October 17th, 2020
As humans, we are programmed to come and go. We move around daily, take vacations annually, but by nature, we always return home. What does home mean to you?
If you live abroad (or have done so in the past) you’ll know that there are times when you forget what home feels like. I’ve been feeling that way for a long time, especially since moving to Doha.
Last year, when I traveled for work around the clock, I only spent about 8 days a month in Doha, my base city, where I basically came to do laundry and catch up on sleep. I had a really short term focus in terms of staying here, because I thought I’d be able to reach all my travel goals in two years and then move on. When the pandemic slowed the whole world down, I was forced to slow down with it. I had to stop running, and stay put.
To me, feeling at home comes down to two things: security and comfort. Here in Doha, I found both…
When borders worldwide started to close I had the option to return to South Africa, but it seemed like a risky move in terms of job security. I chose to stay in Doha for the sole purpose of having a better chance at keeping my job. Turns out it was wise.
It’s been a long summer in Doha. Some of my closest friends got stuck in their home countries and were unable to return. I thank my stars for joining a new group of friends at the beginning of Coronatimes. These people became my family, or even better, my life support.
Yesterday, I went for a walk on the Corniche and as I watched a spectacular sunset, I allowed the sea breeze to steer my thoughts away from all the things I wanted this year to be, and accepted it for what it is: a time to stay home, stay safe, and seek joy within.
I’m happy that I get to do that here in Doha, a place I can finally call home.