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From Dubai To Toronto, The Journey Goes On!

Eight years ago, I took a leap of faith and decided my kids and I should move to Canada.

Growing up in Dubai, as an expat kid, I was blessed on so many levels. I went to the best school, had the most awesome friends, got to hang out with the coolest people and after I got back from university, I established myself as a strong leader in the job market.

In a nutshell, I had it all. My ex-husband and I were a power couple, his business flourished, I was one of the very few women leaders in my field and my children had the best life any kid could ever ask for. One thing did not add up though; I could never make Dubai "home"! In Dubai, I would always be an expat, my kids would be expats too, and I longed to have the warmth and stability of a place to call home for the longest time ever.

When I made the decision to move to Toronto, it took every ounce of courage in my bones to do it. I had to convince my parents, who still live there as expats till this day, that I am doing the right thing. My friends thought I lost my mind, they used to call me the Queen of Dubai, and they did not understand why I would leave all this behind and move to Canada, where I won't have the beach or the sun or my family. But I did it!

I wanted to build roots and help my kids build their roots too, in a place they can actually call home.

Don't get me wrong, the past eight years were brutal, I did not want to change career paths and I had to start at the very bottom to establish that I am competent enough to compete. I used to get asked more about Dubai during my interviews than I would about my experience. The title of a VP scared people off and made them repeat the same broken record of how overqualified I am for jobs, but this never stopped me from bulldozing through until I established myself in the Canadian market.

Along this journey, I was also blessed with amazing people who supported me and cheered for me along the way, folks who would never let me give up. And every time I was ready to throw the towel and pack and leave back to Dubai, they would stop me and tell me, NO, you belong here! This is home! I am ever so grateful to each and every one of you, for your love and support.

You might wonder why I am sharing this on LinkedIn? It's very simple. When we, as immigrants, take a leap of faith to move our lives to Canada, we come here knowing that we have a lot to offer, we just need to adjust and be embraced by our new adoptive culture to allow us to, not only, find a job, but also, make this place our home.

Eight years down the line, and regardless of the difficulties I faced, it's still the best place for me to live, love, grow and flourish, both as a human being and as a professional.

Oh, Canada, my home and adoptive land, you and your people melt my heart and fascinate my soul!