Finally leaving day was here, with the packing and goodbyes done, we made our way to Manchester Airport, after a small heart stopping moment, where my husband produced his old passport, and one very grumpy check in lady, we made our flight.

After a few years of budget airlines, made famous by orange logos and the ability to charge for everything, its fair to say that Emirates is a little bit a bliss – leg room, and ridiculous amount of films, tasty food and brilliant little stickers:

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If only every area of your lives came with the above.

Manchester – Dubai is only a 7 hour flight, but we left the UK at 10 am and landed in Dubai at 8 pm, so were too tired people as we went to pick up our bags.  I have a mild form of PTSD when it comes to Baggage collection: on my first trip alone,to India, another airline lost my bag, and it took a week for them to find it- alongside packing a change of clothes in my hand luggage, I now hold my breath while the carousel starts. Luckily, everything arrived and we made our way to the car.

The journey to the hotel felt both new and familiar, I recognised things I had seen when we were out here for the interview. We were pleasantly surprised to find out we had a suite, rather than living in one room as we looked for our own home.  I had been wondering how long it would take us to kill each other if we were cooped up in one room, and the extra space probably made sure our marriage last longer than Kim and Kris.

We slept for about 11 hours, the longest I’d slept in weeks – and spent the next day getting used to the heat.   All puns intended, we had a baptism of fire that day – we got off the metro a stop early – as we could see where we wanted to go, we risked the heat – which wasn’t the best idea we’ve ever had.  As it was Ramadan we couldn’t drink in public before sunset – by the time we’d walk the whole 500m we were drenched.

The heat. Everyone warned me about the heat and I’d prepared myself as much as was possible – but it is a different kind of heat. I’d experienced monsoon, blistering heat in the day and freezing temperature at night –  but this is different, the kind of heat where the cold tap runs warm, walks at night are still in 36 degree heat, and the pool is still warm at 7pm.

The air-con. Two extremes – to go from boiling to freezing in minutes – those first few weeks it took a while to find a happy medium between sweating and shivering.  But thank goodness for the aircon.

I’m not sure what, if anything, I’d expected from hotel living. The suite had a small kitchen area but no oven, so we survived on diet of sandwiches, noddle pots and Deliveroo, we tried to make the most of the gym but the pool was closed while we were there.  We had the Metro within walking distance.


The metro is great if you’re not sure where you’re directed a taxi too and so reasonable – the women and children only carriages are rarely full and have air-con – a world away from the London tube.  As Hywel, started work on the second day we were there I did a lot of exploring by myself.

Once we’d settled into our temporary home, the next job was finding an apartment…



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