Who are you?
My name is Karen Wilmot aka The Virtual Midwife
Where, when and why did you move abroad?
I have travelled and lived abroad most of my adult life.I left South Africa in 1991 for the first time and have just returned. In between these years I have sailed across the atlantic, worked in Mexico and most of my expat life was spent in Muscat Oman where I worked as a midwife and then set up a private practice which morphed into an online venture to support pregnant expats around the world and specifically in remote regions.
What challenges did you face during the move?
I always have a big slump when I land in a new place and need to literally find my feet. I like to immerse myself in the culture and the people and love spending time in coffee shops people watching. This helps me to settle in and gives me great insight into the country, culture and also the expat community.
How did you find somewhere to live?
I use social media mostly – getting referrrals from others about best places to be and then contact local rental agents as well as notice boards in shopping areas.
Are there many other expats in your area?
When I lived in Oman there were many expats.
What is your relationship like with the locals?
Fantastic. Its part of the reason I love travelling and working abroad is to get a deeper insight into local culture and lifestyle.
What do you like about life where you are?
Being from South Africa, I loved the safety and the cheap petrol. I also loved the beauty of the landscape and the proxinity to travel pretty much anywhere.
What do you dislike about your expat life?
Being far from family and friends and missing out on stuff happening back “home”.
What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?
The inability to say no (saying yes when the answer is no) can be very frustrating.
What do you think of the food and drink in your new country? What are your particular likes or dislikes?
I love all food and love arabic style food – hummus and dips. I dont particularly like it when I am invited over for a full goat. But I manage. And it is surprisingly tasty.
What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?
Stay open minded – leave your ego and your presumptions at home.
What are your plans for the future?
I hope to always be able to travel and work abroad. I am trying to find a place that I would like to stay a little longer and set up more of a home base but still not sure where that is yet. I am striving to make my lifestyle adaptable and portable by working mostly online, travelling to offer workshops as well as my book Giving Birth Abroad – The Essential Guide For Expats Expecting on Amazon.
You can keep up to date with Karen's adventures on her website, The Virtual Midwife.
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