One of the great things about going away on a big adventure — like the one I'm about to embark on — is that it brings out some really great advice from the wise people around you. One piece which I've heard recently, both from Rachael's mom and from a good friend who I worked with at Oregon Public Broadcasting named Katrina, is to set aside some time to figure out what I hope to get out of the two or more years I'll spend in Qatar with Rachael. This could very quickly balloon into a list with dozens of items, but I'll follow J.D. Meier's advice and just list three. So here they are:
Document my adventure
Simple in concept, but also the most difficult. I hope to manage a blog post or two per week with enough photographs to keep them interesting. I plan to put less emphasis on social media in the interest of saving those thoughts and ideas and spinning them into posts.
Learn enough Arabic to impress a few people and get by
This is a two-parter. So who cares about impressing people, right? Well, on the eve of moving to another country, I do. Maybe more than is healthy, but I do. And in my experience, there are few quicker ways to someone's heart — especially when they're from a different place than you — as speaking their language.
And what does getting by mean? I don't know. I'll have to reevaluate that as I go. On the front-end, though, I'm hoping that eventually I'll get to a place where I can order some food at a restaurant, book a room in a hotel, chat with a taxi driver, and get to my destination. We'll see how that goes.
The image at the top is from the background on my computer. I leave it up there to remind myself that fun really, really needs to be a part of my life's equation. Not the only part, of course, but one of the big ones. I'm listing that on here as a goal because it's easy to forget about. When I went to Cuba and France on study abroad trips in college I spent a lot of my time away wishing I wasn't, and I know I missed out on some amazing things because of it. Things may be easier back home, or less lonely, or more familiar, or whatever, but I'm not there, and here is the only place I can have fun.