Continental Drifter: Memoir of an itinerant hydrocarbon expatriate

In this witty, wry, dry and candid account of life on the move, Welsh serial expatriate Dave Hughes tells the story of his nomadic life, working first in the steel industry and later in hydrocarbons, between 1974 and 2009.

“After university I had the desire to work in exotic places; perhaps a trait inherited from my maternal grandfather,” says Dave. “Grandfather James had been born in India and was known to have been a sailor on sailing ships, panned for gold in the Klondike, worked around the world, and fought in both the Boer War and in the First World War. Yet he left not one word of his life behind.” Dave began his life overseas as soon as he could and Continental Drifter tells of his journeys to South Africa, Jordan, Borneo, Gabon, Nigeria, Korea, the Falklands and the United Arab Emirates.

Along the way he got married, had two children and got divorced. “I had good times, I had bad times, and I have only myself to blame,” he says.

Hughes’ expatriate life ended in Abu Dhabi in 2009 when he returned to Britain and was kept there by ill health. However, he still has plenty of airmiles left and may even go overseas again for a holiday. He is thinking of moving out of his flat and into a house, so that he can have a cat. “I like cats,” he says.

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