731

Today marks exactly 2 years since I arrived in Doha, Qatar. 731 days have passed since I got off that airplane & the heat whacked me in the face.

I think back at how nervous I was & I don’t believe that was misplaced. I had never been here before, I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t speak the language, I didn’t know much about the culture & I didn’t follow the religion. Each one of those prospects is daunting alone, never mind adding them together. Well, 2 years on & how do those same prospects look?

Doha is familiar to me. I know its ugly & I know its beautiful. I’ve experienced the downright indescribable heat of summer, but I know it can get quite chilly in winter. I know which taxis you should use & which you should avoid. I know the metro system very well & for the most part, I know which exits will take me to the correct side of the street. When I leave Doha & come back, there isn’t excitement, sadness or dread & I’m happy knowing that because it means I’m comfortable.

In the last 2 years, I have met all kinds of people from what seems like an endless list of countries. I’ve made some great friends who I know will be in my life for years to come & quite honestly, my life would now be odd without them. I’ve also had the privilege of having almost all my loved ones come visit me here & those visits have been very special to me.

I still don’t speak Arabic. I will admit that I have never tried to learn the language & it has never been a desire for me. I have picked up certain words & phrases & I know the Arabic numeral system very well, but I don’t know anything more. Qatar has a very high number of ex-pats & English is the de facto language used here. Unexpectedly, I have learned some Hindi & Tagalog words & phrases because of the high number of Indians & Filipinos living & working in Qatar.

I will never claim to know much about the culture here because there is just still so much more for me to learn. However, I will say that living here has been such a learning curve because the culture I grew up in & the ones I was exposed to are so vastly different from the culture here. I also notice that the outside world has so many misconceptions about life here.

When I moved here I didn’t follow Islam & I still don’t. Having said that, I do have genuine respect for people who follow this religion. Before coming here, I thought I had a basic understanding of the religion & perhaps I did, but living here has been an opportunity to learn a lot more. A person’s beliefs play a huge part in how they act & if you learn a bit about these beliefs, it gives you slightly more clarity when trying to understand them.

I have absolutely no regrets about moving to Qatar. There have been highs & lows. There have been unforgettable experiences & there have been events I missed back home. There have been times when the homesickness has been overwhelming & those times are hard, I’m not going to sugar coat it. The homesickness & hard times pass & when they do, I know I made the most amazing life change. I absolutely, positively do not want this crazy, wonderful adventure to end.

Keep traveling, keep safe.

DanVenture Travels

35 thoughts on “731

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  1. Really cool you’re living in Doha! It’s a place that’s interested me for a visit, whenever the time will be some day. I’m sure that with time, you’ll find yourself curious in learning Arabic and learning more about Qatar’s culture. Maybe or maybe not, but all the same, the experiences will be rewarding!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi there Megan. Thanks for reading & supporting the blog, I truly appreciate it. I moved here for work so in a sense I didn’t choose it, but I’m glad that it was Doha. I’ve always enjoyed the lesser known places & Doha seems to fit that quite well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! So glad that I have had the opportunity to visit you and see for myself what you speak about in your post. A very interesting place. Can’t wait to come back again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this statement you made: A person’s beliefs play a huge part in how they act & if you learn a bit about these beliefs, it gives you slightly more clarity when trying to understand them.

    It’s absolutely true.

    Like

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