The young Generation Amazing Ambassadors that I work with had a life affirming, goal achieving moment like this last Tuesday, when after several weeks of intensive practice sessions, they stood up on stage at Doha Goals - the world's premier platform for world leaders to create initiatives for global progress through sport - and talked about the great work they have been doing in football for development.
A proud moment for me, and a definite tick against one of my lifetime goals too.
You can read more about Generation Amazing at Doha Goals here.
As I left Aspire Park at the end of the Doha Goals conference, I remembered that it was my year anniversary as an expat in Qatar and it got me thinking about my own, personal Doha Goals.
Here is a quick summary of the things I hope to achieve while I am out here.
Learn more about this interesting part of the world
I don't think I ever would have come to the Middle East if it wasn't for my husband to be being offered the job offer of a lifetime, and I definitely wouldn't have stayed if I didn't get my own amazing career opportunity six months later. Now that I am here, I am absorbing everything I can about all things Middle East, and making the most of expanding my horizons in a way I had never even contemplated before moving here.
Explore more of the world outside of Qatar
I get itchy feet on a regular basis. And luckily for me, the Middle East is the perfect location from which to travel. Its central location in the world, where east meets west means that thousands of the world's most sought after travel destinations are only a few hours' flight away. We have already explored Sri Lanka and the UAE, and gone a little further afield to the USA. On the wishlist next is Oman, Jordan, Turkey, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and South East Asia...
Gain some more independence
Out here, away from the support of close friends and family, the familiarity of well-known and loved surroundings, and the comfort of home, you won't survive if you're the needy type. Resourcefulness, initiative and self-reliance are all characteristics that help you to thrive in an expat environment, and are things I struggled with to start with! Over the next few months, I'm going to be working on my autonomy and self-sufficiency - after all, it's me and me only that is the master of my destiny, and who decides where I go on this journey.
Push the boundaries
When you are living somewhere that displaces you out of your comfort zone, you might as well go the whole hog and take a giant leap into the unknown. That means trying new things I've never done before, pushing myself in my career and home life and allowing myself to make mistakes (and learn from them!).
Look to the future
While we're out here, it's so important that we don't spend everything we earn, so that wherever we eventually end up in the world, we have a little bit of cash stowed away for a house, a car and a family. It's also important that Rich and I are supportive of each other and all the hardships we go through out here (you will find a great example of this in this week's 'Weekly Wanderings' post on Friday!) so that we grow together, learn together and look to forward to a bright future with one another.
Make some brilliant new friends
This is our opportunity to get to know some amazing people, from all walks of life and parts of the world. Expats are generally go-getters; some real ambitious, inspiring and interesting people. And we're so lucky that we're able to get to know some of them.
There are people from 18 nationalities in my department at work, and it makes for a really interesting dynamic. I hope to learn more about places I've never been to and experiences I've never had through some of these dynamic individuals.
(Can you spot me?!)
So this is my plan for my Doha Goals.
I'll revisit them again this time next year at my second expat anniversary and let's see if I've met them all.