“You won’t survive in Mumbai!”
“I bet you will be back in 3 months!”
“I bet six!”
When I decided to move from Dubai having lived there all my life, it was no surprise that it caused many to be in shock, disbelief or denial. “Why would you leave Dubai to go to Mumbai?” someone asked. At that time all I could say is “Because the city is alive and buzzing and it challenges me,” something that Dubai had stopped doing a while ago.
I landed in Mumbai on 23 July 2010, in the middle of the monsoon season, with two suitcases and lots of ideas on where life would take me. “So is this it, will you be here permanently?” someone asked very soon after I moved. I had the insight to say, “I am here for now,” and left it at that. Mumbai was indeed ‘the city of dreams’ and that’s where many milestones were achieved and beautiful friendships made.
But like any catalyst, Mumbai started whispering in my ear after five years of being there, saying “I have taught you what you needed to learn”. The old dream, the last unfulfilled one of moving to Australia, was a parting gift from Mumbai. A process that was stuck in Dubai moved along smoothly when I revisited it. Less than two years later, I found myself packing my bags again to move to Melbourne.
It has been a little over three years here and I now realize what Mumbai was trying to say to me. Every city I have lived in has taught me things that I needed to know to grow in the next one. Mumbai was a beautiful gestation period as it sprung forth the purpose that I created for myself in Melbourne.
I changed careers, studied and trained to be a counsellor. I started my own counselling practice and have recently qualified to provide supervision to counsellors as well. A dream that was nurtured in Dubai when I was in high school, for which I took a writing course in Mumbai finally came to fruition in Melbourne. I wrote three books in the span of a year, completing a story idea that germinated while watching a movie in Mumbai. I thought it would end with one book, and laughed at the idea of writing three. But write I did, riding on a wave of inspiration, flowing with a perspective I wanted to share with the world.
Today marks ten years that I left Dubai. A place I yearn to visit more than ever since travel became a distant reality. I miss my parents, my family and my friends, most of whom I am better connected with, as the distance hasn’t been an issue thanks to technology.
Leaving the nest and spreading your wings is something I wish for everyone who wants it. There is growth outside the comfort zone and I am glad I had the chance to move and grow when I was ready for it. If you too, find yourself at a crossroads, don’t be scared. Everything you have ever wanted is on the other side of fear. Take the plunge and embrace the adventure!
“I had to make you uncomfortable, otherwise you never would have moved.” – The Universe