Hello from the other side – a working traveler’s diary

When I came to the Middle East in August last year, I did so with a number of goals in mind:

  1. Gain international work experience
  2. Get out of my slump, my routine and comfort zone and meet new people from all over
  3. Participate in more global races (triathlons, marathons, long distance swims)
  4. Travel
  5. Save

I’m happy to say that I’ve done a fair amount of 2, 3, 4. I continue to gain international work experience and I’m finally on track to start saving. If you look at my social media properties, you’ll get a glimpse into a few of the adventures I’ve taken (Besides Doha, Dubai, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, desert safaris too), or the people I have met. But don’t for one second think it has been all peachy, all happy times. It’s real life and in real life you battle real things like missing family and friends, missing key events, not knowing when you can take leave, being tired, salary issues, and not living in a place you’re happy to call home. I’ve been to dark places in my mind. Anxiety has been a big thing for me too, especially in a professional capacity, but I know my limits and I know when to switch work mode off. Have I perfected the art of doing that? Not at all, but I’m doing my best to get it right. I’m lucky in that I have my sports and training to preoccupy my mind when I’m feeling low. It’s a good release, in terms of expressing my frustrations in training. If you see me on the road on a Friday or Saturday, and you see me talking to myself with very strong expressions, you’ll know why now. Haha. You see these are real things you deal with when you live abroad. And thanks to technology, we can always send a WhatsApp message, talk to the family and friends on FaceTime or even write posts like this.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. You learn a lot about yourself when you move away from your comfort zone. And that is probably the best experience you can take away from moving. I have no regrets about moving. It has been an incredible experience and one that I want to continue for the foreseeable future. Whether I stay here, or move on will be determined in time, but as a traveler, an explorer, a realist and a storyteller, I felt it would be good to share an alternative view on the happy, smiley selfies too.

I’m interested to know a few things from those of you reading this.

  • How have you dealt with moving away?
  • How have you adapted to the new cultures, languages you’ve been exposed to?
  • What do you do when you feel low?
  • If you’ve dealt with anxiety on your journey, how do you channel it into something positive?
  • What’s your tipping point, your limits?
  • When you’re on the road, exploring the world, what tricks or tips do you have when you’re feeling bleh?Has your experience been better or worse than the place you originate from?
  • Has your experience been better or worse than the place you originate from?
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