Before I get started, can I just say, how lovely has the weather been over the weekend in the UK. Normally, you mention the words Bank Holiday and it rains non stop. This weekend has been the hottest days of the year, and everyone seems to be smiling and embracing the sunshine. BLISS

Anyway, back to my travels. As i mentioned, I left Australia with ambition to get the Clarins makeup artist job, based in Paris.

I found out just after Christmas that I didn’t get the job. I remember feeling so upset and what now. Literally the next day I had a phone call from the agency that sent me on to the ocean liners. Saying a position had come up in the Middle East, leaving in about 10 days! It was a beauty salon job which wanted to push the makeup side of things.

I had very little knowledge about the Middle East and Dubai, apart from it was an Arabic county. Muslim country. Would I be allowed to have a drink? Would I be allowed to go out and explore? Would they accept a single western woman? I had no idea but as I began to look into it, I got excited.

The first week of 2020, was wet gray as I boarded my flight bound for Qatar….where on earth was Qatar?! I asked so many people and no one had heard of it. But off I went anyway. As the flight took off, I got that oh no, what I have done this time feeling. Which doubled when I landed in Qatar airport, which is NOTHING like it is now. I arrived to what look liked a cattle shed. The toilets were a hole in the ground, without toilet paper…I was flabbergasted! Thankfully the wait in Qatar wasn’t too long and I was back on a plane for the 45 min flight to Dubai.

The heat hit me as I the plane doors opened, the humidity was like walking into a sauna. I really wasn’t sure what to make of it all. Thank goodness I was met at the airport and by my new boss and taken to what was going to be my new home. A lovely small 2 bed air conditioned flat that I would share with 1 other woman, the hairdresser.

I remember falling asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, but being scared out of my skin when the loud speaker for the mosque went off at a ridiculously early time in the morning. (If you have never heard the early morning call to prayer you wont know what I am talking about.) This was a first for me and I had no clue that the speaker was right outside my window! I honestly thought someone was trying to get into my bedroom…someone that was clearly in pain!! Who would of thought years later this call to prayer would make me smile and give me a warm fuzzy feeling when I heard it!

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