…and it looks like that person is me. If you are embarking on a similar adventure in the future, you may very well be the last person in your group. Being last isn’t so bad though. Once you get past the overwhelming feeling of rejection every single time someone else gets a plane ticket, you’ll be fine. I’ve got a new outlook and I’ve decided that I will proudly wear my last place status as a badge of honor when I finally get there. So, here’s a list of reasons why it doesn’t completely suck to be last:
- Bragging rights: If someone else is complaining about their apartment, their school, or anything really, I can say, “Well, at least YOU weren’t last.”
- Learning from other people’s experiences: I know how to get my utilities turned on; who to call when I need to get documents translated; where to find someone to do my laundry when I’m in the hotel; how to get a good apartment; where to rent a car. The list goes on and on.
- Friends: I have made some great friends over the past 3 months. We’ve bonded over how to deal with annoying and embarrassing comments like, “Oh. Wow. You’re still here… I thought you were supposed to be gone by now.” We’ve commiserated over well-meaning family members who wish we would just get off the couch and DO SOMETHING…like get a job…or an apartment. We’ve worried together about why this is happening to us. Why are we still stuck in security? Did they see something in our backgrounds that flagged us? Was it that trip to Russia or Egypt or an unpaid parking ticket? Why? Why? Why? The best thing about going through this stressful situation is making amazing new friends.
- Gratitude: What can be worse than living in limbo for 3 plus months and the stress and drama that goes with it? Not much. When I FINALLY get to Abu Dhabi I think my tolerance for what I can and can’t deal with will be pretty high. All I have to do when I start getting annoyed about life in the sandbox is remember “The Coldest Winter Ever…AKA Winter 2014”.