Flights are purchased, plans have been sorted, and in seven short days my time working in Oman will come to an end. These past six months have felt long, with far too much time spent feeling isolated and lonely, as well as dissatisfied with/ uninspired by my job. In these final few days I wish I had a tidy life lesson to write down, something about the value of persevering through unhappiness perhaps, but mostly I’m just glad this phase is over, and I’m trying to find the silver linings from this experience where I can.
The silver linings I’ve found so far? I’m much more certain of myself, and about what I need to thrive. I’ll leave here a stronger and more confident climber, and while sport climbing continues to be my favorite hobby, I’m surprised to say that I now actually like bouldering as well. I’ve come to love the desert, developing a special affinity for the stubborn little acacia trees dotting the landscape, the weathered peaks of the Hajar Mountains and the endless bluebird skies. The desert, in return, has left me a little more wild and a little more free, helping me become part mountain goat as I scrambled up and down rocky inclines, bleaching my hair to straw that I now can barely run a comb through, and sprinkling my face with new freckles and unfamiliar lines. Most of all, I will miss constantly feeling like Indiana Jones, and I’m incredibly grateful to be among the handful of westerners lucky enough to stumble across the shell fossils, petroglyphs, pottery fragments, and hidden villages scattered throughout the Musandam.
Adjusting to life outside of Dibba will be strange- I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be able to talk with anyone other than the same seven people I work with. Remembering to start locking my door again might be a challenge, but I’ll be excited to have reliable internet again, or to be able to casually drink a beer, or hold hands, or wear shorts… the list goes on and on. Now that the end is actually near, I’ve let myself get excited about the upcoming months- a bit of travel around the region, summer work back in my favorite place with some of my favorite people, and my dearest childhood friend’s wedding in Hawaii. Let the final countdown begin!