A favourite road sign in Alaska reads: “Choose your rut carefully—you’ll be in it for the next 200 miles.”
In her new book, ‘A Diamond in the Desert’, Jo Tatchell writes about a less obvious rut in the heat and prosperity of the UAE.
Jo arrived in Abu Dhabi with her family as a young girl in 1974 but in 1993 she decided to ‘escape’ to the ‘damp, sunless uncertainty of London and a typing course’.
Writing years later she gives her reason:
“I had seen people with good intentions sink into an easy routine, losing their drive, passion and values. One old-timer, who had done extremely well out of Abu Dhabi, referred to it as the Velvet Rut. ‘And that,’ she warned me, ‘is the hardest rut to escape.’”
Stuck in a velvet rut in the Emirates, opting for a more comfortable and prosperous life than back home? If so, it is good to reflect (with others?) on how this rut is changing us.
Some expats are stuck in a rut, not because it is velvety and lined with dirhams but because the employment opportunities are bleak back home and/or work experience in this country is not advancing their prospects elsewhere.
A large proportion of expats have consigned themselves to living in a cotton rut, working their butts off to send half their meagre salary back home on the premise that ‘this is my duty’.
The Alaskan road sign offers wisdom as well as humour: “Choose your rut carefully…”
The old-timer from Abu Dhabi uttered a compelling warning: “The Velvet Rut…is the hardest rut to escape.”
Whether we’re stuck in a rut or plotting our escape, we do have choices about developing a lifestyle that will nurture our drive, passion and values.
This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.