We are moving!

Hello again beans,

Well after a couple of months of discussion and some long deep (and sometimes heated discussions lol) we are moving back to Australia.

After living in the Middle East for almost 10 years in Dubai and Doha we are moving back to Oz. From having such a long time living outside my home country of Australia in a very distant region and culture I have to admit that it is a very daunting and yet exciting move to be making.

As I have recently graduated from university, I have been increasingly looking at the different opportunities both here in the Middle East and back home on Oz. For me starting out in the different fields of Photography and Design and predominantly working as a freelancer and setting up my own business it is, generally speaking very difficult and costly to achieve this as an expat here in the Middle East.

Taking certain political situations into account has also pushed the decision to happen much more rapidly. As I have been studying via correspondence from London I have not been able to have a visa sponsored under my father as I am a male over 18 years old. For this reason every 30 days I have had to leave the country and come back in to renew my tourist visa. This arrangement has recently become very difficult to maintain as diplomatic relations have once again crumbled with Qatar. As it stands I now have to fly to Muscat in Oman or to Kuwait in order to renew my visa. With my sister living in Dubai and Mum and Dad living in Doha a trip that usually costs AED500 now costs upwards of AED3,000 and instead of 45min takes over 5 hours with transit and flights. Needless to say the arrangement is no longer feasible.

So both my sister and I will be moving back to Australia in 1 months time on the 16th August 2017.

I have to say that the time I have had over here in the Middle East has been absolutely amazing and the greatest experience and opportunity of my life. I have to thank my Mum and Dad for being brave enough to make the big decision to move overseas and all the little things that go along with that as well as carrying me along these years. I have learnt so much by living overseas and I recommend anyone should live outside their own country for at least a small amount of time. I have found it really helped me to see things with a bit more of an open mind and to be able to value what we have in our own countries and not to take them for granted, but also seeing different areas that we have plenty of room for change. Living in the Middle East and traveling around the region has really opened my eyes to how different it all is and what we have been lead to believe by the media. With this being a region that has such polarising views of people that, for a very large part don't even know anything about it I feel very honoured and privileged to have been given the opportunity to live here and experience the warmth and hospitality of the Arab people. I will always cherish the time I have had here and the many close friends that I have made along the way. 

Thankfully these days with all the various social media platforms the world is seemingly shrinking in the feeling of distance and we are able to communicate and keep in touch with loved ones no matter where in the world they are located. As such my social media accounts are below, feel free to follow 😃

Instagram: jcuae
Instagram (personal): jellybean_joel
Snapchat: jcuae
Twitter: @JoelCruikshank

Both my sister and I will be moving to the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
I have to say that I am really looking forward to moving back to Oz for several reasons, the main reason being the feeling of grounded-ness and being able to set my life up as I don't have the same restrictions and limitations with Australia being my home country. Another reason is I am looking forward to experiencing all 4 seasons again 😉 as living in the Middle East there is generally 2 seasons Summer and Winter. The winters in the Middle East are absolutely beautiful but the summers leave a lot to be desired with extreme temperatures and humidity. The nice clean air and beautiful diversity of the nature in Australia is one of the biggest drawing cards after the simplistic beauty of the rolling dunes of the desert.

The past 10 years have really shaped me and my vision and inspiration both personally and professionally. The experiences I have had and the people I have met along the way are an absolute treasure. I am looking forward to having you all along for this new chapter in my life as the Middle Eastern influence is certainly not over but rather adding to the depth of what is to come and the many more experiences and memories to create in Australia and abroad. 

Thanks so much to everyone along the way, all the friends and almost family I have made. I can't wait to have you all along for this new adventure. ❤️ 

I will put together another blog after this one with a little collection of some of the pics from my time here in the Middle East, please enjoy.


Love to you all,