So yes, we’ve moved from Doha to London and the title may be a bit of an exaggeration but you get the gist. We’ve moved from the desert to a greener pasture (quite literally) and I couldn’t be more excited about it. Frankly though, I don’t mind the rain. I’ve had numerous sunshiny days from the Philippines and the Middle East which could last this lifetime and next for me so I say, bring on the rain! Although it hasn’t rained yet since we’ve arrived but I know it’s coming.
The move wasn’t a surprise as we’ve been planning to get out of the Middle East as soon as 2016 started. We don’t really care where we’ll end up as our main point basically was to get out of the region. Why? Plainly because we needed the change. We’ve been in the Middle East for almost a decade and we both think that a change would do us good. Neither of us wants to go back to our own countries to settle (lol) so we thought we’ll work something out somewhere else.
We started our immigration procedure to Canada however that didn’t go well, then we started preparing our papers to move to Australia but somehow, something was stopping us to finalize it. And then while on a holiday in Greece as we’re watching the news about BREXIT, The Greek Mister received a call from a headhunter in London telling him that someone’s interested to hire him. He had a Skype interview and 2 days later, he got the job offer. To say that we were ecstatic is the understatement of the year. We were over the moon!
I don’t really know why we never considered London as a city to move to before, somehow it slipped our minds that there might be an opportunity for my husband there as well. It’s most probably because there are so many British in the Middle East that we somehow think that they’re running away from the place. Well as they say, one’s lost is another’s gain. I’m sure that they have some valid reasons why they’ve moved to the Middle East and I’d like to think that we do have some valid reasons too as to why we think that moving to London is the best decision we’ve ever made. But you know what? I don’t really care what other people thinks, we KNOW that this is good for us.
I never really enjoyed my time in Doha, there I said it. It might come as a surprise to a lot of people if you’re going to base it on my blog posts and photos that I share on social media but what you’re all seeing is my attempt to make me feel better about my stay in Doha. I did a good job hiding my unhappiness really, specially hiding it from The Greek Mister who was also extremely surprised when I told him what I really feel about Doha. I never complained to him, actually I never voiced out my concern to anyone. I kept it to myself because complaining about it will not change anything.
I think even I fooled myself. I did such a good job hiding what I truly felt about Doha that I was even able to fool myself into thinking that everything’s fine. I wanted to be supportive to The Greek Mister whose job was the sole reason why we moved to Doha in the first place. I didn’t want him to think that the move made me miserable as I don’t want to put more burden on him because I know that he wasn’t very happy with the move as well.
Every time he complains (he’s Greek, complaining is a hobby) I try to tell him all the good things about staying in Doha which ultimately boils down to the fact that he has a good job while someone else in the other side of the world would do anything to have it. He never knew that whenever I give him a pep talk, it was also for myself. I needed that reminder everyday.
I hid my feelings so well that the only time I realized that I’ve been harboring all these emotions towards Doha was when Polly of Follow Your Sunshine hosted a Qatar blogger link-up and the topic was what Doha means to you. I couldn’t be bothered writing a new post about it so I just linked a totally random blog post to it.
As I went through all the other bloggers’ post about what Doha meant to them, I realized that what they’re feeling about Doha was the exact same feeling I’ve had towards Dubai when I was still living there but I will never ever feel the same way towards Doha.
I think that was the turning point for me. I remember reading all the entries and feeling more and more miserable. I was happy for all of the bloggers who can say so many good things about their life in Doha while I was feeling so miserable because I can’t even write a coherent sentence about it. That was February 2016 and it was also the time when I finally told The Greek Mister that we need to get out of Doha.
Don’t get me wrong, my unhappiness was self-inflicted. It has nothing to do with Doha specifically. It was my own fault why I was miserable. I left a good job in Dubai where I stayed for 7 years and transferred to Doha as a housewife. Well yeah, I have this blog which I think did pretty well but I realized that it was just another way for me to mask my real feelings towards Doha.
I didn’t want to be a housewife completely so I exhausted all my effort and time on this blog because I want to be able to say that I did something good during my stay in Doha. I attended events, met people and created friendships through this blog and I will be forever thankful for that.
I obsessed on this blog for the entire duration of my stay in Doha. I focused on getting projects and sending out proposals to every brands who’d possibly work with me. Working 6 days a week and 12 hours a day. I realized now that I did all that because I wanted to validate my existence in Doha. I wanted to look back to it and remember something that I’ve done really good and I was determined that this blog would be that “something”. I did a pretty good job if you ask me. Whatever this blog is right now, I only have Doha to thank for.
But if I’m completely being honest, I’d rather have a real corporate job and have this blog as a hobby (which is how I started in the first place anyway) rather than having my blog as my full-time job.
I think more than the place itself, I was more miserable because I wasn’t doing anything really worthwhile. Worthwhile in a sense that if I stop doing what I’m doing, someone will look for me. I think having a corporate job is exactly that. If you don’t go to work one day, surely your boss will call you and ask you where the hell you are. I didn’t write anything on this blog for 2 weeks and nobody asked where I was. So yes, there’s a difference.
I was born to work I think. I have nothing against the housewives but I guess, it just wasn’t for me. I had this blog when I was working full time in Dubai and enjoyed it more then than I do now. I do like the corporate structure – having a
demanding boss, having colleagues to talk to when I feel like bitching about my boss, having a fixed timing and fixed salary.
You’re probably asking why I didn’t get a job in Doha then? Honestly, I tried but
because of my third-world country passport, the salary is too low for such a stressful 6-day a week and 14-hour work shift. None of the companies I applied to considered my Dubai experience, they only saw my passport and they already have a number to give me. Sucks, right? I think that if I worked in Doha with that salary, it would make me more miserable than I already was.
Whenever someone tells me they’re enjoying life in Doha, I always feel happy for them – partly jealous as well because I desperately want to feel the same way but I just couldn’t get myself around it. I only have myself to blame though because I never gave Doha a chance. I tried to mask what I was feeling instead of dealing with it upfront. But how do you deal with it?
Do I regret moving to Doha? Not at all. I was happy to be given the opportunity to live there and was also quite pleased that I was able to form my own opinion about it with a first-hand experience. I know that not everything you see in the media is true and I can tell ignorant people to f*ck off if they say anything bad about this region while never having to set foot there. Would I live there again? Possibly not at this time but I won’t say never.
Now that we’ve moved to London, I feel free. I plan to go back to work and just the thought of it makes me so very excited. I can’t work for the first three months though for visa reasons but I’m already looking at job opportunities right now. I seriously can’t wait to go back to work.
I won’t be abandoning this blog, never. I’ll continue on writing about my shenanigans in London but probably shorter than this one. (Lol) I hope you’ll continue on following me?