25. Jun, 2017

How to find your feet

Moving to Qatar: how to find your feet

I relocated from the excitingly unpredictable weather of Durban, South Africa, to the unfaltering predictability of the scorching sun in Doha, Qatar. Many more thigs changed for me: going from running my own business to jobless, driving my own car to still stumbling along the process of getting a Qatari driving permit, and regularly hanging out with friends to not knowing a single soul except for my husband.

But...even more GREAT things changed for me too! Moving from a well-known hometown to having the opportunity to explore a brand new country, going from having little time to enjoy my hobbies to having loads of opportunities to do so, and taking ease of communication with others for granted to learning how to communicate with people of different nationalities. I get driven around, I spend hours in the shopping malls, I revel in the larger variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, I plan outdoor events without worrying about the possibility of rain, I learnt to grown herbs, I take afternoon naps, I take correspondence courses to further my education, and I have just recently started to volunteer my precious time to QEW.

It wasn't all roses and rainbows when I first arrived though. It was dreadful, especially from being so 'free' to feeling utterly trapped. Instead of detailing the dreariness of my situation, I thought I'd rather highlight the ways I got out of my slump; perhaps some of them could work for you if you're still looking for the light.


1. I referred back to Louise L. Hay's trio of books in her Golden Collection to help me take control of my thoughts and feelings about my current situation.

2. I created a weekly schedule of house cleaning, hobbies and down-time to prevent me from started around my home aimlessly, not really getting anything done. 3. I set my alarm clock to wake up at 6am, and made sure I was in bed by latest 10pm.

4. I downloaded lots of home-based bootcamp exercises from Pinterest and started working out every morning, Sunday through Thursday.

5. I got dressed nicely and put on my makeup every day.

6. I allowed myself to enjoy my hobbies guilt-free - sewing projects, mandala colouring in, baking, reading and writing.

7. I limited the time I spent trawling social media.

8. I learnt the technique of mindful meditation.

9. I joined Qatar Expat Women to make new friends.

10. I kept up communications with friends and family back home.

11. I planned one different activity to do with my husband every month.


I continue to go through good days peppered with the odd bad ones, but I use the 'fullness' gained from the good to pull me through the bad. In the words of Nada Hamouche (another QEW volunteer), I went from 'horrific to hooray'.

The world can be dark and uncertain and cruel, but as long as you can find just one firefly in the night, you will be fine, my dear friends, you will be just fine.

Janine Anstis

Writer & Editor