Georgina: Blonde In Bahrain
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Bahrain, etc.
I'm Georgina, and I'm originally from Melbourne, Australia. I came to Bahrain in 1998, and like so many other expats, find myself still here, many years later!
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I started my blog in June 2012 at the suggestion of a few close friends. My aim is to showcase all that’s gorgeous and girly in Bahrain. It's a small country, and sometimes these things are hard to find. Through Blonde in Bahrain I hope to bring a little more beauty into my readers' lives.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
My favourite posts are probably the videos created in conjunction with mybahrain.me. They are fun and funky, and show Bahrain in perfect bite-sized chunks.
I also love the posts about my shihtzu, Mai. She brings so much joy to my life, and she ensures that I never get homesick.
Tell us about the ways your new life in Bahrain differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
The pace of life in Bahrain is slower than in Melbourne. Life tends to revolve around food, family, and the mall! That's very easy to adjust to. The heat and humidity is much harder to adjust to. Walking outdoors isn't much fun, and the lack of colour in the landscape always shocks me when I return from holidays in Australia.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Bahrain? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
My employer had prepared me well, but I was expecting a much more conservative culture when I first arrived. My suitcase was full of long-sleeved tops and ankle- length skirts. Bahrain is full of fashionistas and has a sparkling social scene. If I had known this I would have allowed more space for high-heels and glamourous getup.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
Every winter, people setup huge camps in a desert area called Sakhir. The roads are very dark and it's easy to get lost driving around there at night. I was on my way to one of these camps with a girlfriend last year, and of course, we got terribly lost. So we stopped to ask a policeman for directions – two giggling blondes in a sports car. No problem, the policeman happily escorted us to our party. Some things could only happen in Bahrain!
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Bahrain?
- Bahrain is probably very different to your home country in many ways, some good, some not as good. Just enjoy the diversity.
- Don't plan on rushing off back home every chance you get. The region is very beautiful. Take the time to explore it.
- Be prepared to connect with others and get involved in activities. You'll be happier and healthier.
How is the expat community in Bahrain? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
Bahrain is mostly made up of expats, so the community is one big melting pot. It's very easy to meet people and there's someone for everyone! The hardest thing is that expats tend to be transient in nature, so friends come and go.
How would you summarize your expat life in Bahrain in a single, catchy sentence?
Feeling hot hot hot!