Kuwait was never on my to-do-list or agenda. In fact, I never even thought of what it would be like to live on the other side of the world, especially not in the Middle East; I was perfectly fine living comfortably in my hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. But, I knew that in order to grow, I had to acknowledge the need for a change. So, I accepted a personal invite, not really knowing what to expect.
“You can write anywhere,” I was told. It was a subtle phrase of encouragement, urging me not to limit myself to a familiar environment or downplay my potential. And here I am, 7 months later, reflecting on that conversation, grateful that I finally built up enough courage to say, “Yes.”
This has truly been a life-changing experience, full of memorable events that I can’t wait to share with family and friends once I return to the U.S.
Upon arrival in November, many people eagerly asked me, “Why Kuwait?”, openly revealing their disdain, as if there was something extremely heinous about this particular country. Insinuating that out of all the exotic, vacation-worthy places to visit, I chose the worst area for my very first overseas adventure. Most times, I just smiled and answered routinely with, “An opportunity presented itself.” Truth is, I came here for two reasons: Love and Writing. And I have absolutely no regrets.
I’ve accomplished more in half a year than most will accomplish in their lifetime, simply because I decided to do the unthinkable. The irony is that I spend the majority of my time sharing details about my career struggles while enthusiastically promoting a LIVE YOUR DREAM message, which is overlooked by those who still remain trapped in the perplexity of trying to discover their purpose in life. I understand that pursuing a passion, completely, is not an immediate option for everyone. But I also now understand that fear is a disabling disease that will ruin hopes and aspirations if it’s not defeated in time.
Saying goodbye to Kuwait is as traumatic as the random occurrence of my favorite pen running out of ink; an abnormal blend of negative emotions. Frustration. Uncertainty. Worry. A piercing heartache.
In such a short period of time, I grew attached to the Arab culture, and learned how to appreciate the concept of diversity. Kuwait is a hub for expats and, in my opinion, an ideal place to establish a network. I’m not only bidding farewell to new friends and supporters from various surroundings, I’m also leaving behind a custom lifestyle that I quickly adjusted to: the convenience of Talabat doorstep deliveries, hitchhiking for taxis in the middle of bumper-to-bumper traffic, solely communicating with locals via WhatsApp, showcasing pride in my one-word Arabic language usage, correctly executing dinar transactions, amongst other meaningful things.
My departure will undoubtedly be an emotional transition; however, I’m sure that I’ll be back someday, inshallah. And the next time someone dares to ask me, “Why Kuwait?”, I’ll boldly reply with, “Why not?”