Home sweet Doha

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.

21 thoughts on “Home sweet Doha

    1. Doha is one of many underrated places in the Middle East, the heat just makes it difficult to go out and explore during summer. The weather will be nice the next few months so I look forward to a few unique experiences πŸ˜€ I haven’t even made it out to the desert yet

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  1. You look stunning here Nadia! So glad I found your blog and will be able to follow along. It’s been quite a while since I last did any overseas or international travel but your posts give me all those wanderlust vibes. It’s quite special really. Thank you for bringing back those nostalgic memories! I’d love to visit Seattle Washington next. I live in Sydney and have been to most of our states as well as overseas to Indonesia and England. Both were invaluable experiences and taught me lots about the world as a younger teen!

    Maryamhttps://infinitelyadaydreamer.com

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    1. Hi Maryam, thank you so much for taking interest in my blog! I checked yours out and I’m really happy to follow you. I hope you can visit Seattle soon, it’s another place I call home after living there for a year. I’m yet to visit Sydney – hoping to do so next year if Covid allows it.. wanderlust will have to do till then πŸ˜‰

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      1. Seattle was interesting at first – the ‘Seattle freeze’ seemed to be real since it was really difficult to make new friends, for a long time I felt like an outsider… but I remained active and kept engaging with as many people as possible and in the end I left with friendships that will last a lifetime. The city is beautiful – not very old but has tons of fascinating facts about its history! My favourite thing about living there was the location – you’re surrounded by water and mountains, so it was never hard to come up with weekend activities! And the rain actually didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would… It’s hard to summarize how I feel about a place I love so much, so I linked two posts below that you can check out when you get a chance (if you haven’t done so already) πŸ™‚ And if you have any specific posts focused on your life in Sydney, feel free to send me their links as well, I’d be very interested to read about it!

        https://forevernadsabroad.wordpress.com/2020/05/23/seattle-rain-to-rainbows/

        https://forevernadsabroad.wordpress.com/2020/05/28/seattle-original-underground-city/

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      2. My boyfriend and I do long distance and have been together for almost two years. He’s close to Seattle, living in Arlington, so that’s the main reason why I’m so keen to go! I do want to live there one day. He’s explained to me that there are definitely better and worse times of year to visit and some considerable showery months!

        From what I’ve learned from him, mid July to August is the best time as it’s the summer months. Could be wrong though, I’m not sure! Either summer, spring or just temperate weather. I make sure to pay attention to those timings as I can’t stand the cold! I visited England in 2016 and spent the whole time asking family and friends how they survive in a country where flats are worn with socks! Thank god for heaters, that’s all I can say. I love Sydney weather. That’s something this country of mine does have going for it!

        Seattle sounds truly beautiful and a lot like the Blue Mountains about an hour away from me. I visit plenty as my grandma lives there and will be staying with her permanently as of January. From pictures and video my boyfriend has sent me, Seattle gets lots of snow at some points during the year and of course has crazy animals. We would never see a bear or moose on the road in Sydney!

        Thank you so much for linking those articles. I’ll definitely give them a read and brush up on my knowledge! I don’t have any specific sydney posts but I have quite a few travel diaries up- most are focused on places in sydney or interstate, like melbourne. Hopefully you’ll enjoy those! They’re all in my travel category so will be easy to find x

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      3. Summer is the best time to visit! My mom and brother was visiting in Spring and the weather was OK but I we could only go hiking twice… we had to go see the tulips and waterfalls in the rain and the weather also didn’t allow us to go to Mount Rainier which is the ultimate thing to do so yeah.. if you go in summer you can really make the most of your stay. That said, there are lots to do on rainy days so it’s not that you have to sit at home and stare at the window (which is what we do when it rains in South Africa). It’s nice that you’ll be visiting your boyfriend though – I bet he will show you some secret spots and treat you to things that are more ‘local’ and not the typical tourist experience…like seeing a bear or a moose in the road – I haven’t even experienced that!

        Like you, I also struggle with cold weather. I think SA and Sydney has a similar climate and I also only saw snow for the first time when I went to Seattle (age 25!). I was like a kid in a candy store! England is a different species of cold though so I can imagine how tough that must have been for you! I’ve found that all these places with bad weather usually has something to offer that makes up for it – just gotta stay long enough to find out what it is πŸ˜‰ definitely NOT flats with socks!

        I’m in the process of moving, but I look forward to spending more time on your blog once I get a chance! ❀

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  2. Nadia, I’m so glad you have found a place where you can be comfortable, with friends who are β€œfamily”, and that you have found inner peace. It looks beautiful as do you! Be safe and be well. ❀️

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  3. It’s true that some people find “home” in their birth country or overseas. And it’s definitely true that the pandemic really made people stop and think about where they want to be given the current state of things. Similar to your case, I had the option of moving again when my time in France came to an end last year, to China: however, I ended up returning home, COVID-19 hit, and I’m glad that I made the decision to return to the US instead of uprooting myself once more. If anything, COVID-19 has taught us to step back and appreciate what we have currently in our lives; I firmly believe that the pandemic won’t last forever, so that we can always resume our adventures wherever in the world. πŸ™‚

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    1. So glad you’re at peace with your decision to go home for now, I’m sure a new start in a foreign country would have been extra challenging this year! I agree, Covid won’t have a hold on us forever and like you I also look forward to more adventures abroad. Thanks so much for reading!

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  4. I am glad you are able to consider this city a home away from home. It must be difficult to make such decisions during a pandemic, should you stay or should you go… who would have thought a pandemic would throw us all off course and make us reconsider everything. But you are riding this wave very well and well done on being able to stay sane and focused on the other side of the world in 2020 πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you, Sam! We don’t really have a choice other than to ride the wave, do we? There’s been a lot of ups and downs, but finding my feet in Doha has definitely helped me to get through the lows faster and with a little more grace. I’m sure you’ve gone through similar motions during this time, since your journey in London started not too long before the pandemic hit, so kudos to you too πŸ˜€

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  5. Interesting to hear about life in Doha. We only had a short stop and visited a small part of the city a few years back and it was hard to understand how people lived in the city. It just felt empty, but it could have been due to the time of the day etc. So thank you for enlightening us. πŸ™‚

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