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In 2012 when I was joining Emirates and moving halfway across the world , I received lots of advice.

“What are you thinking?! You can’t be serious. You don’t love your family?! And don’t want to be near them?”

“That’s a Muslim country. Aren’t you Christian? Won’t they throw you in jail?”

And I went for it.

At the end of 2016 when I said I was quitting Emirates and moving home, everyone had lots of advice:

“What are you thinking!! You can’t quit without having anything lined up. Are you crazy?!”

“You are going to be so depressed. You will regret this.”

And I went for it .

Both times , when I was joining Emirates and then quitting , people thought I was crazy.

Guess what.

I never regretted moving to Dubai. And I still have had not one bit of regret leaving.

I enjoyed my 4 years there.

It’s been 6 months since I moved back.

I am enjoying being home. I don’t have to fight jet lag or count down my days of when I have to leave.

And I get to spend my time with these three (and their moms!).

 

 

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.  )

Wrapped it up 

The last couple days in Dubai were so chaotic, so busy, so stressful… so fun ! 

I am so glad my sister and her husband came out , they practically packed all 7 suitcases with my things, as I dealt with getting my passport back ! 

We managed to have some fun while they came to Dubai as well, including a hot air balloon in the desert ! 

I’m glad I have a trip scheduled to go back to Dubai in march… I don’t want to ever say good bye for good to this city. 

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.

Boats

The four years I have been in Dubai, I have always wanted to know two people.

Someone who owned a sail boat.

And someone who lives in the Burj Khalifa.

I can check one of those things off the to do list ! Only took me a few years.

A Touristy Day in Dubai

My flatmates family landed into Dubai yesterday and today was spent seeing the sights.

We started off with breakfast at Lime Tree Café, the one off jumeirah road. Because, balcony seating –hello!!!! so nice. I have been here 3 years and its still one of my all time favorite places.


After our breakfast we took a walk along kite beach. It really is a pretty stretch of land and it’s one of Dubai’s gems. The sea shells are crazy lots and very pretty, as well as the Burj al Arab that is in the distance !

(I didn’t take any pictures of this part of the day – shame on me.)

Next was finding the spice souk.


The hardest thing about this was finding parking ! But we finally did and our souk adventuring could begin.

The souk is in Bur Dubai area and just off the Dubai Creek.   This is the view of the creek from our parking garage.

and the souk!

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We found lots of spices and trinkets and cats.

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The people selling their items can be a bit pushy, which I don’t like. My yearly visit is enough (at least until someone else visits Dubai and I take them here).

After our bartering and buying of items, we paid the 1 dirham fare (about 30 US cents) to cross the creek in an abra. 

I think it’s so fun. And a great view of the creek.



There’s another souk on the other side, not as big and in my opinion not as cool. But we just walked through it to get to Creekside Cafe.

(There was another restaurant just by the abra water taxi parking that we waited to be seated at. It has a great view of the water activity– but it was so busy and after waiting 10 minutes to even be looked at we left)

I have followed Creekside Café on Instagram and had been wanting to check it out for a while. So glad this worked out today!


We ended our day just up the creek, and up the classy scale a few  notches, at Dubai Golf & Yacht Club. It has a gorgeous view of the creek, the downtown skyline, and was perfect for the sun set.

First sangria and tapas at Casa De Tapas, and then we had a drink at the rooftop lounge , Cielo, to finish off the sunset. So amazing.


Good night Dubai .

It has been 2 months.

Wow, has it really almost been two months since I last blogged?

I wanted to keep this blog, at least until I finished working in Dubai. But lately I have been sick of my addiction to social media. And have been tempted to just cut off all technology.

But until I move back home, I will keep it.

Anyways, since we last talked, I went to Hawaii, got a tan, had some flights, avoided Ramadan (holy month for muslims) in Dubai by hiding in my apartment. It also is incredibly hot here right now (the song “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey has a new meaning to me now after spending 3 summers here in the Middle East) — but I have to say, this year doesn’t seem to be as bad as the two previous years. I don’t know if its because my hiding skills are so good or what.

I have 4 more months until I finish my 3 years here and my contract. Life is funny. I spent most of 2014 hating Dubai and some of the negatives to the job,  counting down the days until I could go home. But now that it’s almost here, I wish time wouldn’t move so quickly. I know I will miss this experience, and probably Dubai (a little).

On my last flight I made a list of flights I still hadn’t done so that I could try to get these flights before I quit. But the list was longer than my couple of weeks I have left, and it made me a little panicky. I don’t know why it did, because I know I don’t have to go to every single destination before I quit.

Don’t get me wrong, I am still crazy excited to move back, have a normal life again and be close to family. I miss the feeling of home and living in my country. I miss garage sales and the American accent (I am so tired of accents now! Never thought I’d say that. Hehe ).

I just think I am aware of a chapter ending.

Well, this post has been very personal and maybe a little depressing – so enough of that!

I am about to go on a 5 day trip to Singapore and Brisbane before heading back to Dubai. And then its homeward bound for a good 2 week vacation !

And I leave you with a rare picture of clouds being seen in Dubai (it is usually a sandy haze).

Makes for a pretty sunset picture!

Some words I like right now:

(and unrelated to my living in Dubai post)

“Some of the most life shaping decisions you make in this season [of being twenty-five-ish] will be about walking away from good-enough, in search of can’t-live-without.” 

-Shauna Niequist

Jessie

Jessie Ware.

This girl is doing something right. Her music is amazing and so identifiable.  And now that I know how silly and fun she is I am sold ♥

We received free blankets upon entry and enjoyed our picnic style music! Man, I love free things.

There were a couple acts before Jessie came on. Our favorite was the guitar player Kwame, who accompanied Craig David. His guitar and him are BFFs.Luff these girls ! Would not have wanted to see Jessie with anyone else. Tess introduced me to Jessie’s music about a month ago, and it was perfect timing that she came to Dubai right after.  We three are her fans for life!

Champagne Kisses

Who’s fault is this
That I’m crazy about you
You are in every single dream
And I’m thinking about you

If you wanna do, do, do me right
Do, do, do, do, do
If you wanna leave it all tonight
Do, do, do, do, do

When there’s nothing left
Except you and this
Champagne kisses
Champagne kisses
Champagne