It was 11 years ago today that I landed in this desert land. It has been an absolute whirlwind of an experience. It has been the best and the hardest season of my life. I came here at the tender age of 25 years. I left my family, friends and my little dog Gizmo to take on, what I thought at the time to be, a two year adventure in the Middle East. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be sitting here 11 years later writing this post, on a blog that I started with my dear American friend who now lives in Tel Aviv. Wow, what a mouth full. I thought it would be fun to share some of my very first Kuwait memories with you, so here goes:
This was my first apartment –
I will never forget the day that I came home from Ikea (my first experience with Ikea at that) and I started to build my very basic essential furniture. I was very proudly using my pink screwdriver that I had bought earlier from the local supermarket when I reached a point in assembling my wardrobe where I need to “get a friend to hold one side while you bla bla bla the other”. I remember the sense of helplessness that I felt when I fell to the floor in tears thinking “well, that would be great if only I had one!”
It’s tough adulting I tell you!
Those who know me will also know that I’m a little shy in nature. The fact that I jumped from my comfort zone of home and landed in this strange land to begin with is nothing short of a miraculous leap of Faith. But jump I did. I slowly grew braver and through the advertising agency I was working for at the time and a few good flat mates, I started to make some friends, got out and did things I that would ultimately change the very core of my being. I grew up, FAST!
My first trip out to the quad bikes in the desert –
During my time here I lost my mom and more recently my grandfather, and I had to shelve my preconceived ideas of what the ‘right’ career path was for me. I got married, and had three very cool little people. And since then I have been able to reinvent myself, reignite my love for art and art history. I explored my photography interests and became accredited through the NYIP (New York Institute of Photography) in the United States. I’m now also studying Interior Design. I have been Blessed with abundant travel opportunities. When I was working, I got to film TV commercials in Romania, Beirut, Dubai, Barcelona and Kuwait. I got to watch the Grand Prix in Bahrain. I went to Cannes, France for the Cannes Advertising Awards. I went to romantic Paris, and loved travelling the Rome and Florence with my better half. I got diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis (Google it – better yet, don’t Google it. Scary). I went vegan. We had our first family holiday to Portugal, Lisbon and Madeira. I learnt a new Language. I found God.
Top 11 things I have learned in these 11 year.
1 – Life is short.
2 – If you can’t find the joy in life, BE the joy in life.
3 – Practise tolerance, the world is made up of so many different cultures and beliefs.
4 – If you’re not happy, make a change. If you stay in your unhappiness you will only bring people down with you.
5 – Tell people you love, that you love them. You never know when will be the last time you speak to them.
6 – If you’re toying with the idea of going from 2 kids to 3, go for 3.
7 – The food that you put inside your body REALLY does effect the way you feel.
8 – Listen to your body. It speaks to you.
9 – Love those who are difficult to love, that is when you can really make a difference.
10 – Write letters.
11 – Pray – there will always be an answer. It may not always be the answer you’re looking for, but there will be one nonetheless.
I have no idea where the next 11 years will take me. I may very well still be here and will report back then with another recap.
I have met so many very interesting people here, and from each person I have met, I have taken something, and learned something new about myself in the process. I have also learned to look back at my beloved home country with fresh perspective and new appreciation.
Note: These photo were taken 11yrs ago on a very basic camera.