Tag Archives: Beirut

From the Mediterranean, to the Caribbean

Whoa… What the hell happened?

Wasn’t I just living in Beirut..? Walking up and down the Corniche ? Going for cocktails at Ferdinand’s and GEM? Catching servicees on Bliss Street?

Damn. How quickly things change. Sometimes I can’t even keep track.

I’m now in Trinidad..my “ancestral homeland” if you want to call it that. The place that I’ve been visiting ever since my family moved to Miami when I was a baby. The place that was always referred to as “where my grandparents live..and my parents grew up.” The place that I never really had any intentions of coming back to (like ever)..until now.

How did I end up on this Caribbean island of 1.3 million people? Well.., that’s a really good question that I’m still trying to figure out..

Trinidad

Trinidad is the larger and more populous of the two major islands and numerous landforms which make up the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. It is the southernmost island in the Caribbean and lies just 11 km (7 miles) off the northeastern coast of Venezuela.

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“What had happened was…”..after I left my job in Beirut earlier this year, I had a really hard time finding an employer who wanted to sponsor a crazy American on a seemingly nonsensical Beiruti adventure. “Explain to me again why you left Miami to come and live in Beirut? Because I really don’t get it.” 

I spent my last few weeks in ‘the land of the cedars’ going to and from interviews..back and forth, up and down..and back again..frustrated when nothing seemed to be working out in my favor. I was prepared to do anything to stay in Beirut. Anything.

I love Beirut

I love Beirut.

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But after Lebanese immigration gets on your arse for overstaying your welcome, confiscates your passport for 5 weeks, and pretty much tells you that you have to leave and cannot return unless you produce an employment contract..things become a liiiiitle bit difficult. If you know what I mean. My charming “I just want to live in Beirut!” story suddenly becomes suspicious as soon as I step into the black hole that is General Security.

Soooo..against my will, I went back home to Miami for a couple of months of R&R.., hoping to clear my head, spend some quality time with my family, and figure out how I was going to get back to Beirut. I mean, I was certain I’d be back. So certain in fact that I left behind 85% of my personal belongings which are still in Beirut to this day.!

Many of you (if you’re reading this from Lebanon) can empathize with me when I say that finding a job while in Lebanon is hard enough. Trying to find a job in Lebanon while abroad??? pfffff! Close to impossible!

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After a pretty stressful month in Miami, I decided to head Trinidad to visit my Dad and some friends for a few weeks.. Usually, my trips to Trinidad consist of visiting with family and friends, a couple of nights of partying, a visit or two to the beach, and a boat trip down the islands off the coast of Trinidad. It’s always nice, but after 10 days or so, I begin to get antsy and am always more than ready to get back home. (I’m a city girl after all!)

Down the islands, Trinidad

the view coming back from a trip down the islands..

Something about this trip was different though…very different. Maybe my time in Beirut had trained my mind to see things differently? Maybe some of my friends helped to open my eyes to a Trinidad I hadn’t known before? Or maybe I was just not at all ready to move back to the States..and with my Beiruti adventure coming to a close, I began to consider Trinidad as a potential option?

It was probably a combination of the three.

When I headed back to Miami, I packed my things, tied up a few loose ends, and booked yet another ticket back to Trinidad..determined to start a new life. And that’s just what I did. No time wasted.

It’s a shame my adventure in Lebanon had to end this way. But maybe it was for the best? Just the thought of saying goodbye to all of my friends, experiences, and memories makes me emotional. Until next time is always easier than Goodbye.

So here I am, coming to you live from Trinidad and hoping you’ll come along with me for the journey (especially those of you from Lebanon!). If it’s one thing I can promise you, it’s never a dull moment.

It’s good to be back..

-Dani.

P.S. Even though I’m now in Trinidad, Lebanon will always be in my heart. Always.

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