Saturday, 31 January 2015

If you had said to me at the start of 2013, that in 8 months time I would be boarding a one way flight to Doha, I would have firstly said 'where on earth is Doha?!', before quickly telling you that there is no way that I would ever, ever move there.

It is now the 1st February 2015, and it has been exactly one year and a half since I boarded that very one way flight to the previously unheard of city of Doha, Qatar.

I find it very hard to put into words, or even articulate how it feels to have been living in my adopted country for a year and a half. In some respects, it has flown by. At exactly the same time, it feels like I have lived here forever. Without a doubt, the most monumental and hardest moments of my life seemed to have happened all in the space of my relatively short time living abroad, so whichever way I look at it, it has been one heck of a roller coaster ride.

I never in a million years thought I would still be here after a year and a half. In those weeks in the run up to my departure date from the UK, I remember countless conversations with my parents that went along the lines of 'give it a few months - if you don't like it, you can come home' (if only then we had known about the trials of obtaining the dreaded exit permit!), and I remember saying 'I'll give it until Christmas and see how I feel'.

I have just celebrated my second Christmas in the desert, so it just goes to show how important it is to give something a real chance. I have felt like packing my suitcase and jumping on a flight back to the UK countless times in the past year and a half, but I am incredibly proud of myself to know that I didn't give up and go home, even when things have been as hard as they have been.

As I reach this milestone of a year and a half in the desert, I have to ask myself if I ever regret my decision to move here, and I would have to say that ultimately I don't. I absolutely can't bare the thought that time spent here is precious time not spent with my loved ones back home, but in terms of my development as a person, and the life experience I have gained from the move, I would find it hard to regret something that has shaped me in so many ways.

I look forward to embracing the rest of my time in the Doha bubble, and seeing what the next few months bring :)


  1. Happy anniversary! :) I am still treading the waters (sand) of Doha carefully but as I see it, it's not so bad.

    1. Thanks so much! How long have you been out here? There are certainly worse places to live - waking up to glorious sunshine every day is definitely a plus :)