move to another country with your kids, even for a little while, take it! It may be the most memorable time of their lives.

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Katie Markey McLaughlin said...

These all make a lot of sense. I really want to ensure my son has exposure to a variety of cultures, and yet we don't live in a very multicultural area. I'm starting to brainstorm ways for him to learn about and appreciate other cultures despite our current location.

Victoria Welton said...

I think being an expat must be such an adventure - especially for small children. I guess that they must pick up some of the local language too. I sort of feel like an expat having moved to Somerset after being in Surrey for a majority of my life and Grace has started to pick up a Somerset accent! Thank you for linking to PoCoLo and for being this weeks badge feature :) x

Seychellesmama said...

Great post!!! It's all so true, expat life really has so many benefits for our kiddies :)

Merlinda Little said...

Same things that makes me feel okay that we are here. The variety of cultures here is great for my son. The exposure to different race I think will make him well rounded. And yes you value family more when you are far from them. #PoCoLo

Merlinda Little said...

Oh and congrats for being featured in #PoCoLo

Tarana said...

Katie, you should check out They have some really good ideas! I think learning about cultures is important for children.

Tarana said...

They do change a little depending on how much they are exposed to. With my son, he can recognise the Arabic script!

Tarana said...

Glad you agree, and thanks Merlinda!

Camille Griffiths said...

Great post, I like hearing the positive side of being an expat. :) What made you decide to move to Dubai, just out of curiosity?

Tarana said...

It was decided for us, really! My husband got a good job offer here, and I was planning to take a break from my job anyway.

Faded Seaside Mama said...

I can relate to some of your positives even though I'm not living an expat life - my parents live abroad, so time with them (and my sisters who also live away) becomes so precious. And there is so much value to living alongside other cultures too. Wonderful experience!

Tarana said...

Yes. definitely an experience to cherish for a lifetime!

Wildly Woolly said...

All very true! Great reminders of all the positives!

Tarana said...

Glad you agree!

Misplaced_Brit said...

I totally agree :-)
Sounds like you're loving your life in Dubai... Love every minute of it. Like you said, you never know when you might pack up and explore somewhere else!

Thanks for linking to #brilliantblogposts :-) I love your positivity!

Tarana said...

Thank you!

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