As a child I dreamt of being a gypsy and travelling the world in a caravan.
I lived in a beautiful little town surrounded by verdure but its mountains, rivers, fields and bucolic atmosphere held less allure for me than the unseen wonders of the world. Yet there seemed to be little chance that those dreams would ever come true, but life has a way of surprising us all.
I have travelled to some of the places I dreamt of and hope to travel to others, but I always gladly retun to my adopted home; Kuwait.
A large part of my life has been spent as an expat here. Unlike the days of my childhood, now even when I dream of other places and perpetually plan my next trip, I also take time to enjoy the place which is now our home. I like to take time to absorb everything slowly and let it seep into me so it leaves me feeling tranquil.
The place which I love the most is the sea side. I love the miles of promenade that one can walk, jog, cycle, skate or just picnic upon. The promenade links a long chain of lovely sandy beaches, ideal for swimming and water sports. Jet skis can be hired at a number of places. Sailing is a favourite pastime and though it is not a very big country, Kuwait has a number of marinas with all kinds of pleasure crafts.
Each beach has a restaurant or sometimes two and one can sip a delicious mocktail or enjoy coffee or lunch, while drinking in the glorious seascape through the wide glass windows. The restaurants range from McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King, to specialty and gourmet restaurants serving various cuisines, so there is something to suit every pocket and taste.
Fishing is another pastime here. Anglers can be found sitting patiently on the rocks or fishing piers, waiting for the big one. Many are out on their boats. Traditionally Kuwaitis earned their livelihood through the sea, before the discovery of oil and even today there are dhow harbours where the beautiful dhows stand and sail out from each day, to bring in the day's rich catch.
On week-ends when the weather is good and it is best during spring and autumn, the beaches are teeming with people, children’s shouts and laughter ring in the air and tantalising smells rise from many a barbeque. Squawking gulls converge for scraps fearlessly.
Spring is also the time when, after the rains, most of the desert is covered by wild flowers. On the beach too the wildflowers add splashes of bright colours to grey rocks they grow between.
The weather can be both really beautiful giving us deep blue seas and skies or it can change a few times within the span of a few hours and as the clouds sail into the sky the colours of the sea can change to many shades of blue and green, like Neptune is unable to decide which cloak to don. The experience can be exhilarating and it is hard to keep up with the weather’s temperamental behavior and nothing much to do other than run indoors or stay out and enjoy it.