I feel an immense sense of accomplishment writing this today.
13 years ago, I embarked on my expat trail in Muscat, Oman – this wonderful corner of the world to where I have now returned. I was full of ideas and ambitions and I wanted more than anything to share my ideas and experiences as a freelance writer. I struggled, though. I struggled to solve technical challenges. I struggled to establish a network of contacts. But most importantly, I struggled with the lack of a supporting community who shared my ideas and interests.
When I met Femke, over a decade later, I knew instantly – we’d make a great team. You know that feeling, when you meet a fellow expat who shares your ideas and understands your challenges? Femke and I have both made conscious choices to see our mobile lives as opportunities for us to grow and develop. We have faced challenges, and looked for solutions.
Moving to Oman with her husband and kids four years ago, Femke was still working as a post doc with Delft University of Technology. She has since established herself as an independent scholar, and is currently writing a book on the mathematics of traffic. As an independent scholar, Femke can work with a laptop and an internet connection. However, working alone, away from a supportive academic environment, is not easy.
When my husband and I left Oman for Syria in 2007, we had a toddler and a baby on the way. When we left Syria for Borneo in 2010, we had three kids under 5. Moving frequently, and especially moving frequently with children, is a huge undertaking. By the time we were all settled, it was time to look at the map again. Without really realizing, I became ‘The Parent’. I kept writing, but it never took priority.
Moving back to Muscat in 2014, with the littlest one starting full day school, I knew things had to change. Indeed, the first text I wrote after moving was a promise; to rediscover my anthropological roots and my professional identity, and move forward.
With The Other Trail, we hope to create a community of personal growth, development and inspiration, for ourselves and for other expats in Oman. We encourage you to join us, blasting our own trails.