Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Getting started

My name is Kate and I am a program administrator for a new venture in Abu Dhabi. I grew up in the Untied States in the state of North Carolina and moved to the Northeast after college for my first job. I studied aboard and traveled multiple places including Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Until recently I worked in the supply chain field as a partner manager with a major company in Brazil.

On May 31st, 2010 I flew out of JFK to embark on new journey to the Middle East.

Prior to my departure, my knowledge of the area was minimal. I could locate the UAE on a map. I knew the temperature ranged from hot to hotter. I knew the people, clothes, and culture would be vastly different to anything I’ve been exposed to in the past. I knew even less about exactly what my job entail when I arrived.

What I did know was that I was ready for something a little adventure. Everything else could be figured out as I go. Saying goodbye to my family and friends is always hard. The comfort of a Sunday afternoon brunch, a mother’s embrace, tailgating till 4AM, a grandmother’s stories, and a pulled pork sandwich was predictably hard to leave. What was unexpected was that I had to leave new friends and possible opportunities behind in order to take this one. I ha to come to terms with the fact I would be missing a lot in my friends and families lives to take on this new challenge. My only solace was the multiple hugs and going away parties I had prior to leaving. I would advise anyone leaving for more than a couple of months to have at least one get to together.

What also helped the transition was the fact I had moved to a new phase of traveling. Gone are the days of 26 hours bus rides and shady hostel lodgings. It’s business class from now on for this trip. I have to say the nice thing about drinking the corporate “Koolaid” is you no longer have to deal with a inconsiderate snoring roommate for the sake of gaining experience.

Let’s cross our fingers on the first leg of our trip! Wish me luck!

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