I am a UK born female, but have lived in Dubai for the past two years. I decided to start my blog to help those living or visiting Dubai by sharing my experiences. I also gain some comfort from writing. As well as writing about Dubai life, a great passion of mine is travel. Over the last ten years or so I have travelled widely – to over thirty countries. I tend to travel on a minimal budget, staying in hostels, with couchsurfing hosts and simple guesthouses for the most part. I’ve had an urge to travel since I was a teenager despite coming from a family who didn’t travel at all (my Dad still doesn’t even hold a passport and never has!)
I’ve always had the unexplainable urge inside me to explore new places and meet interesting people, experience different cultures. My first major travel experience was at the age of nineteen when I (along with my now ex boyfriend) went inter-railing in Europe over the summer for about a month and a half. We explored the museums, galleries and winding streets of Florence and Venice, we visited Prague and Budapest and islands off the coast of Croatia. Italy remains one of my favourite countries to this day – the beautiful language, the history, the vibrant people, the simple yet incredible food.
Coming from the North East of England- specifically the industrial town of Middlesbrough I hadn’t experienced anything like this. Travel was everything I thought it would be and so much more; the food, the people, the excitement, the adventure! Just doing something completely different every day- in a month you see more sights and have greater experiences than many people do in a year or more. We took as many mini breaks as we could – a few days in Paris, Rome, Bruges. All on a student budget, staying in hostels and eating from local pizzerias or markets.
In my third year of University I began to think about my next step in life but all I could think about was travelling! And ten years ago I was returning from a six month adventure- we visited Rajasthan in India and the incredible Taj Mahal. India was a magical place like no other. It left such an imprint on me. It was the first time I had been outside of Europe and after the first day or two of complete culture shock I was addicted. After the month was up I didn’t want to leave. Our next destination was Singapore and then Thailand. Thailand again stands out to me- elephants, islands, beaches, Khao san road, and of course the food, oh wow the food- standing on a street while an elderly woman tosses fresh ingredients in a giant pan- amazing.
On that trip I visited twelve countries, learned about Historical events I previously didn’t even know occurred- visiting Vietnam and Cambodia was like a real life museum itself, I had horrendous experiences which still stick with me today- from a family owned hostel burning down in the Cook islands where we lost our passports and possessions and had to rebook our flight, to an awful road incident in Cambodia where the Cambodians simply laughed (there were bodies strewn across the road, a decapitated head, and an entangled body in the bonnet of the car) to some of the worst food posioning in Vietnam and India where I literally thought I was dying…..To incredible scenes of seeing the majestic Taj Mahal, an experience I will truly never forget, to meeting many wonderful people from across the globe, laughing like I’d never laughed before, eating the most delicious food, meeting up with long lost family in Australia and New Zealand, going into a tropical Malaysian rainforest and meeting local tribes, gaining my PADI open water and diving with sharks and the most beautiful fish and coral, to seeing celebrity houses in LA.
I was never going to be the same person after that experience and coming back to England and settling, in a nine to five job rarely meeting new people, eating similar food, the same commute, the same routine…. my travelling wasn’t over. Of course at first coming back was great – catching up with family again and getting those familiar foods. But that free spirit inside me wanted more from life, and had seen that there is more to life…
I continued to take as many holidays as possible, and explore new places in the UK too. But in 2013 I quit my job and went backpacking to South America. South America was incredible in so many ways. I again had the craziest, most fun and most bizarre and wonderful times there. But my money ran out and five months later I was back in the UK. I still found it hard to settle.
I then made the decision to move to Dubai and from here continue to travel. Am I 100% happy? No. Do I still feel there is more to life? Yes. I don’t know exactly what the future holds for me, or why I find it so hard to be content with a ‘normal lifestyle’. What I do know is that I will continue to work towards my happiness, not other peoples ideas of what happiness should be, or what my life should be.
I hope you enjoy reading extracts of my journey to happiness, to my ‘dream life’ in this blog. And I hope to hear from you on your journeys too…
Hi, I live and work in Dubai. I enjoy getting out and about and seeing what Dubai has to offer, travelling in my holidays and spare time – prepare for blog posts about this, and cooking vegetarian recipes. I am passionate about travel and animals.