I thought I would take a moment to let you in on me and my life. This picture represents exactly who we are. I am pretty sure this is one of our top 3 favorites of all time. It was just an iPhone selfie and has nothing to do with the quality of the photo. It is our favorite because we are in Italy (and I was having a great hair day lol) and Italy plus anywhere on the water, is our all-time favorite place in the world to be!
I guess what is unique to my story in this chapter of life is that Craig’s job brought him overseas to Doha, Qatar in March of 2018.
For those of you who don’t know where that is, it is a tiny peninsula off of Saudi Arabia. It is actually one of the safest places in the world with the largest US military base. I also don’t have to cover up my hair as they are westernized, ‘to a point’.
A few things we get asked about a lot:
Can you drink alcohol? – kinda … In order to go to the liquor store in Qatar you have to have a job, you have to make a certain amount of money with that job to qualify and you have to apply for a liquor permit. The amount of alcohol you are allowed to purchase is based on the amount of money you make. They also placed a 100% increase on alcohol last year, so it is extremely expensive. That is all just if you want to buy wine and bring it home to drink. If you want to go out in public that is a different story. You have to go to one of the 5 star hotels that has met all the requirements and is allowed to sell alcohol. Typically when you arrive you either need your QID (their version of a driver’s license) or your passport that is then scanned before entering. And again, we are talking the equivalent of $350 USD for dinner with a bottle of wine at a so-so Mexican restaurant. So just sayin’ – we eat or order in a lot!
Is Craig in the Military? We get that one frequently, or people just assume he is when you say Middle East. Actually, Craig is a Landscape Architect. No, he doesn’t mow lawns Lol … another frequent question/assumption. The minute people hear Landscape they forget about the operative word being Architect. When we were first married I would get so annoyed that people didn’t understand what he does, but now it is just comical. He leads a division of the company he has worked for for over 20 years now and has designed many of the parks and cityscapes up and down the east coast as well as some work in Italy and Germany! I love that when we are flying over certain parts of the world he can point out to me the work he has designed and been a part of. It’s like he’s secretly famous so I brag about him whenever I can!
What is it like having a long distance relationship? The day he left for the airport I cried so hard and thought “this is the biggest mistake”. It felt that way because there was so much unknown, but now that the kids have all graduated (except for the youngest who lives in NY with her mom) I am able to plan my work and travel back and forth more often. But we have spent the past year and a half apart.
We watch and read about so many people saying long distance never works, that it leads to infidelity, that it is such a strain on a relationship etc.
Our answer: It doesn’t FEEL like work. We just love and support each other and we have literally never missed a FaceTime call. Even if it is for 5 minutes because I am headed to an event and have to pull off on the side of the road to say good night (Qatar is 7 hrs ahead of EST) or he has had to work until midnight (his time) and calls me from bed just to catch me up on the day. We do those things because we want to and because we both appreciate the purpose for our distance and are making the best of it. I couldn’t do it with any other person on this earth though, that is for sure.
So that is a little behind-the-scenes of my world. Oh and one more thing, I am more comfortable behind a camera then in front of it! So when you see me on social, especially video, be assured I am fantastically uncomfortable! Lol
The Pearl in Doha, Qatar