Recap! It’s Been 1 Year!

IMG_1162It was exactly one year ago today that I boarded a plane to Qatar and started an exciting new chapter in my life. This has been the most fascinating year. Here’s a recap:

  • I was met at the airplane by the lovely ladies of #AlMourjan and escorted to the airport lounge where I had access to free wi-fi, food, coffee & tea.
  • Sitting in the lounge at the airport, I met the @BellamyBrothers. They invited me to their concert at the end of the week.
  • I was taken by a driver to my new apartment. Upon arrival, it was not the apartment complex/building I was expecting. Not being able to communicate or know how to use my phone, I was in a slight panic. It turned out, the mistake in housing was a blessing in disguise. It was centrally located and the building crew was spectacular.
  • I went to the @BellamyBrothers concert and had a blast!

    Bellamy Brothers concert in Qatar

    Bellamy Brothers concert in Qatar

  • I discovered #TheJazzClub @OryxRotana. The band was from South Africa and they are still the best band I’ve seen @OryxRotana since arriving to Doha. My first night there, I had someone send me an expensive bottle of champagne, someone else bought me an expensive cigar, at the end of the night, my whole tab was picked up. It was then that I knew I wasn’t in Kansas anymore! I met Dan, the bartender who still takes great care of me when I go.
  • Grocery shopping was fascinating. Carrefour, or the Qatar version of Super Wal-Mart, became my go to place. I finally figured out how to buy produce. There’s no weighing at the cash register.
  • I went through the very funny and patience-testing process to get my health screen to prove that I am disease free.
  • I got my resident permit that allows so many privileges. Like buying liquor to take home.
  • The souq became a familiar place. I still enjoy going to the souq.
  • Jazz at Lincoln Center @jalcDoha became my next Jazz discovery
    Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha

    Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha

    and has since become my second home in Doha (Vlad! My favorite @jalcDoha bartender). Well, the @StRegisDoha in general has become my second home. I have to give a shout out to Gabrielle, the best Lobby Ambassador in the business. He always has my back!

  • Spent Thanksgiving in the most non traditional of ways by eating out at a buffet. It was great though.
  • Discovered the spa! #Angsana Spa at the Wyndham is fabulous. Nur is the best therapist!
  • 90 days on the J.O.B. came and I was then allowed to travel outside the country.
  • My first trip was to the beautiful @Anantara_Hotels Veli Resort in the Maldive. It changed my life. Thanks to Andrea, resort manager, for making sure my vacation was unforgettable.
  • Then on to #Amman #Jordan & #Petra, and the #DeadSea over the national day holiday.
  • Moved into my wonderful new flat on the 49th floor with
    View from my apartment. Rare fog in Doha.

    View from my apartment. Rare fog in Doha.

    amazing views of the city and gulf.

  • Met and hosted the wonderfully talented members of Simply Irresistible Band from Atlanta with @MikeBurton, @MelvinJonestpt
  • Had an amazing New Year’s Eve watching the Simply Irresistible band play at the W Hotel. Much better than my planned night at home alone.
  • Discovered the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. Wonderfully talented people!
  • Spent some time in the US for Jaden’s 13th birthday.
  • Saw @JohnLegend in concert in #Dubai.
  • My mom came to visit me in Doha.
  • Had a spectacular birthday.
  • Went to Paris (loved it) & London (not so much) but did meet some tribe members from @NomadnessTribe in London. Took my first train ride. It was from Paris to London & it was great!
  • Had surgery in Qatar. Was well taken care of by a great friend.
  • Back to the US for the @AWHONN conference in Long Beach. My sister came out to see me and met the AWHONN crew.
  • Got to see my wonderful & beautiful girlfriends in LA. I look forward to our times together!
  • Brought Jaden back to Doha with me.
  • Experienced my first Ramadan. Experienced my first Iftar.
  • Jaden & MeVisited 3 countries in 5 weeks (Turkey, Hungary, Italy) while Jaden was here.
  • Sent Jaden back to the US 😦
  • Relaxed and laid low for the month of August.

Whew! It’s been a whirlwind of a year and I enjoyed every minute of it. I have met some of the most kind people along the way. I’ve also met some of the smartest and most talented people. It’s been great being in a position to know and have met so many amazing people and some I know will be life-long connections.

What’s in store for the next 12 months? Hmmm. I don’t know. I do have a trip planned for September. I’ll certainly go the US in February for Jaden’s birthday. I’d love to do a Mediterranean cruise for my birthday in April. I’ll go the AWHONN conference in Dallas in June. I certainly want to do SE Asia over the next year and maybe another European country or two. Lebanon would be good. Bali…the options are endless.

Thank you to those who asked me to start this blog. I would have never imagined blogging but it’s been so much fun. It’s never been a chore. I love it & I always look forward to sharing.

Living life…and it’s good!

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