Every beginning has an ending and every ending leads to a new beginning…
It’s now been almost six months since I first came back to Dubai. In some respects, it seems like it’s been longer than that, and yet in others, it feels like it was only yesterday when I got off the plane and stepped back into the humidity-ridden city. But then again, when I think back over all the things I’ve managed to do in this time, I realise that yes, it does feel like it’s been a while since I returned. Days have turned into weeks, weeks slowly turned into months, and it’s now been almost half a year since I came back.
Upon reflection, I’m happy to say that returning to Dubai was the right thing to do. I put some final ghosts from my past to rest and figured out so much about myself and what I want moving forward. I’m sure I would have come to all these conclusions eventually, but I feel that coming back here has somehow fast-forwarded the process.
Upon reflection, I’m happy to say that returning to Dubai was the right thing to do. I put some final ghosts from my past to rest and figured out so much about myself and what I want moving forward.
I didn’t realise that being back in Dubai would illuminate for me not just how far I’ve come over the last few years, but also how much I’ve changed. I believe that when you go back to places that you’ve lived in after being away for a while, you really feel how different you are; you know everything about the city is the same, and yet you somehow feel totally different.
That’s how I’ve felt while I’ve been back here.
It’s not always been easy; there have been times when I’ve wondered why the hell I decided to come back. But overall, as I look back over these six months, I realise that I’ve been absolutely blessed with good fortune. I’ve met some incredible people – people who have made me see things in a different light, who have been incredibly kind and warm, who have made me laugh and cry.
I’m so incredibly grateful for all of this.
I’ve always loved Dubai and I always will. I’ve had some of the best years of my life here, and no matter where I end up I’ll always think of this place fondly. But after a lot of soul searching and some serious thinking, I’ve decided that I’m now going to move onto something new. I’m more ready than ever to take yet another leap of faith.
DXB – KTM
Back in November, I visited Nepal for five days. It was a whirlwind trip that I took in between two freelance assignments and yet despite the short time frame, it was quite possibly the most memorable journey of my life to date. Nepal is a magical place and every time I try to put into words how it made me feel, I realise it’s impossible to.
Some things can only be felt. They cannot be done justice with words. And those are the most precious things of all.
Being there and hearing the plight of the people whose lives were devastated by the 2015 earthquake really got to me. The more I heard and the more I read about the various issues the country is facing, I felt something shift within me. I knew I wanted to help in some way.
The more I heard and the more I read about the various issues the country is facing, I felt something shift within me. I knew I wanted to help in some way.
I’ve always wanted to help people. It’s the reason that I studied psychology and had every intention of becoming a clinical psychologist. I decided to take a different path at the time, but fast-forward ten years and I’ve realised that one of the reasons why my work doesn’t fully fulfil me anymore is because I’m not catering to one of my core values.
My work, I’ve realised, needs to have some sort of bigger meaning. Something beyond me and my needs.
After I got home from Nepal, I started to research NGOs and how my skills could perhaps be transferred to working for a not-for-profit organisation instead. I spoke to various people who already work in the field and put the feelers out. I realised that the best way to try and see if this line of work would be for me is to volunteer my time first.
I now firmly believe that if you put a positive request out into the universe, you will be rewarded with a path or an opportunity.
Only a few weeks after I got back home, one of the lovely ladies I was on the writing retreat in Greece with forwarded me the link to a volunteer vacancy with a UK-based charity called Street Child. The best part? The vacancy was in Nepal.
The minute I read the job description I knew that I had to apply for it – I believed I could do every single thing they were asking for. The charity is working on a cause I believe in – they help to put street children back into school, which, in Nepal, entails rebuilding classrooms that were devastated by the earthquake, as well as educating parents from marginalised communities on how sending their children to school can help them out of poverty.
I took the time to put together a thoughtful CV and covering letter and sent them through, hoping for the best.
Things then happened a lot quicker than I expected them to.
Within a week they emailed back to say they’d love to chat with me about the role. One week later we spoke via Skype. Needless to say that it went well and they offered the role to me.
An Exciting New Beginning
I took a couple of days to think everything through and I realised that every cell in my being was telling me yes, do it. The truth is, I’ve been unhappy with the way my work has been heading for a very long time. I love writing and I always will, but I feel unchallenged by the type of writing that I’m doing. I’m at the point now where I feel I can do this in my sleep. Nothing excites me about it. And, most importantly, I don’t feel like I’m making any kind of difference to the world.
I absolutely hate that. So why not put my skills to good use and help others in the process?
I don’t know what the future holds, but I feel this may be the first step towards something exciting, fulfilling and new. I will be in Nepal volunteering for two to three months, and after that, who knows. I’m just so happy to be able to do something to give back, to contribute positively to something a lot bigger than myself and my life. It may lead onto a totally new direction for me and it may not. But all that matters right now is going to Nepal and doing the job that I’ve been hired to do.
I am currently completing a freelance work project, which I will finish by mid-March. I then plan on packing up and heading back home to Cyprus for a couple of weeks to see my family. Then I’ll be making my way east again at the beginning of April.
In the near future, I will be doing some fundraising, and I’ll fill you in on the details after I’ve left the UAE. Maintaining this blog for the last three years has been a labour of love and I’ve never asked for a penny for it, so I’m hoping you will all think of it as a back subscription for all my hard work. The money will not go towards my costs, which I will be paying for on my own – every penny will go to the charity and to help build schools.
I promise you it’s a worthwhile cause.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading! If you haven’t already, follow me on Instagram and like the blog’s Facebook page. I’ll be updating this space a lot more often while I’m in Nepal. It’s a beautiful, magical, phenomenal country and I hope I’ll be able to inspire you to travel there.
So, here’s to (yet another) new beginning! Thank you, as always, for the support.
Let’s make a difference!