“(Wikipedia) ‘An Expatriate (often shortened to Expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of their citizenship. The word comes from the Latin terms ex (“out of”) and patria (“country, fatherland”).
This blog aims to discover people who are adventurers like me, venturing out in a new place to call home and creating memories. I have previously lived with my parents and siblings in the Saudi Arabia when I was in high school. I have enjoyed and cherished my memories in the beautiful Sandbox I once called my home. Now, I am in a new adventure with my husband and son here in Singapore.
I am featuring Expats in different countries every two weeks to share their experiences and adventures with you and me.
Today, I am featuring a schoolmate from Saudi Arabia who is not a stranger in living in foreign land. She previously based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and now is taking her adventure in Doha Qatar with her husband & son. Meet Avice ”
- Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and where you are originally from?
My name is Avice Tenefrancia Thang and I currently reside in Doha, Qatar. I am from Manila, Philippines but spent half of my life living abroad. Started when I was 15 when my whole family moved to Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. I married a Malaysian and my second home now is Kuala Lumpur.
- What made you decide to move to Doha? How long have you been here?
Moved to Doha November of 2013 to follow my husband. We’ve been here for almost 2 years now.
- Previously you lived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia? Can you quickly tell us the difference in living these three countries?
There’s not much difference in living in Saudi Arabia and Qatar as both are GCC countries. Culture, environment & food are mostly the same. The only difference is that Doha is an open country while Saudi Arabia is not. Living in Malaysia was a little different from living in Arab countries as there are diverse cultures, to get used to. Malay, Chinese & Indian. But being married to a Malaysian has helped me understand and adapt to the diversities in front of me.
- What are the wonderful discoveries and things you like about Doha?
Doha has changed tremendously as a country. It used to be a quiet and underrated country among the GCC. But since they won the bid to the World Cup in 2022, developments have been fast. This rich country has more to offer than meets the eye after all.
- What are the 3 tips you can give to fellow expats in Doha?
One thing I learned from my father living abroad is: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” So wherever life brings you, just adapt and embrace change. It’ll be difficult being away from your home country but as soon as you accept change, everything gets better. 2nd is to just enjoy the opportunities and life experiences you are facing and getting. We may only get a 1 day pass, so might as well, enjoy it. And lastly, we chose to be in this country for a better purpose and a better life, so we do what we’re here for.
- The LITTLE MISS HONEY community gets inspired through travel, food and books. Can you tell us your current FAVORITE TRAVEL SPOT, current FOOD/RESTAURANT DISCOVERIES and current FAVORITE BOOK?
Current favorite country to explore would be anywhere in Europe. I just love the feel of the old churches, cafes and the people. My family and I are planning a trip sometime in November. I’m excited for that. Looking forward to traveling, always.
Current restaurant discovery would be this American diner here in Doha. It’s called Ric’s Kountry Kitchen. It’s situated in Old Doha and their food is amazing. They have big serving and taste of their food is like home cooked. The ambience of the restaurant is homey and just like a perfect hang out for all expats here. A bit pricey for a normal American Diner but looking at the serving and how they maintain the American taste is real value for money.
Current favorite book is Patrick Rothfuss’ The Wise Man’s Fear. I’m now into fantasy lit.
- Where do you get your inspirations? Who or what inspires you?
I get my inspiration from my family. Anyhow they are the reason why I’m here in the first place. My mom and my dad inspires me to continue living my life and just to enjoy the journey. They are cool parents. I can talk to them about anything and everything. My husband is a stronghold. He would support me in anything I do. He’s also a good adviser. And of course my son. I have never looked at life the way I’m looking at it right now before I had my son. I have learned to be more patient (which I’m not very good at) and to go back to my youth. With having a family of your own, people would think that you have to mature and take life seriously. But with me, I try to be everything. I can be serious, funny, childish, etc. Life is short to be serious all the way.
- My family & I had a trip to Kuala Lumpur last month. Can you give us suggestions which places to go to and good restaurants for us to visit?
For family outing, a must visit place for me would be Lost World of Tambun in Ipoh. It’s a 2 hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. (Depends on the traffic) It has a water park, some rides and a hot spring. The one thing we enjoyed the most is the small petting zoo where your son can enjoy the most.
In Kuala Lumpur, I suggest you visit Sunway Lagoon. If you don’t want to travel out of the city. It has a water park, hotel and a theme park. You can also visit the Bird Park in the heart of the city. It’s one of the biggest free flight walk-in aviary. They also do birthday parties for kids.
Kuala Lumpur is known for their food like Singapore. There are lots of restaurants to explore and discover but one restaurant that stands out the most for me is the one in KL Tower, Atmosphere 360. It’s a revolving restaurant and view is just amazing. They serve all Malaysian cuisine. (Indian, Malay & Chinese)
- What is your typical OOTD (outfit of the day) in Doha?
My typical OOTD would be jeans and top. If I feel girly, I wear skirt. I match it with flats, sandals or my favorite NB’s. Summer here in Doha can be really hot so I try to stick with what makes me comfortable.
- Lastly, can you share with us what is your inspirational mantra in life?
You live, you learn.
“Thank you Avice for making us see a glimpse of Doha and sharing your suggested places to go to in Kuala Lumpur. For more adventures to come for you and your family. You are so right. You live, you learn.
If you are an expat or know any expats who are interested to be featured, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.”