Who are you?
I’m Freddie Sayers, a 36 year old expat working in the construction industry.
Where, when and why did you move abroad?
I moved from the UK to Canada in 2001 for an internship in Edmonton, Alberta.I chose to go to Canada because my girlfriend (now wife) was in Canada. We then spent some years in Toronto. In 2007 we moved from Toronto to Muscat, Oman.
What challenges did you face during the move?
Moving to Canada was relatively easy, no culture shock or language barriers. Moving to Oman was…. interesting.
Are there many other expats in your area?
Both Canada and Oman are full of expats.
What do you like about life where you are?
I have a good job that allows me to spend time with my family. My commute is less than 10 minutes so I can get home quickly and spend time before and after work with my family. While the summers here are horribly hot, the winters more than make up for it with exceptionally good weather.
What do you dislike about your expat life?
In Oman, you have few rights, and if you are told you’re leaving… you’re leaving. Friends come and go, it can be very hard when long-term friends leave.
What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?
True freedoms – you’re only here as long as your visa allows you to be here – you can’t purchase a home here unless it’s in very expensive specially assigned areas and so really it’s a transient lifestyle.
What do you think of the food and drink in your new country? What are your particular likes or dislikes?
It’s my opinion that the food and drink here is pretty much international and you can eat and drink pretty much whatever you like. As for traditional Omani fare… I find it bland and it’s not my favourite. Indian food here is varied and amazing!
What have you learned from living abroad?
You get what you pay for, long-haul flights are horrible, true friends stay in touch and people who don’t travel sometimes do not comprehend having a different point of view on something.
What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?
When you close your door of your home, make it your home. Paint the walls, buy some artwork and hang it. It’s too easy to live in a white-walled place because “you are renting”. Make it your home – it’ll make a difference.
What are your plans for the future?
Keep working at my job and saving money for a house in Canada.
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