Dubai World Cup: 2017

..and the two years previous (included at the end).

The last week of March I was in Dubai again for a quick trip. It was nice to go back for a final visit to the place I lived for four years. I timed it so I could attend The World Cup they do every year -it’s so much fun.

Dressing up + champagne + fascinators.

How can you go wrong? (you can’t!)

This year the weather was acting up and being weird, which made it more interesting — but definitely just as much fun!

(FYI: The movie clip at the beginning is from My Fair Lady , when they go to the races. All of the outfits are amazing.  )

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15 Hour Airplane Essentials

I used to think I could not sleep on a plane.

Probably half the reason: I really enjoyed flying = excited.

The other half : the sleeping in public bit. I didn’t like it.

That changed pretty quickly when I moved overseas.

My job was based in Dubai. So anytime I would go home on vacation (which was whenever I could) I had to make this quick little 15 hour flight. Twice (don’t forget the return trip).

DXB – SFO : 8,099 miles

That’s halfway around the world!

I got pretty good at sleeping on planes. And knowing what I would need for these airplane rides (my go-to carry on essentials). I thought I would share it with the internet world in case it might help someone.



1. The Clear Bag

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This see-through bag is my favorite accidental discovery! I had been given a toiletry bag (with the little shampoo and conditioner travel bottles) which is how I came to have this magical bag.  Nothing is more annoying than having a tangled mess of ear bud cords wrapped around everything else. Bonus: you can see what is inside!

Items inside:

Ear buds to listen to music, Adapter if you need it, Chapstick it’s the worst when your lips are chapped and you can’t do anything about it at 30,000 ft. Eye DropsEye Mask : life changer when you are trying to sleep. I could sleep anywhere, anytime with this bad boy. Cough Drops, extra Bobby Pins/ Hair Ties : because not having one sucks, Perfume to hide that airplane smell, Breath Mints/ Gum to hide that airplane food, Passport if you need it, Lotion for my face/ hands, Ibuprofen or some type of pain reliever .

 

And then you have all your other standard items; Sweater, Book, Makeup, Hairbrush, Sunglasses, Phone Charger, Food Bars, Tissues, Water, Socks, Pens.



Tips I want to highlight:

Nothing is worse than being cold, hungry, or thirsty.

H20 : I would always buy a water bottle. Or two! Especially longer flights, usually the water they provide with the service is just not enough.

Food Bars: I made sure I brought food bars/snacks with me. I remember one time I had to fly the 15 hours to LAX and then catch an hour flight up to northern California. I had slept through the last food service before landing into LAX and didn’t have time to eat in between the hustle of changing planes. The food bar was a life saver. Also, sometimes airplane food isn’t enough or doesn’t taste very good and its nice to have another option.

Sweater/Jacket: Airplanes are cold.



I hope this list was helpful or at least reminded you of something you might have been forgetting.

Happy travelling !

The last ones..

Only a few more layovers left ! I had a spooky layover in Milan, loved the misty weather ! And checking out the castle right downtown.


I did not leave this place without delicious pizza , wine, and tirimisu. Skipped the gelato this time, preferred not to freeze hehe.

I just got back from Frankfurt this morning. The country who invented the Christmas market ! It was so festive. Gluwhein and all.

I am definitely taking the uniform home with me once I quit. It’s something I want to hold on to forever ! Will miss wearing it for sure.

Only 2 more flights , say whaaaaa??!!

Blurry pics at 15,000 ft with the business class cabin crew. About to land into Dubai after a 6 hour flight! As they say, it’s not a selfie but a crewfie.


17 days left.

4 Years

This was 4 years ago, almost to the day .

November 15th 2012, when I was starting a new and scary page of moving to DUBAI to start my career as a flight attendant.

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Bleached blonde hair, bangs, and a few tears later I boarded my plane. I told myself if I really hated it I could quit and go home.

I thought, “If I can just make it one year, I will be proud.”

Well… one year turned to two years… turned to three years… and unbelievably turned to FOUR years.

And every year has been a different experience. I have ALWAYS liked the job. But living abroad held different challenges and experiences.

First one was thrilling, fun, new. The friends I made at the beginning were so important for me not to up and run back home!

Second year was a little more lonely , some of those close friends quit, the homesickness pull was stronger , some days I hated being in Dubai. I was at a critical part of my time here, trying to decide if I should quit and move home or stay and get a car.

Third year showed an improvement in my idea of this city, I had stayed and gotten a car and that really was a life changer. I started enjoying this crazy place!

Fourth year was the best year. I was finally in business class, so the job wasn’t as emotionally difficult (passengers in business have much better manners). Exploring Dubai (and other places!) with my car was my favorite. I think this was the year I did the most trips during my days off to other places besides home.

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So here I am, putting in my resignation. A little sudden, a little unsure, but excited about what comes next ! And having a little normalcy return to my day – to – day. Seeing  my family without fighting jet lag. Being home for Christmas. BABIES!

So lets see what 2017 holds.

Oktoberfunfest

 

The magical roster gods gave me and my two friends the same days off — and it happened to fall during the most epic beer party ever — Oktoberfest !

NOTE: Its almost impossible to get more than 3 days off and have it be at the same time as your friend. So the fact that all THREE of us had five days off, at the same time, and during Oktoberfest. More than coincidence, it was a sign.

On our 2nd day some more friends joined up with us and our group turned to Five.

Too much beer, too much fun .

Oktoberfest.

Where spontaneous singing breaks out.

 “Ein Prosit! Ein Prosit! Der Gemutlichkeit!”

Steins are swaying back and forth and ends with a tap on the table before a gulp of beer.

You make BFFs with strangers instantly.

And end the night by looking for Johnny (at least for me ).

Its such a great holiday and I am sad I have missed so many Oktoberfests in the past.

Pic: Everyone cheers as someone finishes chugging their 1Litre stein of beer.

Thinking

Thinking about Drindl dresses for Oktoberfest, my yearly SEP testing coming up next week, meeting up with the sister in Dublin for the day, and registering my car for another year.

Missing foster kittens, and little nieces, sisters and baby bellies, family dinners and fires, little towns and green trees, big blue skies with puffy clouds,  In n Out.

Hoping I can go to the new indoor theme park that just opened up across the street highway soon, I can get a local tailor to make me a dress before the 20th, my next two turn around flights are easier than I think they will be, and I can be home for Christmas.

Auckland for 57h

It was so nice to have a layover longer than the usual 24 hours in Auckland. Our new direct flight from DXB – AKL made this possible.

Driving on the left side of the road – CHECK !

This was never on my list of things I wanted to do. But fate stepped in and forced my hand , and I found myself driving in New Zealand. Guys , it wasn’t hard at all. I was surprised!

Black sand !

Piha beach was about an hour drive outside of the city. We had planned a list of places to stop at , but after reaching this beach we didn’t want to leave. We ended up staying, drinking a beer with some locals , watching the surfers.

Katie from the UK , my adventure buddy for that day.
This beer marked the end of Ramadan . I had given up alcohol during the holy month , sort of as a challenge to see if I can go that long without drinking. Proud moment for me when I successfully finished the month. It was not easy!

Lions Rock. Gorgeous!

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Our new friends , CJ and Kaffe