“Should I move to Oman?” – Without a doubt the most popular question that appears in my Mailbox and sliding it’s way into my Instagram inbox.
I’m not going to tell you that ‘Yes, you should move to Oman’ because one shoe does not fit everyone. But I can certainly tell you about my life here and then let you make up your own mind. But seriously, yeah, you really should move to Oman – It’s awesome!
It is almost 6 years since I left my little life in the North of Scotland and took the gamble on a new life abroad. Even though it was the craziest thing that I’ve ever done in my life my attitude was perhaps a little blasé, it probably still is. “What is the worst that could happen? We move home” I told myself, and I’m probably still telling myself that. Now years down the line I still didn’t move home because this is a country that I’m still exploring and enjoying every single day.
Let’s just be real for a second: Every location in the world will have it’s ups and it’s downs. There are good and bad laced through every society and I’ve had my fair share of shitty days in Oman but I can honestly tell you that there is not one single part of me that regrets starting a new life here.
So what has 6 years in a forgein land taught me?
- Find your passion. I’m actually embarrassed to admit that I literally had no interests in life. I had no motivation or hunger for anything, apart from food. That changed when I met new people, expanded my circle, saw what they were doing. It’s possible now that I have too many passions from Kayking to Hiking and Wakeboarding.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. You are hundreds, probably thousands, of miles away from home. Of course things are going to be different. If you can’t embrace them, just accept them and don’t sweat it. You will only end up exhausted and frustrated.
- Ignore the Jonses. Especially in the Middle East it’s easy to get into the lure of a fancy life with fancy cars and fancy trips all to impress others. Have fun but live within your means.
- Go with the flow. Life is constantly changing, people are constantly coming and going. Expat life especially is very transient. The people who are your besties right now might not be in the same country as you in 6 months – make the most of your time with them. They leave but right around the corner there will be someone else destined to come into your world.
- Do you. This is your opportunity to be who you want to be, a fresh start of sorts. If you want to salsa dance then do it. If you want to learn a language then do it. Heck, if you wanna go all Britney Spears from 2007 and cut all your hair off then do that too (Just remember a sun hat, you don’t want to burn). Just do you.
What is my favourite thing about Oman?
The people and the outdoors life.
The Omani people are so kind, curious and welcoming. If you make an effort to learn even a tiny bit of the Arabic language in a greeting it is so well received. It shows that you, the alien from a strange land, are trying. And so you should, we are visitors after all.
But for me the standout thing about Oman that keeps me passionately in love with the place is the outdoors. From the rolling golden dunes of the Wahiba Sands to the underwater paradise of the Damaniyat Islands and everything in between, Oman is insanely beautiful and simple with it. There aren’t trashy aqua parks and European style resorts – This is a country with raw, precious nature that is accessible to all.
I could honestly talk all day about the amazing places in Oman and my wacky experiences along the way. There is just something so magical about exploring here that it never gets old.
Where is my favourite place?
There are two places that jump out at me for different reasons- Jebel Akhdar and Wadi Arbeein.
Jebel Akhdar, or known as the Green Mountain, is just somewhere that makes my soul feel calm. I don’t know why but I just feel happy to be there. Don’t fancy camping? Check out the luxury Anantara Hotel also, it is divine.
For adventure I love the mountains, ocean and desert but one place that always sticks in my mind is Wadi Arbeein. It is one of the rare places in the world that I have travelled to where I didn’t see one single piece of trash along the way – I pray that it stays like that!
Swimming in the fresh pools it is so clear that you can open your eyes underwater, or just relax and let the little fish nibble away at your feet. For the more adventurous people you can try and find the secret waterfall (around a 5 hour strenuous adventure).
What do I dislike about Oman?
Living in the 6th hottest country in the world is no joke, this summer is brutal and long.
If you can perservere with the hot air burning your eye balls and endure the 1st degree skin burns from your seatbelt then you totally deserve the winter months. The country comes alive with fun and positive vibes!
How do you survive the summer? Pretty much just stay indoors – Watch Netflix, Join a gym, Water activities.
Sounds good, right? Now this is the part where I need you to use your brain…
Oodles of excited new Expats, possibly much like yourself, send me questions about which area of the city to move to, which phone network they should use, which car rental place they should try – Remember, Google is your friend. I can help to recommend you in some things but in others if you are taking the plunge to a new life you have to figure these things out for yourself. Enjoy the adventure. Be independent.
Have you got any more questions that Google can’t answer? Drop me a mail or come find me on Instagram.
So, what are you waiting for?! Accept that job, take a risk and see what the world has to offer. What’s the worst that can happen?