My Trip To Dubai (Part 1)

This girl woke up early on Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 doing her usual “getting ready for work” thing like any other normal day—and within an hour of getting dressed for the day decided out of the TOTAL BLUE that she was going to go to the Middle East the very next day all by herself!

With absolutely NO PLAN, NO FORETHOUGHT, and NO IDEA HOW to pull it off she set her mind to it.  My bosses at work looked at me crazy for giving them ONE day’s notice—but even I only had a day’s notice to plan everything since I had just decided that very morning to do something so, obviously, insane.

And with the help of a few awesome friends, I was able to pull off the impossible and figure it all out and left the next day on a 12-hour flight overseas to Dubai, United Arab Emirates for 10 days!  THAT GIRL’S A THUG!!  WHO DOES THAT?!

(I have SO many beautiful pictures and videos that this will be a 6-part series.  I hope you enjoy all the videos and pictures from my time in the UAE.  Wish you could have been there!)

This trip was so last-minute that I still didn’t even have a hotel reservation when my friend arrived at my house to take me to the airport!  I was booking one on my computer as she stood there waiting for me.  Then off I ran out the door!

My family and friends were freaking out and texting me all day when I was overseas checking on me—“where are you, what are you doing, who are you with?”

I don’t travel and have hardly been anywhere in my life that doesn’t involve cars, buses, or trains because I’m terrified of planes.  Hence, my face in the second picture above when it just dawns on me at the airport what is about to happen!  First of all, BY MYSELF; second of all MIDDLE EAST; third of all PLANE!

I don’t know why I snapped when I woke up that morning but I did.  And now my life was about to get even more exciting.  I didn’t have time to research ONE THING about this place I was going to.  So I figured when I landed I was just going to “wing it” each day.  Yes, I clearly lost my mind.

But, ohhhhhh, how I absolutely fell in LOVE with this city—and the entire country.  As soon as I landed and got through the insane customs line, I pulled out of the airport in a cab and within 20 seconds I swore I never wanted to go back to America.

Someone asked me if I felt “safe” in this country.  I felt much MORE safe than I ever feel in America.  I did things in this country by myself that I would never even attempt to do in America.  The emirati have this country on lock.  They don’t play.  Cameras are everywhere, too.

Me

I just loved waking up every morning in my new home away from home.

I loved meeting so many people along the way.  I was wedged between two awesome guys on the plane in a really tight space.  We took selfies together.  One lived in the States but was from Tehran, Iran and was going to visit family; the other guy was from America and told me all about his travels to Afghanistan and such.

I did a lot of sleeping, eating, taking selfies with the guys, and watching movies on the plane.  It was all I could do to keep my mind off the plane.

My first excitement came when I landed at the Dubai airport.  I got into trouble—well, scolded, for taking pictures of the Arab men in their attire that worked there.  I couldn’t believe it!  I mean, I was in LOVE with their long white robes.  I wanted an outfit like that for my very own!  But they made me delete my picture.  “No, no. Delete that.”  Aww, SHOOT!!!  (But I snuck a pic of two Arabs at a hotel later.  Holla!)

The first thing I did when I landed was exchange all my American money to Dirhams.  Since you can’t spend American dollars there you might as well just hand it ALL over in one go.

It took some getting used to when I spent UAE dirhams.  The number figure when you buy things is much higher than in the States and I kept thinking in “dollars” rather than “dirhams.”  I had to keep using my calculator to see how much the cost actually was in American dollars—because 100 dirhams is NOT $100 even though my brain was in a constant struggle.  But my calculator gave me relief and told me it was actually only $27 in American money.  Whew!

I absolutely loved the view from my hotel apartment balcony.  I could see the Burj Al Arab, the yachts on the sea, and the buildings in the Dubai Marina all down yonder.

And I never did figure out why there was a second “toilet stool” in my bathroom.  It was only after I came back to the States that friends told me what it was—a bidet.  Every time I used the bathroom, I would just sit there and stare at it and wonder what in the world it was.  Is that a sink?  Is that for men to use?  Omg, hilarious!  I had NO CLUE!

And I always heard a singing type thing throughout the day.  I finally figured out what it was.  It was the prayers coming from the mosque across the way five times a day.  There are mosques everywhere—and if you’re near one when it’s prayer time, you’ll hear it coming from the mosque.

If you listen closely, you can hear the prayers in the videos above and below.

I loved looking at the night-time view of the Burj Al Arab from my balcony.  It’s always shooting lights about itself.

This city is always so lit up at night.  I would always stand on the balcony in my apartment just gazing out at night at all the lights everywhere.

The Burj Khalifa

I’ve always heard about the tallest building in the world—but to see it with my own eyes!  Ahhh, this magnificent creature in all her glory—the Burj Khalifa.  I didn’t get a chance to go up inside her, but I will next time.  She hails right outside the Dubai Mall.

I believe you can go to the 124th floor for viewing and even as high as the 148th floor if you pay more.  Above that, you have residences for the elite and such.

The Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa

She a beauty that’s for sure.  This is beyond!  How can you not love her?

Dubai Buildings

The architecture of the buildings in this city is utterly amazing, magnificent, and beautiful.  I couldn’t get enough of it.  And all the buildings are always lit up at night—everywhere!  I wish all the buildings were lighted in my hometown.  Yeah, right, that’ll happen.

Dubai Food

What I love about the fast food places here is that they will deliver to you no matter where you are in the city—even if you just want ONE SMALL FRY or ONE SMALL DRINK!  But not in America.  Why?!  Whhhyyyyyyy?!

And I was just fascinated by the fact that I could get an apple juice in a LARGE CUP from these fast food places—unlike in America where you get a kid-size box of apple juice.  How hard is it to put apple juice in the size cup that I want it in?!

My favorite drink that I could get anywhere I went was fresh-squeezed watermelon juice.  OMG!  I was in LOVE with that drink!  There’s watermelon growing everywhere and it was my drink of choice.  You can get pretty much any kind of fresh-squeezed juice from any restaurant.

Rice with milk became another favorite of mine.  It’s like rice pudding and I had to have it all the time—it’s so yummy sweet.

And an interesting thing when ordering egg rolls here is that they come with ketchup on the side—not sweet and sour sauce like I’m used to in America.  I think I like the ketchup with them better.

So, if you have nothing else to do today, consider planning a trip to Dubai—or, better yet, don’t plan it at all!  I, obviously, didn’t!  Just GO!

Take-Away Life Lesson:  A second “toilet stool” overseas is more than likely a “bidet.”  No need to stare at it in wonderment five minutes each day like I did.

RELATED ARTICLES:
My Trip To Dubai (Part 2)
My Trip To Dubai (Part 3)
My Trip To Dubai (Part 4)
My Trip To Dubai (Part 5)
My Trip To Dubai (Part 6)

62 thoughts on “My Trip To Dubai (Part 1)

  1. omg!! girl you are crazy!! I wish I had the courage to just get up and leave everything to go on a trip somewhere. I have never been on a plane either (terrified to go on one) so I just cannot do it! I know I live in America but if I ever got the chance (and money) to do this I would totally pick up and leave to New York City for a few days! My dream is to see NYC! I know its not that much of a change but it is my dream!

    1. I know! It was crazy! When I went to the Bronx, NY in October I took a train to avoid a plane. And it took a day and a half to get there at least! And then I go do something crazy like this! Let me know when you go to NYC and I’ll meet you there! 😉

      1. OMG! lol that sounds like something I would do to get to NY lol. I am hoping to go this year before the end of the year but IDK!! I think it would be awesome to go alone and meet new people 😀

  2. First of all I really love your way of making decisions, I honestly can’t imagine just deciding one day that I’ll head to Dubai, reserving the tickets and going. Amazing, I wish I could be more like that.
    I also enjoyed your style of writing, but most of all I really liked the photographies and films.
    I guess I’ll be heading to the part 2. 😀

    1. Thanks. I’ve never made a decision so crazy before in my life and who knows if I will ever again. But it was fun and I’ll remember it forever!

  3. Hahaha you GO girl! I totally love the way you write, I’m following you through this awesome experience! I really admire your courage and independence! I’m on to the next post… See you there! ❤❤❤;^)

    1. Hey, Aisha!! 🙂 Thank you SO much! And I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I had fun and I love sharing my journeys so you can experience them, too. <3 <3

  4. Am literally LOL-ing out here… ? that sure took guts! And it’s great to know that in spite of the short notice, you were able to enjoy yourself so thoroughly–when that happens to me, I invariably manage to forget something absolutely crucial (chargers, towels, you name it). Looking forward to reading the rest! 🙂

    1. Lol. Yeah, I don’t know what came over me. Of course, I figured throwing things into my suitcase in such a hurry I’d forget something by the time I got there—and I did. But it wasn’t major, so I survived. 🙂

  5. What an interesting thing to do, and without any planning. Thinking waaaaay outside the box. Never been to the UAE, I spend too much time on a plane going to South Africa and back each year but maybe one of these years I’ll fit in somewhere new. Good on you for getting on and experiencing something great!

      1. You’ll like this…In December I am doing the exact opposite to your trip, I am going back to South Africa but I am taking 6 other people with me. This requires MUCH planning and is truly a logistical nightmare but, fingers crossed, it will be an experience for everyone to remember for the best reasons. Wish me luck!

        1. OH, how exciting for you! That’s wonderful! 🙂 Be sure to tell us all about it when you get back, too. You all will definitely remember it no matter what or how it happens.

        1. That’s weird. When I open and scroll through each picture, the comment box is right underneath each one of them. I don’t know why you can’t see it. Hmmmm. Life’s mysteries.

  6. Good to have you back in the Blogging World! Well, you certainly don’t do things by halves, to not like planes and then set yourself for a mission one to Dubai is v.commendable. I’m glad it paid off, great pics!

    1. Thanks, Biki! I’m glad to be back and hate when I stop blogging for so long. I know that was crazy to travel the way I did, but I loved it and will have something to forever remember in my fun life. 😉

  7. Holy cow!! What an amazing trip…everything about it!! And the fact that you went alone…and on one day’s notice….Bravo!! I will live vicariously through you and your courage on this journey. <3

    1. Aww, Lorrie! I welcome you to live vicariously through me anytime. I know that “one-day-notice” thing was a little crazy, but I’m living and loving my life and am glad to share my every day adventures for you to enjoy. <3 🙂

      1. I think the one day notice is perhaps the best part!! I once flew to Santiago, Chile with 3 hours notice! We only stayed for 36 hours….but I can guarantee you it is a trip I will NEVER forget!! <3

        1. Exactly! I will NEVER forget this adventure or the way I did it with no plan. That’s awesome you flew way over to Chile within 3 hours!! Woo hoo! That’s how to live life! 😉

  8. Wow. You are so brave. What an exciting story. I can’t wait to read everything. I love traveling by myself, but to do it with less than 48 hours notice and no prep. You are a rock star!

  9. OMG! Wow! You are brave. Maybe if I am not married I would travel there. I love to travel and see the world, but I just can’t afford to. I love reading your adventures and the way you tell it. It’s so entertaining and humorous, and I love your wit. I can’t wait to have more time and read about your adventures. Thanks so much for sharing them. By the way, thanks for stopping by my blog and liking my posts. I appreciate it. Have an awesome day! 🙂

    1. I guess I didn’t realize how brave I was until I got back home and thought about the whole thing. You have an awesome day, too, Anna—and thank you so much! 🙂

  10. I am thrilled to bits that you just got up and did it Loving. Your life will completely change after this. Routine will now be a killer for you my friend. I know, I’ve done it, but not a holiday, work from a factory job to contract work in the Middle East on a whim and in a matter of hours I was on a plane for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Enjoy the new you 😀 Ralph xox <3

    1. Tell me about it, Ralph! I don’t think I’ll be able to handle “routine” anymore. My life is already changing and I’m LOVING it!! And good for you and Saudi Arabia. 😉 Thanks, Ralph. <3

  11. Oh my, you must be one of the bravest people ever. I could never just wake up one morning and decide I was going to a foreign country on vacation the next day! It looks like you had *the* most fabulous time. I love looking at your pictures! Thank you so much for sharing, especially your adorable story about the bidet. Everyone learns eventually what they are . . . but I think not everyone actually uses one. : )

    1. You are welcome! I have more pics to come. I did have a fabulous time and still can’t believe I woke up deciding something so crazy. I think I just needed a little more excitement in my life or something. But the bidet is just a hilarious story. I was clueless. Lol.

  12. Stole my thunder! As God as my witness, one day wanted to do this! Same way too! Hop on a plane (Emirates, of course) … throw caution to the wind, and just go … play it by ear for the most part as you did. but, I’d def have been all over that bidet – too funny you didn’t know what it was till ya got back. and woulda went completely ethnic w/ the eats … I never indulge in any of that abundantly available fast food crap (sorry, had to say it) here, wouldn’t dream of it half way around the world. have to admit, am blessed living in Toronto being exposed to foods of the world on a daily basis. have friends who lived in the region – Abu Dhabi … they keep encouraging me. one day, one day! but you actually did … I have a great amount of admiration, respect, as well as a small amount of jealousy for you doing this. boy, you have balls (and, please … I mean that in the most complimentary way so please don’t take it otherwise), am incredibly impressed! oh, and btw, did mention your story (looking forward to your remaining blogposts) to my UAE buddy … was a good chat, fun laughs too … mostly the bidet, lol!

    1. Lol! Aw, Dan. Can you just see me sitting there staring at that thing? Every time I went to use the bathroom I’d turn to the left and go WTH is THAT thing supposed to be and how do you work it?! It wasn’t until I got back home to the States and my FB friends were telling me. I fell over laughing. And my cousin sent me a graphic definition of a bidet from the dictionary. I about died laughing. Why am I the only one that didn’t know this?!

      And I didn’t really eat fast food but a couple times because I can get that in America. I mainly wanted to see how similar or different they were to America. I mostly tried to eat at places I can’t eat at in America—otherwise, what’s the point of being halfway across the world? Oh and my girlfriends also told me that it was pretty ballsy of me to travel in that manner to the far east by myself.

      Thanks for all the compliments. I hope you do something so crazy one day, too. You’ll have a BLAST!! Now I have something exciting to look back on when I think about my life in years to come. 🙂

  13. Just like your bosses, I am speechless! Was beginning to really worry what had happened to you! Can’t wait to read the rest of the story and look at your photographs!

    Virtual hugs,
    Judie

    1. Aww, Judilyn, don’t I just miss you! I think I was pretty speechless once I got to the airport, thought about what was happening, and realized there was no turning back since I’d already bought the plane ticket. Hence the tense look on my face. Lol. And thanks for being concerned when I disappear forever. I hate when I do that. More pics to come. 😉

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