I’m back. Back with a new adventure and a renewed commitment to writing regularly. Let’s see how that goes.

I flew to Doha on April 1st. That’s right, April Fools Day. I think it’s a pretty good day to start a new adventure in a far-away land. This “new” adventure has actually been 6 months in the making, so when it FINALLY happened it was a relief. And a little bit anti-climatic… I’m not sure if it’s just that I always knew it would happen, or if it had just been so long that it was a little deflated. No matter, once I got here the excitement followed.

The trip from Vancouver was both long, and fast – if that makes any sense. I opted for a Vancouver-London-Doha route with a 7-hour layover in London. Plenty of time for me to hop onto the tube and make my way to Covent Garden to meet friends for tea. It was also a welcome break from sitting on an airplane – the chance to walk around and get some fresh air and catch up with great friends.

Admittedly, I was pretty happy when my 2nd overnight flight was done and I had arrived in Doha. My customs agent reviewed my visa, stamped my passport and said “you now have a new home”. That was a lovely welcome, and one I had not anticipated.


When I am this far from home, I love “feeling” like I am this far from home. Seeing this cross-walk sign while out on one of my first walks made me smile. I am certainly a long way from home.

I’ve been here two months now, and I will also admit that it hasn’t been as “easy” to feel at home and grounded. A few weeks ago I was pretty much completely out of sorts. I don’t know if it was just the past year catching up to me on top of the pressures of figuring out a new job, new boss, new company in the middle of an extremely busy time – or if it’s just getting used to a new place, and the “energy” that it has (if you’ve read my posts about Istanbul,  you know I love the “energy” in that city, and I do believe every part of the planet has its own energy). Or maybe it’s the amount of pressure I put on myself regarding all of the above. Likely, it’s a combination of all of it 🙂 Fortunately, I found a reflexology/reiki practitioner, who was amazing. Unfortunately, she has now moved back to the UK. But the good news is, that things have started to settle down. I’ve found an apartment, and move into it mid-July. Settling in there will help as well.

A few of the highlights so are are:

1.The day I arrived I went to the grocery store close by and was greeted with:

I began to wonder if that lengthy trip over was a dream…and I was actually still in Canada !

2.Part of the process to get a residency permit includes some medical tests (blood tests and lung x-rays). I left the office with my guide for this appointment, a Qatari gentleman wearing the traditional Thobes. We walked out to the parking lot and the next thing I know I am hoisting myself up into a very large,  noisy, red truck. There was just something about the visual that made me smile. Next thing I know we are speeding along, and he’s telling me that I will have to get used to the fact that Doha has bad drivers and that I need to watch out for them – this while he is watching a video on his iPhone as he drives, and nearly crashes into a vehicle merging into our lane… Not his fault, of course…(um, if he’d been watching the road and not the iPhone he would have seen the car’s signal light, turned on well in advance of it moving over into our lane).

3.In my first week here we had an event featuring Tom Brady. Yup, that’s right. I grew up watching the Patriots and have always been a fan of the team. But I had to come to the Middle East to see Tom Brady in person!


Tom Brady in the house!!!

4.I’ve enjoyed walking home from the office at the end of the day. But last week it just became too hot for that. 40 degrees C in bright sunshine. I don’t mind being sweaty when I get home, but there was something about it that just felt oppressive. So its Uber for me now. And soon I won’t be living in walking distance anyway.

Evening Collage

On my way home from the office, at dusk.

5.One of the first nights out was spent at the Katara cultural area. It was lovely to spend an evening walking around the cultural centre, seaside, seeing the mosque, restaurants, and having dinner at an amazing Armenian/Lebanese restaurant. There were even a couple of surprises along the way.


6.I opened up my local bank account, and much to my surprise was sent this. It’s the first time I’ve ever been sent a gift for opening up an account! And there wasn’t even any money in it yet…


I don’t drink Arabic coffee (or coffee of any kind), but I will happily display this lovely coffee pot!

7..Souq Waqif. An evening spent walking around the various stalls, seeing what is on offer, feeling more of the Arabic culture, and ending up eating at a Turkish restaurant. I have to admit the Adana kebab and trimmings really felt good – felt like home away from home.

I haven’t done as much exploring as I’d like, but that will come. As will more posts.

As always, thanks for reading!