My name is Ali Meehan and I’m an expat-aholic. Over the last 15 years I have lived in Australia, Spain, Dubai, Thailand and back to Spain, which is now where I call “home”.
My expat story really started with photos, memories and friends sharing my parents’ life in Libya during the 1950s. Exotic lands and my cousins’ move to Australia gave me a bug for travel that has been hard to quash.
My own expat journey started by taking 4 months out in my 30s, gathering my backpack and travelling to Adelaide to visit my family. Work permit gained, I was offered a job in a Sydney Law firm, but sadly, due to family illness, this wasn’t yet to be “my time”. However, when I returned to the UK and worked for an international glass wholesaler my travelling continued!
During early 2002, I met my now husband who was living and working in Spain. This wasn’t somewhere I had ever imagined living, but as I was working “virtually” from home, it wasn’t too hard to up sticks and move to Spain.
Since moving here in 2002, we have used Spain as a base and lived for nearly 5 years in Dubai and spent 8 months in Thailand. Dubai was a very different experience and although I had been travelling there since 2000, it is very much a metropolis with a work hard culture. We had very little time to socialise and make new friends, but this was the beginning of my introduction to expat communities. Thailand, the land of smiles, where we learnt there are 13 types of smiles with completely different meanings, provided another expat adventure!
Travelling extensively has made me realize that Spain is one of the best places to live in the world. The transport connections are excellent, the customs and culture, family orientated nature of the country, affordable and relax lifestyle all make it a fabulous place to live.
With the advent of the Internet we can stay more connected with our families and friends in our home countries and feel less ‘alienated’. Expats find it easier to move or travel thanks to the plethora of Internet tools available.
The Internet and social media are the new ‘glue’ of the expat community. For my own small part in that I formed Costa Women in 2010 based on similar models I had seen in Dubai and Thailand. In September, 1020+ Women will celebrate the 2nd anniversary. This social and business networking group connects the expat community of Women living in Spain, or wanting to move here by happy accident or as part of their life plans.
Costa Women connects the expat world of Spain through an online platform of connections, stories, shared experiences and new ideas, friendships and advice, as well as planning and encouraging local meet-ups. Currently we have organised meet-ups in Malaga, Calahonda, Marbella and Granada, as well as Women making friends online through nearly 60+ interest groups, discussions, classifieds, online chat, blogs and business listings. Membership of Costa Women is free so how about joining us?
To find out more, you can register on the Costa Women website, interact on Facebook, and connect through Twitter. You can also share your thoughts on LinkedIn, pin with us on Pinterest, and find us on Google Plus.