What a crazy corona summer!! The pandemic broke out just when my family was happily on vacation. Quite a shock when we learned we could not travel back to our home in Dubai as borders were closed overnight.
After some debate on what to do now, we caught one of the last flights to Germany, our country of origin, which cost us an arm and a leg for an economy overnight flight with two stopovers. The next question was: where to stay? With the corona safety regulation, we did not want to put our parents at any risk, so decided against staying with them. In the end, we decided for an Airbnb apartment close to my brother in law. At this point, we would never have expected to stay there for full three months (arriving with just a couple of suitcases filled with beach clothes in freezing cold Germany end of March- but thanks to friends and family we hardly had to buy any clothes for the whole time)!
The apartment was nothing compared to our home in Dubai and usually served as accommodation for guest workers. However, it was functional for our purpose: many individual rooms with enough privacy to do homeschooling for the two kids and home office for my husband and myself. And for the free afternoons/evenings we had garden access with a trampoline and BBQ and the family of my brother in law around the corner. So we got used to the normal life in Germany – a first for our children: helping in the kitchen, walking (not driving!) to the grocery store, cleaning, laundry, etc. and the amazing news about this: we enjoyed it!
We were just incredibly grateful that we took this decision and were all safe and together as a family. We also enjoyed the closeness to the cousins, which we usually only see once a year. After a total of 5 months in Germany, we are now back in Dubai – happy to be back home in our own beds but also stronger as a family after this adventure. What I took away from this Corona exile: you really do not need much luxury to be happy – it does not matter where we are, as long as our family is together.