Ex-pat Life: September

But then fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.” 
― Stephen King‘Salem’s Lot

If you ask me, New Years Eve should be celebrated on 31st August. For the past 17 years since I started school, September to me has meant “new start”. The end of summer, of family day trips, BBQs and crochet in my great Aunt’s garden. The paddling pool gets put away and the brown grass underneath is allowed to breathe again. It’s the end of road trips, of somewhat relative freedom. It’s my new school timetable and moving up to a new year, with new-found responsibilities and subjects to study.

My little sister is starting Year 7 this week, which is the first year in Secondary School. Has it really been ten years since that was me? Skirt to my knee, a bag full of books and the perfect stationary set that took hours of persuading mum to buy. New school shoes from Woolworths, remembering how to put on a tie. My little nephew will also start school this week, his very first September feeling!

In 2011 my September brought various new starts; me and my then-boyfriend took it up a notch and moved in together (and very soon after, broke-up) and I also started university. The September after that, I was about a week into my 5 month trip to Vietnam. It was my first ever experience abroad and the first time I had taught English, it was unlike any other September I’d experienced! Last September, I again started university and enrolled on a different course. I moved into a house with some beautiful people and sunk back into the life I had once left for travel. Fast forward to this September and I’m almost 6 months into my life in Maldives and, for the first time EVER, there is no “new start”.

If there’s absolutely no new start, why does it still feel like I’m about to start something new? Like something’s waiting around the corner? My contract doesn’t end until December, and there’s no (definite) plan as yet for 2015, but it feels like I’m leaving Maldives any moment. And it’s horrible! It’s not even like the weather plays a part- there are only two seasons here; sun and rain. The leaves shine as green as ever, the length of the day hasn’t shortened and the evenings are still humid and sticky. Nothings changed. But that September feeling just won’t go away.

Since nothing is changing around me, I thought I’d think of some changes for myself (kinda like New Years Resolutions)…

  1. Usually number 1 starts with losing weight or finding a boyfriend, yeah… Well the crazy thing is I’m pretty OK with my body and I’m more than OK with my boyfriend. He’s affectionate, Italian, handsome, gentle, incredibly sexy, Italian… wait what was I talking about? Oh yeah. I must stop picking fights when I’m stressed at something like my wifi not working or kids driving me crazy. We won’t be long distance forever and then we can take out my frustrations in a more.. physical manner.

  2. Focus on my blog and photography and finally go and learn Italian.

  3. Commit to diving and get my Divemasters by December.

  4. Go to bed earlier..

  5. Be more patient.

  6. Have more time for friends, both at home and abroad.

  7. Eat more fruit, and try and swim and do yoga every week for my muscle condition and well- being.

  8. Stop being so damn lazy.

  9. Get in touch with dad.

  10. Think properly about January 2015. I have a feeling the next four months are gonna fly by…


Does anyone else still have that September feeling? Does it ever go away?


Hi! I'm Sarah. I dropped out of university tired with the mundane life I was living in England. Now I'm an aspiring ex-pat of the world, having already lived and worked in Vietnam, Italy and Maldives. I'm using this blog to document my experiences and hopefully inspire others!

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