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To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before

You might be surprised to know that the quality of the expat experience revolves around one thing and as it turns out this one thing is the glue, the ultimate party popper, and the generator of gargantuan good times. It’s the thing that keeps us sane.

You might think it is a great job with a big salary, and that might be partly right. You also might think it’s about a great flat or villa, and of course, that doesn’t hurt either. The tasty brunches, the endless activities, the awesome travel, and the laugh track that never seems to stop.

The nucleus of expat never-never land which makes this life feel like a bowl of cherries is this — the girlfriend groups. Without the girlfriend group your kids wouldn’t have play dates, your husband’s wouldn’t have friends and your life would be just ho-hum. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the girls bringing it all together, well, we probably wouldn’t be expats.

Here’s a tribute to all my girls from Wille, Julio and me.

To all the girls I’ve loved before
Who traveled in and out my door
I’m glad you came along
I dedicate this song
To all the girls I’ve loved before

Although this may sound like we girlfriends are members of the rainbow coalition (not that there’s anything wrong with that) we are not. The relationships built around a sink or swim expat life are so important they become your life preserver. It’s like the scene from Titanic when everyone is climbing in the life boat. That’s your group. The people in the boat. These are the girls who have shared your shwarma. The girlfriend group is your free counseling sessions when everything is going wrong, they are the people you turn to when your husband’s job is really, really, getting him down and when your child’s school comes up with some really crazy rules. You sort it out with the girls.

To all the girls I once caressed
And may I say, I’ve had the best
For helping me to grow, I owe a lot, I know
To all the girls I’ve loved before

Well…maybe Willie and Julio were thinking of something else. Caressed might not be the most accurate word, but we girlfriend groups have snuggled up for lots of group pictures, squeezed together in tight LNO situations, and have been, in many ways, inseparable during this personal growth experience so much so that you begin to feel like everyone has become one. And losing a member is like losing a limb. Leaving you questioning how are we to go on without these people in our lives and what will our new life bring?

The winds of change are always blowing
And every time I tried to stay
The winds of change continued blowing
And they just carried me a way

To all the girls who shared my life
Who now are someone else’s wife
I’m glad they came along
I dedicate this song
To all the girls I’ve loved before

There is a joke the husbands share about wife sharing and expat girlfriend groups. And there is definitely a little wife sharing that goes on. Maybe not in the sordid Playboy mansion way, but in a it takes a village way. The way girlfriends step up when the husbands are traveling the world. Frequently left alone, expat wives hold down the household with the kids, the pets, and a list of obstacles that make life difficult to navigate. What to do when things seem impossible? You call the girls because our mothers, sisters, aunts and college friends are not here to help.

To all the girls who cared for me
Who filled my nights with ecstasy
They live within my heart
I’ll always be a part
Of all the girls I’ve loved before

If you can call laughing like 10 year-old girls ecstasy, then we are guilty of crimes of passion. Passionately searching for new restaurants, the hottest ladies nights with the best DJs, drinks, and incredible scenery. Scouting Arabian Nights, camel leather, smoking shisha, comparing henna, talking tailors and finding the best rugs in the country. We are a group of passionate ladies seeking the best experiences our expat life offers. And there is nobody better to share these experiences than with our girls.

The winds of change are always blowing
And every time I tried to stay
The winds of change continued blowing
And they just carried me way

And so we are told, all good things must come to an end. As the winds of expat change are always blowing and moving our loved ones away, as badly as I want them to stay, expat life carries them away.

To all the girls I’ve loved before
Who traveled in and out my door
I’m glad you came along
I dedicate this song
To all the girls I’ve loved before

Wow! That was a little sappy sad wasn’t it?!? It’s that time of year. Expat friends come and go leaving us behind with a heart full of incredible memories. So go ahead and dry your eyes and click the share button above. Like what you read? Want to know more about life in Abu Dhabi? Then sign up to receive all of my blog posts. Be a friend, be a sport, and join me for this adventure.

3 replies »

  1. So true! You are lucky to have them… I have just a few but one is already going soon… yes sad. I am constantly looking for more friends & hoping I can find more like what you have. 🙂

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  2. This is so heartwarming and sad..this is our home away from home but we don’t kmow till when and that’s the sad part but then that is the journey of life …we meet people on our way who leave back great memories. .hope wherever we move to we have a great life with family and friends.

    Like

  3. You hit the nail right on it’s sappy head with this tissues are required post…..
    The people leaving it the single hardest thing about big an expat anywhere in the world not just the UAE.
    anything over 5 years is a total bonus and with some dear friends islt can be that 2 year constant rotation.
    Tha k you so much for sharing wise one

    Like

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