I hardly know what to say, but my teeth are sick of the nightly clenching I give them, so say something I must.  We are about to be homeless again.  Temporarily.  We will be moving to Dubai in roughly a month.  We don’t even have a move date, but it is happening.

Chicago.  Singapore.  Dubai.


It sounds kind of fancy, maybe.  The commercial I just watched for the Intercontinental sure made travel look glamorous.  But travel for me is:

  • Food-encrusted shirts on my children.
  • Filthy pacifiers on questionable airplane carpets.
  • Wonky diapers hastily fastened in cramped airplane bathrooms.
  • Extra-large bags carried-on to hold toys my children will throw repeatedly on the floor.
  • Extra-large bags under my sleep deprived eyes.
  • Extra crabby children who just want to play, not stand in line after line.
  • Anxious hours spent worrying about whether my kiddos will throw massive tantrums on the airplane drawing the ire of all those around me.
  • Anxious minutes spent wondering what liquid created the wet spot on my kiddo’s pants, before being distracted by them screaming to stand up when the seat belt light is on.

Glamorous… it is not.  But I am happy enough.

There is something I love about being away from home, though the idea of home is getting quite fuzzy now indeed.  Both the hubs’ parents and my own have moved out of their longtime homes.  We have not lived in the same home for longer than two years since 2011.  We have only lived in our HDB here in Singapore in this location for 6 months.  The hubs has a new job, and it’s a great one, so there is no reason to say no.  My allergies seem to be better in Dubai too, so I am looking forward to adding a guinea pig to our family.  The hubs’ new company is quite generous; they will pay for 80% of my kiddo’s school fees, which would have put us in debt if we were to stay in Singapore.  School fees in Dubai seem a bit more reasonable as there are more schools there, and thereby more choice, with prices ranging from $10,000 a year to $40,000 a year (USD).  With 80% covered, we will be paying less in Dubai than we have for preschool in Singapore—approximately $9,000 (USD).

So really, there is no reason to say no.

We went there a couple weeks ago, and it feels like life anywhere else I have lived—malls, grocery stores, home life.  It is all more the same than it is different, but I live for those differences.  There is always something new to learn about around the corner.  I loved that English is the main language in Singapore, as I am able to ask friends about anything I see that I don’t understand, or ask a person nearby for ordering advice when I see a long line at a food stall.  In Dubai, with no knowledge of Arabic (yet), I am afraid that a lot of the local culture will be difficult to access.  I am looking forward to trying, as I know so little right now.

So there it is, for now.  We have no idea where we will live, we have no idea what challenges we will face, and we have no idea what form our life will take as we move forward.  What I do know, is that saying goodbye to Singapore is going to be incredibly difficult.  I’m looking forward to being on the other side of this move, hopefully by September.

Jennifer Jasensky is currently a New Jersey resident, formerly a resident of Dubai and Singapore, and a Chicagoland native. A former mathematics teacher and dancer/choreographer, she is an outgoing homebody and perpetual idealist whose love of learning knows no bounds. She hates writing bios, so that's all you get. :D

6 thoughts on “That Intercontinental Life

  1. Oh no! Just as we found your blog! (Your Mustafa map is nothing short of genius by the way. May we post a link to it from our blog? ) Good luck with your move. You sound very leveled and sane, a very far cry from me last week… I have good friends in Dubai (as I’m sure you do) who absolutely love it – I’m sure you’ll find your feet in no time.

    1. LOL, glad you liked it. You are welcome to post a link to it. My only goal was to save people from the pain I have felt there many a time… Yes, I am sure I will find quite a bit to love about Dubai. Must mourn Singapore properly though to have closure. Funny how even the things I dislike have me feeling protective over this place. :)

  2. Look at it as a great adventure! Most people would love to visit there. You have my contact info so any time you need help with Arabic let me know, I’ll be your dictionary :)

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