There are some people who just know how to take a dive: Esther Williams, Greg Louganis, and Chevy Chase.
Me? I’ve always been more of an easer, with aspirations for diving. And one of the dives I’ve always wanted to take, despite being a pretty awful swimmer, is that of the ex-patriate, to be a cultural adventurer beyond just reading Henry James and Pablo Neruda and watching Planet Earth.
I’d like to ease comfortably into a job in France (like most people in France at the moment), buy vintage Chanel, marry 1966 John Lennon, and collect sea glass on the Mediterranean coast.
But Michele Campbell is a diver. She’s the Esther Williams mermaid of ex-pats. After a year of planning, Michele is now living on the other side of the world in Abu Dhabi. And diving isn’t a new thing for her. She’s a schoolteacher and an improviser – way past water wings and wading. I recently had a chance to sit down with Michele (and by that I mean email her from my sofa), to talk to her about her move, her experiences in Abu Dhabi, and how she Yes Anded herself across the world. Continue reading