We’d been in Paris for about four hours when G and I agreed that it felt like we weren’t just in another country, we were on another planet. Everything felt so different. The way people moved, the tone of the language, the structure of ordering a meal. We were back on public transport, surrounded by trees and we walked, we walked for miles.

“Lots of people run in Paris don’t they?” one of the travellers commented as we wandered along the Seine. A lot of running in Doha is done in an air-conditioned room with a treadmill.

Even though it was cold and wet we had a great time. We re-grouped which is so often the case on a family holiday. Friendships between siblings reappeared, there was still fighting but they were happy to sleep, eat and play together. When it came time to go to bed tonight they admitted it was weird to be back in their own beds and not sharing.

I woke up this morning in Paris with my last slither of foie gras waiting in the refrigerator. I had lunch in Amsterdam and I am now tucked up in bed in Doha, feeling miserable. Re-entry. This one feels harder than some of the others.

At rocket speed we broke through the holiday stratosphere and landed with a thud in the sand. “We should stop and get bread for school lunches”. Snap back to reality, oh there goes gravity. Eminem you took the words right out of my meteorological misery.

Doha, I love you and I know that in a few days I will even out my PH levels and return to the equilibrium of yes, that’s why I’m here, I’m meant to be here – but right now I’m feeling far from the homecoming queen. Perhaps because I’m not home.

As the plane descended I looked out over the dust and thought of Mars. This foreign planet with so many questions, like when is the new airport going to be finished? And, why is this shuttle bus ride taking longer than my actual flight? And then there’s all of the other questions that you just don’t dare ask out loud. The ones that cross your mind as you scan the queue waiting in immigration and scroll through the New York Times.

This re-entry is feeling jaded, off kilter, a little skewif. I’ve decompressed too quickly. I need to slowly come to the surface. A day at home unpacking and balancing out the spirit level.

It will all come back, slowly.

Sign up for the best bits here

Your favourite posts from the group as well as the gems from the podcast. We'll send it straight to your inbox to save you searching

Powered by ConvertKit