The Other Life

I had one of those moments last week. A moment where I actually stopped to take a look at where I was. In the mundane of school runs, work and what-will-we-have-for dinner, it can be easy to forget about the fact that you’re a long way from home. And then it suddenly hits you. The other life.

As I stood at the doors of a local store I stopped to pull out my phone and take a photo. To me it’s a classic Doha shot. In amongst the rubble, the chaos, the construction and the traffic, you can see the beauty. It was stinking hot when this shot was taken, I could feel the perspiration dripping down my back.

By this time next week my scenery will have changed dramatically. Our tans will slowly fade as we take our daily walk along the beach in tracksuits and long sleeved shirts. We’ll decide on a whim to jump in the car and go and see Granny. We’ll eat local produce and sit down each night to watch The Project and Masterchef or whatever new Aussie television discovery we make this year. We’ll go to swimming lessons at an indoor pool and have new favourite instructors. We’ll make morning bakery runs, and afternoon trips to the park. We’ll wear gum boots to the markets on Saturday morning and splash in the puddles of a dirt carpark. And slowly the travellers will change their vocabulary, their accents will alter. Football cards will be gathered, requests at Big W and Target will be made. And we will drive up and down this road at least once a day.

And in the middle of this, of all the goodness of home, every now and then we’ll stop and think of the other life. The life on a compound with friends, a busy school packed with activities, the desert sun and the sand that gathers at the front door.

The other life.

Sign up for the best bits here

Sign up for the best bits from our community of forty thousands expats. Every Saturday morning we’ll shoot you the five hottest topics from the world of expat.

Powered by ConvertKit


  1. Grest blog Sandy. You do have knack for writing bestifully. I wish I could even get my gtammer correct. Lol. Enjoy your new life. A new & exciting chapter.

  2. Cheers, it wouldn’t be a 4 kids, 20 suitcases post without at least 5 typos.

  3. Wow. You’ve actually reminded me of what I love about home. i start to chuckle as the memories creep back. The moment I realise I can wear ripped yoga pants and a stained hoodie to school drop-off without people scowling at me and muttering – because I can. Or when Centrelink makes me fill out another form for Childcare Benefit, I feel reassuredthat this will actually be the last form. But they are funny memories that make me smile 🙂

  4. Forgive me if I have missed something but are you leaving Qatar to go back to Australia for good or just the school holidays? I’ve been reading your blog for a little while now and even though I check in every day I feel I have missed something…

  5. No, definitely not leaving and I can see why you would have thought that by one of the comments earlier. I’ll be back in Doha in late August. And can I just say thank you for saying that you check in everyday, you just made my day xx

  6. Oops – did I make it sound like I was going home forever? Only a new life for the duration of the school holidays. We’ll be back in Doha in August. I’ll still be here with my terrible grammar and prominent typos though!

  7. A great post. Remember to take a step back and remember how fortunate you are. You seriously have the best of both worlds. An Australian Ex-pat There is nothing better. I can’t wait to be one of them again…

  8. That is a classic Doha shot – love it! Hope you enjoy your time at home, and the Aussie “winter”.

Speak Your Mind