Travel

Two Years After I Left Qatar

June 17, 2019

Discovering Qatar from a Dhow Boat Cruise

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Two years ago, tomorrow, I flew out of Qatar for the last time as a Qatar resident. Four years ago, I had been in Qatar for two years. As you can imagine, my life has changed a lot since I left. Most of it for the good and some of it for the tragic. However, I am still glad that I went when I did. Here is how my life has changed and what I have learned about myself in the process.

Long-term travel

When I left Qatar, I planned to travel for a long time. There was no set plan in terms of timings or even countries. Although a few destinations were planned. I was in London for the first month. Even though I was totally unprepared for a London summer, I enjoyed myself immensely. I forgot how much I like a big walkable city with good public transportation. If you didn’t know, I used to live in New York City. London had museums and wonderful places to eat. I had sublet a room in an apartment, so I wasn’t in a hostel or a hotel. The only thing was I was a bit lonely as it is hard to make friends in such a large city, the same is true in New York City. By the time my month was up, I was ready to go. I have been back to London though as it has become one of my favorite places.

My next stop was Montenegro. This was a much shorter trip of only five days. I think I went way too short on this trip as I did with a few other stops on this journey. My next stop was a month in Greece! The only thing was the island was too small, and I was sometimes a bit bored because I had done most of the things. More short trips continued and over the past two years, I have learned that for the most part that trips of 3 weeks to a month are the perfect length for me.

Grief

In 2017, I fell in love with a wonderful man while I was in Greece. Things moved quickly, and we had discussed moving in together. After Thanksgiving weekend, his house caught on fire, and he died from carbon monoxide poisoning. I was devastated. My life stood still for a long time, and I wasn’t ready to work. I did some school, which kept me busy. It was an intensive course, and I knew that work wasn’t going to be so intense. I wasn’t sure I could concentrate on work fully. Interviewing was even a challenge. For so many reasons, I decided to delay working again, and I return to Greece for several months. This was either going to break me or heal me. Luckily, it was a healing trip, and while I still miss him daily, I can function now.

Freelance

Going back to Greece for the third time in three years, reignited the urge to want to live there full-time. I knew that I needed to find a remote job so that I could move there. I applied and applied, and then I slowly came to the realization that I didn’t want to work for someone for set hours. I wanted to work when I wanted and travel when I wanted. Never in my life have I ever wanted to work for myself. But I have been doing it for about six months now, and I love it. Even better, I have had lots of referrals and have not had to do a lot of hustling for clients. I have really been lucky and have great friends.

Naxos Beaches

What it has also taught me is that while I love working for myself, I also enjoy meeting new people. When I was in Antigua, I met some lovely people I met in one hostel I was staying in, and we are still chatting away planning to meet up soon. After I returned to my parent’s house, I worked from their kitchen table until my nieces got out of school for the summer. Then I joined a coworking space. I have loved being there. My days are more productive, I get dressed every day, and I have been meeting new people. I would love to join a coworking space in Greece, but the island I am planning on living on does not have one. So there may be some adjustment when I moved. More on the moving to Greece process later.

Returning to Qatar

Last November, after I left Greece, I decided to visit Qatar. It is such a short flight, and I had plenty of Qatar Airways miles left to fly there. Unfortunately, I got a horrible cold right when I arrived so I didn’t get out as much as I would have liked. However, I did get to see many people and spent two days at my old job. What I did realize very quickly is that I was unhappy for the last six months that I lived there.

Interestingly, I didn’t see that when I was there, and it took me returning to realize that. Qatar will always hold a special place in my heart, and I miss my friends and coworkers. Although many of them have also moved on.

The Future

If one thing is constant with me is that I love change. No matter what comes, I am sure that I will learn something new and grow from it even though I am now “middle-aged.” I look forward to the next two years and beyond.

Has your life changed a lot in the last few years? What have you learned from it?

 

 

 

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14 Comments

  • Reply Jackie Garbarino June 17, 2019 at 11:32 am

    You are a good and brave soul. Doing what makes life enjoyable for you and earning your keep is a dream come true. Alessio and I are enjoying being the “elders” of the Italian side of the family. What I love about village life is the respect all age groups have for one another. Tolerance and joy are the keys.

    • Reply Tiffany June 17, 2019 at 2:03 pm

      Enjoying your life has to be everyone’s main goal. Otherwise what is the point? I hope to come visit your village again once Greece is all sorted out. Miss you both!

  • Reply Josy A June 17, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    Goodness Tiffany, I didn’t know about you falling in love and then losing him. I am so, so sorry for your loss. 🙁

    It is brilliant to hear how well you are doing now though. I’m really happy to hear that you love working for yourself and that the hustle part hasn’t been too stressful! Here’s to another 2 years of awesome travels!!
    Josy A recently posted…Things to do near Banff in the SpringMy Profile

    • Reply Tiffany June 17, 2019 at 2:40 pm

      Thank you. I am loving it even with the stress. It’s more tolerable when it is goo stress.

  • Reply Lorelle June 18, 2019 at 5:49 am

    Life has certainly thrown you a few obstacles in the past 2 years Tiffany. I cannot even begin to imagine your loss, but I admire your strength to continue your passion to travel and I wish you only the best for the years ahead lovely. Xx

    • Reply Tiffany June 18, 2019 at 9:32 am

      Travel is keeping me going! Thank you so much.

  • Reply CAITLIN JEAN June 18, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    Keep on going! Life is an adventure.

    • Reply Tiffany June 19, 2019 at 10:35 am

      That’s the plan!

  • Reply Suzie July 1, 2019 at 5:15 am

    I can’t believe it has been two years already, and how much you’ve been through in that time… it feels like 5 mins since we met up at the Cutty Sark when you were in London!

    • Reply Tiffany July 1, 2019 at 8:25 am

      It goes by so fast! Hopefully we can get together again this year.

  • Reply Jennifer July 14, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    Glad to see that you’ve been able to find the kind of work that allows you to travel. And I can’t believe that it’s been two years either.

    • Reply Tiffany July 14, 2019 at 7:05 pm

      Thanks! It’s taken some time but I am there now. It has gone by fast.

  • Reply usfman September 19, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    What would you say to someone who does not really enjoy meeting people but has the same lust to travel as you do?

    • Reply Tiffany September 20, 2019 at 1:55 am

      You don’t have to meet new people when you travel. I often spend days by myself while traveling. I like meeting new people but not all the time.

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