Uncomfortable moments

Yesterday I went traipsing through an oasis jungle to get to a beautiful Wadi and I got to see some of the most breath taking views this planet has to offer.  I went off-roading with friends up a mountain side on steep, narrow, winding roads. I put my trust in strangers to help us find the wadi safely.  I held on tightly to Momma’s hand while we navigated the winding steep stairway down to the wadi.  I cringed every time a palm leaf would scrape against my body, making me think of all the creepy crawlies around me. I went completely and utterly out of my comfort zone and I was rewarded beautifully for it.

Since leaving the comfort of our home and life in Canada, I’ve continuously put myself in uncomfortable situations.  Allowing myself to be vulnerable enough to establish new friendships, being scared to drive on my own but doing it anyways, flying across the world on my own with our dog,  and jumping into a vehicle with my new friends for a grand adventure.  All these moments began with me being very uncomfortable and all finished with a sense of awe and wonder.  Not just in seeing and experiencing new things but also a sense of awe at my own courage in these moments.

Now I’m not foolish enough to believe that every time I step out of my comfort zone I will be rewarded with wonder and awe.  Sometimes things will go incredibly wrong.  Like for example the first time I went to a beauty salon here.

I had a really hard time when we first arrived. We were staying in a rough place, infested with cockroaches as it was the only hotel that allowed dogs. I was too scared to drive but knew I needed to get myself out of the roach motel for a bit.  I made up my mind and went to a beauty salon in the building next to our hotel.  I decided to get a conditioning treatment for my hair and I ended up being there for four hours.  The ladies spent the time talking about how straw like my hair was and stared at me like I was an alien. The hairdresser used an old eyebrow brush to apply the treatment and they had to run outside to fill up a cistern for the sink to rinse it out as they didn’t have running water. Then they blowed my crazy curly hair dry with a blow dryer and brushed it out.  My hair was horribly frizz-tastic.

When I got back to the hotel with my crazy hair and laughed with Alex, I knew it was still worth it.  I may not have had the experience I was hoping for but I knew that this little step out of my comfort zone was leading me to take bigger ones in the future.  Uncomfortable moments that lead to moments full of wonder and awe and beauty that takes your breath away.  I would say that the frizzy hair was worth it.

 

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Photo credit for the above photo goes to my lovely friend and 4×4 queen Gemma ❤

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Shopping trip to Dubai during Ramadan

A couple of weeks ago my hubby and I spent a long weekend in Dubai. I was required to leave the country while my residence visa was prepared so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to explore an exciting new place and shop!! 

I spent the week before we left looking up the stores I wanted to go to online, and I discovered that an Australian brand I love had a shop there! I was stoked! Unfortunately I didn’t manage to stay that way for most of the trip.

Dubai is a really cool place, the buildings, the sunshine, the sand, the beaches, the malls, it’s quite the experience. It’s a booming and bustling place and with that comes a lot of construction. A lot of roads that no longer exist or new roads that aren’t updated on the map. This leads me to our first mistake of renting a vehicle to drive ourselves around. Normally Alex drives and I navigate when we travel and it works well. We both have accepted that we’ll likely get lost but some of the coolest places we’ve seen have been because we’ve gotten turned around! Dubai wasn’t the same when we got lost. It was busy, difficult to navigate, full of reckless drivers and accidents. By the last day we decided to utilize a car service and taxis. However I wouldn’t suggest taking a taxi in the hour before sunset during Ramadan. You will likely have a death grip on the holy $h*t handle and have your heart stop once or twice.
The Muslim countries are currently fasting for Ramadan. This didn’t seem like a big issue to us as we were told most hotels and a select few restaurants would be open during the day.  In fact a few articles I read suggested it was a great time to visit because it was quieter and less busy. This was true however it leads me to our second mistake which was to mistakenly fast for the majority of the day. 

Our first shopping excursion ended up being to The Dubai Mall and I think it was my favourite one. There’s this really neat gold souk area in it and a pretty aquarium. Lots of shops and it’s fairly easy to get to. We spent the day shopping and wandering around, and around 3pm Alex and I start getting really cranky, thirsty and hungry and realize we had inadvertently fasted for most of the day. You see most of the restaurants were actually closed for Ramadan.  We decide to check the food court before leaving the mall in search of food and drink. So we walk through the quiet mall and arrive at the food court, they had put up temporary walls and had a security guard in front of the entrance. We walk through and it’s just bustling and full of people! We got our food and drinks and they packaged it up tight in a bag that had a label on it notifying you that if you ate or drank any of the food in public you will be fined. Thankfully we just ate it right there and carried on with our shopping in much better spirits.

Shopping in Dubai should be an Olympic sport. The malls a massive and there’s so many cool shops and stores to check out! You will have absolutely no trouble meeting your Fitbit’s 10000 steps a day! Wear comfy shoes and make sure to find updated store information before travelling across the city to check one out, mistake number three. Remember that Austrialian shop I was so excited about, well it closed down. I guess just one more reason to head back to Melbourne someday. 

Regardless of our rookie mistakes I’m really excited for another Dubai adventure! There’s just so much more to see and I think it’s so neat that it has become a weekend getaway destination for us. Here’s to weekend getaways! 

A rose coloured story or the wonders of video calling

 

Twelve days ago I boarded a plane and moved across the world. Bedsides the two days right before I left, the move had been relatively smooth. In other words I was really excited and happy for the opportunity to live somewhere new.  Of course I would miss my friends and family but I didn’t cry or feel overly sad about leaving them.  I figured it was just because I knew I would keep in touch. I had so many platforms available to me in which to do so. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, the list goes on and on.  In fact for a person who generally is a bit of a weeper, I had hardly shed a tear. I had numerous going away and goodbye parties. I had visits from friends, I visited them. There were a lot of opportunities for me to cry but it just didn’t really happen.  Well at least it didn’t happen before I left.

Three days after my arrival in the Middle East, I was laying awake in bed, and it hit me. What the heck have I done!!? Why did I move across the world!? This is way harder than I thought it would be! Needless to say the tears came and they were big ones. I was sobbing so loudly I woke Alex up and although he comforted me I still couldn’t shake the “what have I done” feeling. This feeling carried on for a few days. I was living in the desert but I had a little storm cloud over my head. My rose coloured glasses had officially been shattered.

I did things to try and get myself out of the misery I was currently existing in.  I documented my life online for friends and family back home. I went for walks with my pup Bennie. I chatted with my friends and family through video calling. I checked out a local beauty parlour, that was an adventure! But in spite of all of these things I still couldn’t chase that little storm cloud away.

That was until I remembered a lesson from a very wise woman. Maybe, it’s all in my perspective. I just needed to change how I was seeing things. I realized that I could fix my rose coloured glasses, I could patch them back up and put them back on. The scary bathroom in our hotel room didn’t have to be so scary, in fact I hadn’t seen a snake in there since being here so why am I scared of something that’s likely not there. I don’t need to feel sad and miss home because I can call home and see my Mom and Dad anytime I want. Video calling is an amazing thing. In fact this whole adventure is an amazing thing and I have the ability to share it with my friends and family online. I was at the start of an amazing journey and I couldn’t wait to start enjoying it!

That’s was it, I had successfully banished my rain cloud and it was simply by changing my perspective and remembering that lesson.  Of course it also helped that Alex’s rose coloured glasses had stayed firmly in place through this whole ordeal. Steady and strong, I think he’s a keeper ❤️