“The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes”
My father always said that to feel fully settled in a new country, you needed to go full circle and experience its four seasons. Whilst I totally agree on this, Qatar has been (thus far) a very different experience to any other country I/ we have lived in. We have felt settled pretty much since the day we arrived which believe it or not; it is a year to the day. In some ways it feels as if we’ve lived here for many years but at the same time, it feels like if it was only yesterday that we were boarding that Qatar Airways flight from Manchester airport and flying into the complete unknown. It is a big step to quite literally put your entire trust in people you have never met before in a country you know little about. Our experience has been that the team of people who ensured our transition to our new lives in the desert couldn’t have been better. Everything was arranged for us and they did a fabulous job in taking care of us as well as our accommodation. All the hard work was done for us, which is why it has felt like an easy transition.
In many respects it has been a tough year due to health reasons, health issues which are in no way attributed to the country but something I guess comes with age and a less than exemplary diet (in my case anyway!).
So, what have we learnt from our 365 days in the desert?
- One forgets how to open doors (most doors seem to be automatic), if it doesn’t open automatically, you are at a bit of a loss as to what to do!
- One forgets how to put fuel in the car! Having always done this myself, after a year here, I was a bit stumped by the petrol pump when we were back home in July!
- There are two settings for water from the tap, very hot or scalding.
- If you see a white Land Cruiser, get out of its way! Also applies to several other makes of pick ups and 4 x 4s
- It costs more to have 2 x mint teas with 2 x slices of chocolate cake than to fill up the tank in the car!
The desert is a magical place, sunsets and sunrises are dramatic and different every day. The peace and tranquility of camping in the desert is unrivalled by anything else I have ever experienced.
Qatar is a fascinating country in so many respects; we are very fortunate to have this opportunity to experience life in this country. One thing I can say is that it has the best winters I have ever experienced, I really cannot wait for our next winter here.
Here are a few of our highlights from the last 365 days in the desert!