Tag Archives: Expat

The one comparing expat Dubai vs. Perth

I hesitated using the “vs.” in the title of this post because I don’t want to make it sound like these two fine cities are competing (in this case, for the affection of the expat Blantons)…because in my mind, they are not. There is no “winner” or “loser” in this little post/exercise, but rather just something I’ve been ruminating over for a few months now. I don’t know how many people make this jump from one of these cities to another, but as a summation of the two, I thought it would be an interesting view. So without further ado….

  • Dubai
    • Significant and established expat community: Only 10% of the population in the UAE is Emirati, leaving 90% to the expats (and Americans are few and far between).
    • Cultural diversity: Dubai is the biggest melting pot of cultures that I have ever had to privilege to experience. The vast number of different languages, religions, foods, home cities, and traditions in this city is mind boggling and humbling. I loved that aspect. The downside to this, however, would be that there are some significant communication barriers that ensue. If you’ve ever had to direct a cabbie around or ordered takeout in Dubai, you know what I am talking about.
    • Muslim country: Islam is the official religion of the UAE and the religion permeates into the civic laws and practices. While I didn’t have to cover my hair, there are certain rules citizens must abide by and of which to be cognizant.
    • Haves” and “have nots“: I have never before seen more wealth displayed by material objects than I did in Dubai (cars, villas and apartments, jewelry, clothes, shoes, food, etc). I have also never before seen such a marked discrepancy between the rich and the poor. Dubai was (and still is) being built upon the backs of tens of thousands of laborers, who work all hours in the heat for very little pay.
    • The lack of seasonality: The best way to describe the “seasons” of Dubai are hot, hotter, and “don’t go outside or you’ll melt”.
    • Ease of travel: I forgot the exact stat, but there is a ridiculous percentage of the world’s population that lives within an 8 hour flight of Dubai – that, coupled with the fact that DXB is the Emirates airline hub, means that there is continual easy, quick, and lovely travel all within a quick (single) flight.
    • Hotel and restaurant scene: I love Charlotte, NC, Houston, TX, Louisville, KY and yes, even Durham, NC, but I wouldn’t say that any of these cities are hugely “trendy”; if a hot new hotel or restaurant opens in the states, it typically is in LA or NYC. Globally, you could probably include London and Dubai to that list. And even though I am the furthest thing from trendy, it was fun to go to a new restaurant or hot spot in Dubai that could only boast other locations in London, LA, NYC, etc.

  • Perth
    • Western similarities: I did love the cultural diversity in Dubai, but it was nice to move to a city where English was most everyone’s first language, we could easily find a church to attend (note: there are churches in Dubai!!! We were never religiously persecuted, but Protestant churches in Dubai were few and far between, that’s all), we could hold hands in public, and I could purchase wine with ease.
    • Aussie slang: This is a positive and a negative. On the plus side, I’ve loved learning that while Australians do speak English, they have their own twist with different words and phrases that are completely uniquely Australian – it’s fun! On the (kinda) downside, initially I did have trouble understanding certain faster clipped accents or aforementioned terms. Not really a “downside” I suppose – it’s all part of the adventure 🙂
    • Wine and coffee: The wine and coffee in Perth (and basically Australia at large, from what I have experienced) are heads and shoulders above anything I’ve ever had before – perfection.
    • Isolated: I’ve written to this point before, but it can’t be overstated enough (especially if you’re considering a move to Perth), the city is isolated. There are some great spots within driving distance and Bali is only a 4 hour flight (not to mention all the smaller perhaps less well known WA locales that are within a faster flight such as the Kimberley’s, Exmouth, Albany), but even getting to the east coast of Australia is a long(ish) flight – not just a hop, skip and a jump to be sure. You’ve just got to be ready for long flights (but the perk of that is racking up those frequent flyer miles!)
    • Weather changes: Our first few weeks here gave me a bit of a pause when I thought about my prayers for rain in Dubai because it felt that all we had in terms of weather was rain, rain, and more rain. A friend (and fellow expat) asked the question of “Do we live in Perth or Seattle?” Completely valid query. That being said, the temperatures were mild (for winter!) and we did get some sunny days. And then once winter started to wrap up and spring began, you’d be crazy to complain. The season changes are more subtle than I experienced in the states, but it exists, and for the most part, the weather here that Ive seen is excellent.
    • Gorgeous natural green spaces, walking paths, and waterfronts: Dubai had a handful of green spaces and waterfronts, but most were completely manmade. Perth has some of the loveliest parks, hiking trails, vineyards, lakes, riverside running paths, and beaches (no artificial islands in sight).
Image via Emirates

Image via Emirates

  • Dubai and Perth
    • Expensive: Dubai and Perth are pricey. Period. End of subject. Groceries, rent, cars, eating out. That being said, Dubai’s taxis and petrol are super cheap!
    • Beaches: Ask me if I would choose between the beach and the mountains and Ill choose the beach every single time. Dubai and Perth have fabulous, free beaches in abundance. I will really miss living within either walking distance or a ten minute drive when we eventually head back to the states.
    • Safety: While I didn’t ever feel that Charlotte was “dangerous”, Perth and Dubai are exceedingly safe cities. Of course one always has to be aware of their surroundings and the neighborhood (and not be unnecessarily reckless), but the crime rates in Dubai and Perth is minute and that helped me rest easy.
    • Fabulous local/drivable opportunities: We have been blessed to do a lot of local travel near to Perth (Margaret River, Swan Valley, Lancelin Beach) and Dubai (Fujairah, Abu Dhabi, camel riding in the desert) – these quick weekend or day road trips have been some of our favorites.
    • Dream fulfilling: This is a bit of a personal one (and cheesy), but as our time abroad draws to a close, I can’t help but reflect on these last 18 months as some of the most fulfilling, fun, and humbling of my life. There have been ups and downs (nothing is perfect, y’all!), but Barr and I have wanderlust and have a tendency for itchy feet and choosing the “harder” path sometimes, and our times in Perth and Dubai have filled our desire to live abroad and be citizens of the world to a “t”.
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The one with the Perth International (and another move…)

If there are two things Barr and I have extensive experience in it’s:

  1. Clearing our weekends to attend (or just watch) golf tournaments
  2. Moving

We’re exciting people. Clearly. But the two aforemetioned items were a major part of our weekend last week (aside from Halloween partying of course).

First up: a  new house in Perth. To give you some background, we initially moved to Perth thinking we’d be here for three months, return to Dubai in August, and back to the states in September or so. Well, life takes funny and unanticipated turns, and after a whirlwind trip back to Dubai in August (where we packed, cleared out furniture, and officially left the UAE), our time in Australia was lengthened from 3 months to more like 9. Unfortunately, our lovely AirBnB case in South Perth was only ours until the end of October, when it’s owners returned from a 6 month trip, so when we decided to stay in Perth through the end of 2014, we subsequently had to scramble to find accommodation for 3 more months. And while we’d have loved to rack up some much needed hotel points, the hotel situation in Perth is a bit…shall we say, lacking, so back to the housing drawing board. Nothing on AirBnB really fit the bill (or timeframe) this time around, so we found a perfectly adequate townhouse for the next few weeks. And while it’s a tad “tired”, what it lacks in homeyness, it makes up for in location and the fact that it has a DRYER. Y’all, I have been without a clothes dryer since we moved to Dubai, and boy, do you not fully appreciate one until it’s gone!! (Side note: I also miss garbage disposals. Desperately.)

Anyway, last week (and weekend) was full of packing up clothes, deciding what would be sent back to the states vs. staying with us, organizing a new house, etc etc. Each move gets a little easier as we continue to whittle down our belongings…the Blantons officially have “stuff” scattered across the world (thank you to our parents who generously house said items until we return…)

After this lovely transition (I am soooo good with change *sarcasm*), we decided to hop on over to the Perth International golf tournament (co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia), which was right up the road from us. The week before, Barr actually ran into Jason Dufner (an American PGA Tour professional) who played in the tournament, on a flight from Sydney to Perth. Unfortunately, Dufner didn’t play too well, but there were a handful of notable players in the field at the Perth International (and some perhaps lesser known European Tour players that we had enjoyed watching at the Dubai Desert Classic and the Race to Dubai).

Race to Dubai

Dubai Desert Classic

Dubai Desert Classic

The Perth International was a great little afternoon activity, and I do love the smaller galleries and more manageable crowds/lines at the European Tour events! And no matter what, you always see a handful of little kids dressed in their orange Puma gear as little Rickie Fowler’s. 😉

Congratulations to Thorbjørn Olesen on winning the 2014 Perth International, and enjoy some shots I grabbed this past Sunday at the tournament. Until next time….

Nice little Perth/Emirates combo - we cover all the bases, y'all! :)

Nice little Perth/Emirates combo – we cover all the bases, y’all! 🙂

You can (kind of) see Perth CBD peeking out in the distance.

You can (kind of) see Perth CBD peeking out in the distance.

Peter Uihlein (U-S-A!) hitting one of his many tricky shots of the day

Peter Uihlein (U-S-A!) hitting one of his many tricky shots of the day

The Perth International

The Perth International

 

The one where I picked strawberries in October

Words I never thought I’d say (or type), and yet here we are. After seeing innumerable pictures of folks back in the states picking out that perfect pumpkin, decked out in their fall finest, set against a backdrop of crisp autumn weather and falling leaves, I decided something must be done: I could pine for pumpkins, college football, puffy vests and boots, and the changing leaves of North Carolina or I could make my own fruit picking adventure. (Spoiler alert: I ultimately chose the latter.)

Sad but true

I mean obviously I came to Australia knowing that their seasons were opposite from those in the Northern Hemisphere, but it’s a really odd thing to wrap your head around when you have forever been programmed to associate certain weather/clothes/activities/holidays/food, etc with seasons and months and then it’s all turned on its head. Even Dubai would “cool off” a bit as October, November, December approached. And while I certainly am not complaining about the burgeoning spring and summer weather here in Perth, one can’t help but feel a tug of nostalgia.

But I digress.

So given that pumpkins are a fall harvest food, Perth isn’t exactly a hub of pumpkin patches in the middle of October (spring to them). (Side note: they do sell imported pumpkins in the grocery stores for wistful expat suckers like me…just with a hefty price tag.) So given that it’s spring here, WA does have strawberry picking in full bloom – a good substitute in my opinion!

strawberrypickingperth3

My fellow expat blogger friend, Becca, had gone to a strawberry patch the week prior and returned with a huge haul of gorgeous berries…as many as you could pick and carry for $10! (The price is a key point here given this – a small carton of strawberries in the store here will set you back at least $6).

I was curious as to why the farm/patch (?) would let ordinary folks pay such a reasonable price to pick their own berries when they could sell them at a “better” price to local grocery stores. So after a bit of research, it turns out that these plants have reached the end of their commercial life, meaning that the strawberries are “too red” to be sold to the groceries – the stores need the berries to be less ripe (green) to increase shelf life. Bonus: if you go berry picking, you’re (in theory) getting the strawberries at their peak!

The strawberry plants went on and on and onAshlie, Keller, and I were game. Maybe we wouldn’t get a jack-o-lantern out of the deal, but we could pop over there in our t-shirts and shorts (don’t forget the bug spray and “sun cream”!) and make ourselves some strawberry shortcake in no time. We opted to split a tray and got to work…little K had a great time picking out the strawberries with us. 🙂

Nice little morning picking berries

Nice little morning picking berries

Fresh from the vine

Fresh from the vine

Our haul by the end of the morning - almost too many!

Our haul by the end of the morning – almost too many! (And please forgive K’s cap…) 😉

Cheap labor

Cheap labor

As you can see, we walked away with an impressive stash of strawberries. I can’t imagine having my own box of them!

Washed and ready for eating

Washed and ready for eating

If you’re in the Perth area, the patch we visited was at 263 Old West Road in Bullsbrook, WA, which was about 30-45 minutes outside of the CBD. You can just park on the verge and it’s open 7 days a week from 9AM-5PM until mid-December.

In the meantime, Ill be in the kitchen dicing, freezing, cooking, and baking strawberries – it may not be a jack-o-lantern, but having spring in October isn’t a bad deal 🙂 Until next time…

11 Things You Should Know About the Middle East {Dubai}

Someone passed this link along to Barr, and it gave us both some extreme Dubai flashbacks. I’m still putting together my Dubai vs. Perth Venn Diagram (yes, a Venn Diagram) and these little memes definitely hit close to home…particularly the “Inshallah” (God Willing) one below:

Image via ScoopEmpire

Honestly, anytime you’d order takeaway and ask for a time estimate for delivery, you’d hear “30 minutes, Inshallah“. A cab ride: “It should be about 10 minute drive, Inshallah“. Waiting in a government line: “You’ll be seen today, Inshallah.” A repair man coming to fix something at your flat: “We’ll be there this afternoon, Inshallah.”

You get the idea.

I jest, but ask pretty much anyone, and I think they’ll tell you I actually use Inshallah in my vernacular on a regular basis, so go figure…

These humorous little tidbits are not to say that I don’t miss Dubai – there are plenty of things that I miss big time (our friends, the hot weather, the shopping, the Arabic culture, etc).

Furthermore (and don’t worry, I won’t get too political on this point), I am doubly proud of the role the UAE is playing on a global level with regards to fighting terrorism and specifically ISIS.

So Dubai peeps: thoughts on the link above…and has anyone ever used one of those shattafas in the bathrooms? Alarming! 😉 Happy Monday all and until next time..

The one about the re-entry blues

Have you ever returned home from a vacation and felt a little blue? The worst, huh? Well, coming back “home”, which is thousands of miles away from a majority of your friends and family, is doubly challenging, let me tell you. And maybe it’s just {partly} the jet lag talking 😉 Lack of sleep will do that to you, too!

Coming and going can be tough both physically and mentally, but getting back to a routine is key – and as my mother has always sagely told me, “You have to make yourself happy.” 🙂 This is all to say that I am of course happy – just getting back into the swing of things after a fun vacation or trip is always tricky.

So how can you cope with these so called re-entry blues? Here are some of my thoughts..

  • Stay busy! When you’re days are full, you don’t have time to miss family, friends, and hubby (at work) – head to the gym or go for a walk, grab a coffee (or glass of vino) with a friend you haven’t caught up with in awhile, explore your city (I, for instance, want to visit a new (for me) beach here in Perth
  • Unpack, clean, and de-clutter! Take a page out of Karen Simpson’s book and don’t be idle. Barr doesn’t like to unpack until about two weeks after returning from a trip, so I take it upon myself to unpack and reorganize (not such a sacrifice since I’m an organizer at heart). Also, after a few days/weeks away, cleaning up your home can be necessary and therapeutic.
  • Volunteer and count those blessings! Doing something for others can help you really put things in perspective. Sure, I miss my family and friends back in the states/Dubai, but heck, we live in Australia – who am I to complain? (Along those same lines, particularly when I can’t sleep due to jet lag, I remember a song from one of my favorite movies, White Christmas – just “…count your blessings instead of sheep…” That Bing Crosby really knows his stuff.)

  • Develop a new skill! Remember my knitting class? Well, I’m planning to sign up for another – with so many friends having bambinos, I want to make some baby blankies 🙂

So there you have it. Remember that you have to be able to make you happy – returning from a fun trip isn’t always easy, but staying busy is key. Until next time…

 

 

The one about the Commonwealth Games

Do you love the Olympics? Waiting every four years for those great athletes, obscure (and not so obscure) sporting events, and of course, the glory of your country?

Well, if you live in a country that is a member of part of the [British] Commonwealth, dont give it a second thought because you have access to cheer for your country in the Commonwealth Games!

The 2014 games are being held in Glasgow, Scotland (image via Wikipedia)

Coverage of the 2014 Commonwealth Games has taken over Australian news as of late – I get to get my fill of netball, lawn bowling (!), badminton, and field hockey (in addition to your more high profile swimming, track and field, and gymnastics).

The games are attended by athletes from the 53 Commonwealth Nations (including Australia, duh) – and each of the four nations from the UK (Wales, England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland) participate under their own flag – all countries that are invited are part of the British Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Nations is comprised of 2.2billion people – that’s over 1/3 of the global population! 

(Side note: I def remember hearing about the games during our time in Canada, another Commonwealth nation).

Oh Canada!

The Commonwealth Games are held every four years in a Commonwealth Nation (this year is Glasgow and in 2018 it will be held in Gold Coast, Australia). Also, Australia continues to dominant medal count….these athletic Aussies! 🙂

The Australian 2014 Commonwealth Games uniforms – there was a lot of chatter about how bad these outfits are. I will withhold my opinion…

All time Commonwealth Games medal table as of 2014 (via Wikipedia)

All time Commonwealth Games medal table as of 2014 (via Wikipedia)

And now for your viewing pleasure, the impetus for this post: the hilarious John Oliver on the Commonwealth Games in a segment entitled “How is that still a thing?” Commonwealth-ers: hopefully you can laugh at this one 😉 In the meantime, go sports and go Australia as the games continue through August 3 (and if youre not into sports, Kate Middleton & Co will be spectating on Monday and Tuesday – if that isnt good enough reason to watch the Commonwealth Games, I dont know what is!) Until next time…

The [Expat] Adventure Continues

Many of our friends and all of our family (and Barr and I ourselves) have been waiting to get the word on the length of our expat status. The original plan was to return to the states in September..from Dubai. Obviously things change!

"A nomad I will remain for life, in love with distant and uncharted places"

“A nomad I will remain for life, in love with distant and uncharted places”

As it stands, we will be here in Perth a little bit longer than September: we will be expats here now through December, returning to Charlotte by the end of the year…not what we thought would be the case, but knew that it could be a possibility.

Two of my loves back in the states: Dash and my mom :)

Two of my loves back in the states: Dash and my mom 🙂

While we miss our friends, family, America, and our course Dash (!) more than a blog post could ever possibly convey, we feel blessed to be given the opportunity to live abroad and travel to new places (we have a few still on our list before we return to the states). And are, of course, pumped to stay in Australia through their spring/start of summer seasons!

If this is Perth's winter, we're definitely looking forward to a spectacular spring!

If this is Perth’s winter, we’re definitely looking forward to a spectacular spring!

Friends and family: come visit! Our door is always open. Cheers to new adventures in Perth and beyond and to our return to North Carolina in December! Until next time…

Adventures of an Expat: Making Friends as an Adult

Having grown up as an “expat brat”, it’s been interesting transitioning to “expat wife” – a lot of the situations I’ve encountered in my adult expat life are merely reenactments of similar situations that my mother went through during our time in Calgary and Singapore. Chief among these is learning (relearning?) how to make friends…and making friends as an adult is definitely a different experience than that of a student/child. Obviously making friends as an adult is not an exclusively expat experience/skill (side note, please google “how to make friends as an adult”, and don’t mix it up and accidentally google “how to make adult friends”…probably not what you’re looking for…), but expats are absolutely thrown into the deep-end, and many times it’s sink or swim.

This is 100% how awkward I am. All. The. Time.

Bottom line: making friends as an adult can be hard. And awkward.

Disclaimer: Being a parent can sometimes make making new friends as an adult much easier – you have a common ground with that kiddo – whereas I would just be that creepy 27 year old, sans child, at the playground. 😉 This is not a “woe is me” post though! I’m just saying to all you mamas out there, use that bambino to your advantage! There are plenty of mom groups, especially in expat groups abroad, and that’s a great outlet for entertainment for children and parents alike. (That being said, the American Women’s Club of Perth has a moms group, and they couldnt be more welcoming to even the childless! Though I consider our dog my child, but whatever.)

Yall – in college (and as a child, as Jerry Seinfeld in the above video can attest) it was SO easy, right?? You live in a dorm with tons of other people your age, you’re trapped on a campus together literally 24/7, and despite my lamentations to the contrary at the time, you have more free time than you know what to do with. I also find that as an adult, I’ve become much more introverted and, well, lame – I like to watch Netflix (or Masterchef) and have a nice glass of vino on my couch – not exactly conducive to socializing/friend-making (I did tell you that I’m an introvert at heart, didn’t I?) 

Probably not the best route…

Making friends as an adult truly is like dating all over again: you’ve got to make the effort, and yes, sometimes it’s awkward, doesn’t work out, isnt a good fit. That’s okay…I like to think that’s natural.

That being said, you have to be willing to put yourself out there and try something new or out of your comfort zone. For example, I went to a bloggers seminar a few weeks ago and met two really great women with whom I keep in touch with on a regular basis.  My mom took up bridge when we lived abroad growing up, and while maybe she’s not besties with everyone she played with, she met a good network of people and learned something new that she still uses today. These kinds of things also give you a common ground with other adults – it’s not a forced situation.

Yeah…there’s that awkward bit again…

But I think the most important aspect of making friends as an adult is that you should always try to remember how you felt trying to foster new friendships/acquaintances and warmly welcome new people, really making that effort – it comes backs to you tenfold. There’s a super-expat (looking into trademarking this term…) here in Perth who is quite possibly one of the warmest women I’ve met, always checking in with new expats, organizing fun events; she’s very inclusive and bubbly – that personality and those traits have stuck with me, and I hope to effuse that same energy when I meet and make new friends as well. That’s the golden rule for ya, huh? Expat or not. 

There you have it…some deep thoughts for your reading pleasure! 🙂 Until next time…

Uniquely Australian – Same, Same but Different

How you going?

A different greeting for me, huh? Well that is one that you will hear everywhere in Perth (and Australia – I definitely heard it at the Melbourne and Sydney airports!) A typical Aussie hello.

Now, I do not presume to know everything about Perth/Australia in general – actually, far from it; however, in the short time that I have been here, I have noticed more and more things (restaurants and shops mostly) that look and seem familiar to that which one may find in the states, but upon further inspection, something is…well, uniquely Australian.

I bring you Exhibit A – a picture of a cereal that I am certain many fellow Americans will immediately recognize, but look a little closer…

Rice Bubbles (as taken by a fellow Perth expat)

The Aussie version is a better different than our Yankee version (and can we talk about the fact that bubbles dont snap, crackle, or pop?!?!):

Rice Krispies (via Wikipedia)

Exhibit B: Hungry Jack’s. What does the Aussie restaurant chain logo below remind you of?

Aussie Hungry Jack’s (via Wikipedia)

If you guessed Burger King, you are our winner! Now this one has a bit more history/explanation behind it. I won’t bore you with something you can read about here, but the gist of it is that Hungry Jack’s originally started as an official franchise of the US-based chain of Burger King, but things fell apart (read the Wikipedia page – I’m no lawyer). Interesting fact: Australia is the only country in the world where Burger King operated under a different name.

Via Swaussie.se – click the pic for a story about the case in more layman’s terms

Exhibit C: Target.

Yall, when I first saw the iconic red Target signage here in Perth, I literally almost cried – actually maybe I even teared up a little.

If you’ve ever been to a real Target (and you have a soul/shopper’s heart and/or youve been Target-deprived), youll understand – it was like a piece of home right here in Oz. Imagine my supreme disappointment when I entered the Australian Target and noticed that, while similar upon first glance, there were just things off from the version in which I was accustomed.

Australian Target logo (via Targettrek.com)

vs.

United States Target logo (via Wikipedia)

Similar enough where you’re deceived into thinking they’re the same, but when you look a little closer, it’s just a tad different. What I dont understand is how Australian Target, which is in no way associated with the American counterpart, can get away with this trickery!!

Dont get me wrong, at its most basic, the stores are essentially the same (both sell a wide array of items from clothes to toiletries to home goods, etc), but the level of quality in the products and stores themselves are definitely different.

So there you have it. Three exhibits that hopefully demonstrate some uniquely (oxymoron now that I am thinking about it?!) Australian – similar, but different. Now I am not complaining – it’s nice to have things that remind me of the states here in Perth, and truly, Australia is so cool in that they are so patriotic and unique, probably more so than any place I’ve visited; maybe the fact that the country is so isolated/an island that they’ve really developed (partly out of necessity) there own mark on language, culture, products, food, etc. Given that, I will probably make a mini series on things that are uniquely Australian – there’s no shortage of material! 🙂 Until next time…

100th Post!

Wow! I couldn’t believe it when I posted yesterday and I was on my 99th post. It seems crazy to me that:

  1. I have kept this blog up as long as I have
  2. There are people still reading the blog (!)
  3. That Barr and I have been abroad for almost 10 months
  4. We are now living in Australia, something that wasnt really on the radar when we initially embarked upon this adventure

To all of yall that have read, liked, commented, re-blogged, etc Abby’s Roads, I thank you 🙂 Your comments (either in person or virtually) mean so very much to me. I’ve so enjoyed writing about my experiences, some of them more exciting than others, and to receive such kind feedback is really rewarding.

So how about some stats? WordPress offers a few statistics regarding readership, and while I’m not a slave to the numbers, I do enjoy seeing the patterns.

  • The United States, United Arab Emirates, and Canada are the top three countries from which I get hits (now I just need to up my Australia readers to capture all my former and present home countries!) Now, to my (few) readers in Guam, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan: spread the Abby’s Roads gospel 😉
  • People are inevitably curious (okay, nosy may be a better word – but I’m guilty of it too!) because my top viewed post is back when I posted on what our apartment in Dubai looked like – pictures get people every time!
  • The 2nd most viewed post is one of my personal favorites, and I’m really honored and pleased to say that True Life I’m an Expat Housewife is a popular post as well.
  • One of the stats provided is the search terms folks have used to get to my blog. You have your standard “Abby’s Roads”, “Abby Blanton”, etc, which I would expect; however, I love finding out the random searches people use – some faves include: “eid al adha 2013 similar to old testament”, “bambi learning to walk”, “pecan pie in abu dhabi”, and “abby simpson biltmore wedding”. Whatever gets ya here, yall!

Anywho, I bit of a random post today, but again, thank you for stopping by – it truly makes my day! Until next time…(and have great weekends!!)