It took about 4 months from the time Stefan and I decided that we were moving to Doha for me to finally board the plane.
The last few weeks in the UK passed in a blur, the flat was being painted and spruced up to be rented, I was trying to sell the car (which is still not sold!!!), sorting out bank accounts, tax, etc….the list continues. In between this I was trying to catch up with as many of my friends as I could, my head was spinning by the time I got on the plane (this could have had a bit to do with all the champagne consumed the night before with great friends Em, Aid, Steve, Wendy and Boo) and I was in a bit of a daze.
Em and Aidrian were amazing to drive me to Heathrow at 5am to catch my flight, and patiently waited while I was charged for excess luggage which cut in to our last minutes together.(Thank you so much E and A -you are stars!!) Although I was really excited to be seeing Stefan in a few hours, I was very sad to say goodbye to the UK and all the amazing friends I have had to leave behind, and I am not ashamed to say I shed a few tears as I boarded the plane.
They say that a journey of a 1000 miles starts with a single step….
Our journey started in March 2002 (2 weeks after we got married!), when Stefan was offered a job in Winchester and we made the big move from Cape Town, South Africa. Neither of us had ever been to Winchester before, Stefan hadn’t even been to the UK – I had visited twice for short holidays!!! We arrived on a cold winter’s morning, it was a freezing, a bitterly cold day and every thing looked dull and grey. We both had thoughts of what on earth have we done, we have left a great life and our family and friends behind for this???!!!…but we were too scared to voice our thoughts to each other.
Now 8 ½ years later we find ourselves in a similar position again. Stefan has been offered a job in Doha, Qatar and once again we are leaving a great life and all our amazing friends and family behind. This time Stefan has been to Doha, I have never been to the Middle East before (does a one night stop over in Dubai count?)
Stefan has already started his job in Doha and I will be joining him in a few weeks time. I have stayed to sort out renting out our flat, the shipping of our belongings, selling the car and everything else required for a move to another country. To say that this has been a stressful experience is an understatement. Thoughts of warmer weather and seeing Stefan after 6 weeks is keeping me sane.
I have no idea what to expect when I arrive, what it is going to be like as a blonde blue-eyed women in an Arab country , are the shopping malls going to be as amazing as I have been led to believe ? , how can a person run in 40 degrees weather? , how easy is it to get a licence to buy wine? How am I going to cope with having to get my husbands permission to do anything? … these are just a few of the thoughts going around in my head…..
The next step of our journey is about to begin …….