Today’s interview is with Polly, a British expat who is living in Qatar.Polly is a British twenty something blogger making the most of expat life in Doha. Her blog gives readers an insight into what life is like as an expat in love in Qatar as well as providing information and inspiration in the form of exciting reviews and photo blogs.
Why did you decide to move to Doha?
I’d been toying with the idea of moving to another part of the world for quite a while. I wasn’t feeling fulfilled in my job and was ready to spend a bit of time abroad to further my career and to get a new perspective on things. Then I met my (now) fiancee, Rich and fell in love. Needless to say, that put a spanner in the works a little! A year or so later, he accepted a job offer in Doha, and I came out for a while to see what it was like. Whilst I was out here, I managed to get the job of my dreams, working as a CSR Specialist for the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (the delivery authority for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup), and the rest is history!
When did you first start blogging?
I wrote my first blog post at the end of October 2013, a few days before I came out to live in the desert. I remember sitting in my flat in London and thinking “this is such a huge thing I am doing, I need to keep a note of every detail!”. Doing this online in the form of a blog rather than in a private diary served the dual purpose of keeping my family and friends up to date at the same time – there’s only so much you remember to tell them about in brief chats over FaceTime.
Looking back, I’m so glad I started blogging when I did, because in years to come I will be able to read back through our journey out here and see how far we’ve come, and to relive some of our favourite moments.
What are some of your own favourite blogs and websites?
My favourite blog of all time has got to be The Londoner www.thelondoner.me. Rosie has a very special way with words, and hers is the blog I return to time and time again for London, travel and recipe-related inspiration. I don’t think I’m alone in this! Beauty-wise, Milly’s blog, Pearls and Poodles www.pearlsandpoodles.com is brilliant. I went to school with Milly, and it’s great to see someone I know make such a success for herself in the blogging world. Finally, my favourite expat blog is Big World, Small Me http://www.bigworldsmallme.com/ for Sara’s great pictures, engaging writing and beautiful blog layout.
I am currently in the process of wedding planning, so other websites I visit regularly are currently all boring wedding-related ones I’m afraid. Oh, and Pinterest. Everybody should get on Pinterest. This is big chat, but I wholeheartedly believe it will change your world.
What are your hopes for Your Blog –Follow Your Sunshine in the future?
As I already mentioned, first and foremost, my blog is a personal reminder of our journey for Rich and me, as well as a brilliant way to keep friends and family updated on what we’ve been up to. That said, I am beginning to receive a bit more interest from outside of this group of people and it’s got me thinking about Follow Your Sunshine in a longer-term and slightly more serious way. I absolutely love writing, and if I am able to offer something of use to people (such as a good restaurant recommendation or a new way of thinking about something) through blogging, then I’m a happy girl.
It’s exciting that the Middle East is starting to recognise the importance of good quality blogging for marketing purposes, and that there are all kinds of groups popping up to support bloggers (such as the new Blogging ME network bloggingme.net so all of this is helping me to take my little blog to the next level.
Tell us a secret!..
When I was about six, me and a friend of mine once stole all of the chocolate out of all of our class’ lunch boxes at school, ate them in the toilets and then told them we saw a man come in and steal them. There was mass hysteria amongst all the children, and they were too scared to go out and play that day in case the robber came back! That lie still haunts me to this day…
You once nearly set your apartment on fire with a nappy (a diaper) some chocolate and a microwave, is having a sense of humour important to you? Absolutely! If you can’t laugh at the world around you (and more importantly, at yourself) then you’ve got no chance. If you were to ask my family or friends about my sense of humour, they would probably tell you that it’s pretty awful – I love a really cheesy, terrible pun – but if people are laughing AT you because your jokes are so terrible, they’re still laughing right?! My favourite joke of all time is an oldie but a goodie; “What did the cheese say when it looked in the mirror? – Hallouuumi!”
Many of your blogs finish with beautiful soulful sayings and wise mantra’s, if you had to come up with your own words of wisdom, what would they be?
Something along the lines of, ‘believe in yourself and think positive thoughts, and good things will come your way’. Like most people, I have received my fair share of knocks, and the thing that has always pulled me through is knowing that everything always works itself out in the end. So many women these days have such low self-esteem for a whole host of reasons, and I think a little bit of self-belief and positivity could help us all go a long way.
As a self confessed romantic…what advice do you give to those looking to find love in Doha?
I was speaking to a friend of mine about this just last night. Finding love in Doha can be difficult due to the transient population, which means that people sometimes view relationships as a fairly temporary thing – a stop gap if you like until they leave the country. However, that’s not to say that finding love out here is impossible! I know plenty of people that have met someone, fallen in love and even got married out here. The best way to find ‘the one’ amongst such a diverse population of expats is simply to get involved in anything and everything you can – from Salsa dancing to comedy nights. I’ve noticed that different groups of expats tend to frequent different events, so if you get out there and go to them all, you are bound to find someone in the mix that floats your boat (and you will have had a really fun time discovering new places in Doha in the process!).
Published by ” Funky Qatar blog ”