THE WEEKEND WARRIOR –
As a media personality, you would definitely notice her. But despite working in the same industry, our paths never crossed in Oman. It has to take a media family trip abroad for us to get acquainted. Although her online personality is bubbly and open, there was a lot different about her in person. The clips she made only provided but a portion of what she is all about. She has a hideous laugh, one that I may have failed to tell her in person and she, as a millennial, often judged as not working hard enough, definitely did not fall under the typecast.
We shared several common traits — driven, ambitious, flexible and reasonably nice and given time to breathe a little, she was chill to hang out with.
For three days during the trip, we shared travel experiences together. I get to know the person behind the personality. Together with other journalists from the Middle East within our age range, I came to a realisation that media in the region is quite in good hands. The new breed of writers and content producers are not only well-educated, but they also have a good understanding of what the region is all about and therefore are able to keep balance takes on things that are happening here.
When the trip was over, we made promises to meet again. Back in Oman, time seemed to fly so fast. We each have daily deadlines and with interviews, news stories and the next best things happening all over the country, the meeting seemed inconsequential.
Then I saw her social media feeds. She was leaving Oman and it has to take her leaving for us to finally make a time to meet.
I’m not the type of person to poke my nose where it doesn’t belong. But she did share the reasons and I feel bad that the circumstances forced her to leave the country. She was an asset but more than loving Oman as a workspace, it is also important to have a decent source of living and being recognised for one’s contributions.
She loved Oman. That cannot be denied and even though she doesn’t want to go, life decisions have to be made.
This is actually the sad reality for many expats. It’s hard to find an expat who hasn’t fallen in love with the country — with its way of life, with the people, its history, its interesting sceneries among others. At the back of every expat’s head is that one day, even their stay would have come to an end cause even if they call it their second home, it still is not and they won’t have the right to be truly a part of it.
One of my favourite people in the country told me once that he has made many expat friends in his lifetime. As an Omani, he has seen them come and go. He observed that all of them loved the country but shared that once they’re gone, they usually don’t come back. Even if they promise to visit.
My friend’s departure helped me put things into perspective. The truth is, when I came to Oman three years ago, I gave myself two years to stay. Yet, I’m still here loving what I do and loving the things that I get to enjoy.
It’s not the number of years that is important. Whether you stay in Oman for 2 years or their whole lifetime, what is important is that you enjoy every bit of it.
I try my best to do my little bit of contribution to Oman. One story every now and then talking about travel, its people, the changes that are happening and the future I think where it is headed.
When my stay here is over and done with, I am thankful for the memories. When you call a place your second home, it doesn’t matter if it loves you back or not, what is important is that you get your sense of peace and happiness and you achieved what is you’ve come to achieve.
Oman is a country built by the sweats of many people including the expats. We all make our little contributions to what Oman is becoming. In time, things can only get better.
For those who are leaving and saying their goodbye, we are all linked by Oman. In another airport at another time in the distant future, when you overhear someone saying something about Oman, you will definitely share a look. It’s the look that says, “I feel you bro! And totally understand where you are coming from.”