Before I go on to describe what vvvvactually took place in Nizwa for the first two weeks of my stay, I want to explain why we decided to go there in the first place, because I’ve had people ask me this question.
When I went to Pakistan, I decided to take some time off and focus on building a family, resting (after 12 years of relentless work and studying) and figuring out what we wanted to do and what our goals were. I was working online: teaching through Skype and doing translation/subtitling work whilst B. was working in an office and also doing online work, as well as tutoring. This suited us well and though we weren’t getting an awful lot of money according to Western standards, we were doing well enough to have a comfortable life and even put something aside. We had time for each other, to cook, watch films, go to the park, etc. Those who have been reading the blog know the story. It was a bliss, the most amazing ten months in my life.
However, we then had to start thinking about the future. We could carry on like this, living a comfortable and easy life, but we both were and are dreaming of having our own place without having to spent 30 odd years paying off the mortgage. It was/is important for us to be independent like that before we start a family. Online work is great and it would be ideal to make enough without having to go away, but it’s also very irregular, particularly the teaching. Very few people actually have the decency to cancel or reschedule classes, they just simply don’t turn up while you do your best to accommodate them and every aspect of your life slowly becomes affected by this. I knew that with my qualifications and experience I could get a well-paid job fairly easily, plus I felt it was time to get back to work anyway.
Also, by then I had lived in five countries already (I was on Erasmus in Holland for 3.5 months, lived in the UK, Spain, Pakistan and obviously Poland), and though ideally I would have liked to stay in Pakistan, at the time I was having difficulty finding anything interesting, only to find out several months later, much to my dismay and after I got this job in Oman, that we were doing it all wrong, so when opportunities presented themselves (not only in Pakistan), I had already committed to Nizwa and didn’t want to go back on my word. (By the way, this is exactly why I still went to the UK even though B.’s visa hadn’t come through, I just don’t like to mess people about too much). Besides, the prospect of getting to know yet another country was also appealing to both of us.
Job hunting began in January/February 2016. I was quickly offered a job in Shanghai, but I turned it down, because we were given 10 days to relocate and not enough money to live on AND save at the same time. Less than I month later I heard from the University of Nizwa in Oman, I got the job in April and so the recruitment process began. I must say that compared to what I was used to in Europe, it was somewhat painful and stressful and required an awful lot of work regarding various documents, incl. my high school certificate, some of which had to be posted to Poland for certification and apostille, and others – requested and/or dug out from boxes in various parts of Europe (where I had left them convinced I would not need them anymore), translated (by a sworn translator) and sent over. I have applied for dozens of jobs across Europe over the years, but never had to do more that email scans of my qualifications and other documents, which always simply took a few clicks. Anyway, after much drama, I was able to complete all the paperwork, which would not have been possible without a few good souls in Poland (sadly, not my blood relatives with whom my path parted completely at that point), and a good four months later I was given employment visa to work in Oman.
I didn’t choose Oman for any particular reason, but I had looked it up before applying and it came across as a fairly open-minded, peaceful and progressive country, not too far from Pakistan, with a good mix of nationalities, which was highly encouraging in itself. Prior to my looking into it, several people had ‘advertised’ it to me and I was happy with what I heard. We spent several months watching everything there was on YouTube about Oman and Nizwa and were both were excited about the relocation. We planned every move meticulously and by the time I went to the UK in June, had it all planned. I wish everything had gone according to that plan and I’m not sure what would have happened had I known before what I know now.