It’s been about 3 weeks since we left Kuwait.
Our trip home was surprisingly easy considering we had 13 bags, 3 carry ons, two car seats, two kids, two of us, and one large dog. In fact, I can’t remember a smoother time. Before we got on the plane that day I started getting a massive headache, the kind you KNOW is going to make life harder. By the time I was waiting at the gate for the first plane my head hurt so bad I couldn’t see straight and just wanted to cry. I hadn’t realized through all the shuffle, that it was a full on migraine. I was waiting on the sweet release of death or the Excedrin to take effect, whichever came first.
My husband had taken over the kid duty (bless him) so I could sit with my head balanced in my hands. Tears started leaking and I knew it wasn’t just because of the headache. I was leaving my home of over 3 years. I would never see this place again. I would never eat at our favorite restaurants; tour the Avenues on a lazy Saturday with our best friends. I would never watch Zaid, Zane, and Cruze play at the park. I never even got to say goodbye to some of my friends, which really hurt. Luckily one of them visits Savannah often! As we waited for take off the plane turned and through all the windows my husband and I spotted his plane, the Kuwaiti Air Force C-17 outside in all its glory. That moment was so symbolic for us both. As the plane took off I watched Kuwait get smaller and my head suddenly just eased. I started crying uncontrollably. I cried for Kuwait, my friendships, and the memories.( Mostly I cried because of the euphoric feeling finally happening with my headache easing.)
It definitely helped being in business class when flying. The kids had their own seats and even though the planes were old ( my husband works with planes, we notice all this stuff), we were happy to have adjustable seats. Of course, Etihad would have been way better…you know, with a bar in the front! We had a long layover in Germany so we classed up the Business Lounge with our rowdiness and even had a beer at 10am. We took the kids to the play area in the airport, did a little shopping and then re-boarded another long flight to Orlando.
Orlando was a little bit trickier. When you pick up your bags, there are no trolleys, people to help, or general concern over your problems of too much shit. You also get to pick up your bags at customs then turn them over again to pick them up elsewhere. Baggage claim twice, just what everyone hopes for! As you can imagine, this was a clusterf!$*k. After 26 hours of traveling, you have had just about enough and hope the airport hears you when you scream out how ridiculous this process is.
I’m so glad it’s all over now; with the exception of the unpacking I still need to do. I’m glad to be here. I am glad for the new experience of living in Florida. The weather is just gorgeous, the pool is being put in the backyard, the beach is just a two-minute walk down the street. We’ve started integrating ourselves in this sweet little beach town and I can’t think of anywhere else I’d want to live. We’ve really hit the ground running with getting our businesses going. We even house hunted: A LOT. We have our eyes set on a little place with great beach views for our first project, and hoping it will work out. I’m ready to play “Chip and Jo” on it!
There have been a few nights where I have this solid knot in my chest. For instance, last night I all the sudden had this strong urge to go to the Avenues and have a Starbucks with the Al Qahtanis. It was such an emotional feeling. I guess its normal to long for parts of the past and slowly it will hurt a little less.
I have to say; when I think about the endless days I was stuck in the house in Kuwait with no access to the sunlight, no human interaction until later in the day, I have no regrets about moving home. Right now, I’m sitting at my desk, the window open, the sunlight streaming through, the coffee brewing, and there is bacon in the fridge. I longed for these days not so long ago. Every day I walk outside. I don’t even mind taking out the trash just to get a bit of sunlight. Last weekend we took some time to relax on the beach. There in that moment, I felt so incredibly happy. I can even see with the adjustments we’ve had to make, that my husband is so much happier. His drive to work is 70 miles each way and that’s been hard to adjust to (he has to get up at 4am to make it to work on time), but he gets home with a smile on his face. The kids have become so attached to Gramma, working from home probably has become more difficult for her. They stand at her office door with their noses pressed up against it asking “Play? Play?” Zane has started talking full force. Last night he tried saying the nightly prayer Cruze says, and I just melted the way a mom does in those precious moments. As a family we take golf cart rides around town, cook dinner together, and drink wine on the porch. We go to bed early and rise early. We hardly ever watch TV. ( I have no idea what’s happening in Bravo world or Greys!) We attend the cute little Friday night fun in the park on Flagler, and we grocery shop all together at Target. It’s everything I wanted and more.
Kuwait was the most amazing experience. Being an expat in a different country changes you completely. I still say “Yalla” and “Inshallah” on the regular. I still think about Kuwait everyday. I just read the Expat mums Facebook page. I officially deleted my Talabat app which was terrible, especially since I know that PF changes is now delivering… I will forever be grateful to the Moms in Kuwait for making my blog reach its highest viewership, and I miss our friends desperately. I don’t think our crazy traveling will end and my blog certainly wont either. We plan to visit Chile next year hopefully (here we come Sheas!) and I hope to spend Christmas in Italy again at some point. Also, we desperately miss Ireland. I could really go for some fish n chips and a Guinness and its only 9am…
Here’s some photos of our travels home and what we’ve been up to…