After many months job hunting we think we have found an opportunity that suits us and we are going to pursue it to see if it works. Fortunately moving and living abroad this time means travelling to 2 other countries before we reach our new destination. We start with a road trip first: out of Libya to Tunisia for a week of holidays with family.
The first part of the trip takes us from Zawia, Libya where we have been living for almost a year to Gabes in Tunisia.
Road trip Part 1/4
Length: 450 km
Transport: own car
Travelling Time: 12 hours
Types of roads: mostly single lanes with a few fast sections
Travel Advice: fill up your tank way before the border as Libyans don’t want Tunisian crossing the border just to take petrol so while there are some petrol stations close to the border they are often closed especially to foreign cars. Crossing the border can take forever it took us 4 hours this time on a straight forward cross so allow plenty of time if you need to be in Tunisia at a certain time.
So that’s it, we have packed up all our things filled up the car and taken the road leaving early as we know crossing the border can be long. I hope we are leaving Zawia for good and while I know things are not 100% sure with our new plan I do hope it will work out. While life in Libya has been the source of a lot of discovery and knowledge, without counting a great boost to my CV, we feel that we can’t keep living there, and working for Zawia university is not something we want to continue doing (but that’s another topic).
In the last few weeks airports in Libya have been the targets of heavy bombing and carefully planned destruction so flying directly out of Libya is not an option which is why we are going through Tunisia.
I’m always happy to go to Tunisia as this is my husband’s country and where we plan to settle down at some point. It also means time with family which is always nice for serial expat like us. We will be spending a week with various members of my husband’s family and make the most of our time there before we embark on the second leg of our journey. My children are very excited to see their cousins again and we are happy that our time scale allow us to spend Eid (the Muslim day of celebration at the end of the month of Ramadan) with our family.
I’m not expecting a lot of sleep however as family members are always coming round at all hours of the night to see us. Yes “night” since the days are so hot people get social in the night so it is very common for people to start arriving at ten or eleven pm and stay really late. In the morning sleeping late is not an option either since once again the heat makes it too uncomfortable to stay in bed.
Past Present and Future
This place however is quite special for us this is where the past meets our future. Staying in the family house is like stepping back in time when life was so much simpler there is no internet no cable TV we sleep on mats on the floor in the open courtyard and eat simple wholesome food cooked in a kitchen that has yet to see a microwave. Washing clothes is done by hand or with a twin tub non automatic washing machine. Yet just a few minutes away is where our future awaits us. We own a little piece of land and this time we actually got round to set down on paper the proper plans for our house… a little house just like the one where we stay at the moment with simple rooms and an open courtyard just like they used to make them before.
We are staying with family so accommodation and food is no issue in this part of the journey but it will be when we reach destination number 3. Before that we will need to leave Tunisia.
Keep reading the other posts in the series to find out what happened next: