I'm going to start my Dubai travel diaries with one of the best experiences the hubs and I have ever had on a holiday - the desert safari.
We'd heard a lot about it and I had been stressing out about how to get on one because I had done lots of research, and emailed tons of tour agencies prior to getting to Dubai, and didn't get a single response. In the end, we booked our tour when we arrived, and based on the recommendation of our friend in Dubai, decided to go for the package that was sold at the counters of the Big Bus Tours, which are located at almost every major shopping centre in Dubai.
The package costs 275 uae dirhams (60 euros) per person, and included hotel pick-up and drop-off, desert sand bashing on a 4x4, camel riding, followed by dinner at a desert campsite, as well as traditional and belly dancing shows at dinner.
Our driver was an Indian national, Rashid, who's lived in Dubai for 17 years, and I must say we were very very very lucky to have gotten him. He was calm, sweet, and egged-on by our screams of thrills and exhilaration, proceeded to give us a whole lot of extra treatment during the sand bashing session. We saw so many other cars cutting corners, but our guy went the extra mile (literally) to give us the ride of our life. I personally love roller coasters and thrilling joy rides, so this was super duper (x10000000) cool for me. For the queasy ones, urmmm... you might prefer a calmer driver.
And being in the desert at sunset is something else. I felt like the boy in the Alchemist. Awe-inspired. Blessed. Filled with wonderment. Bliss. Bliss. Bliss.
And as always, some tips:
1. Wear boots or sneakers or flip flops. Or like me, you'll end up barefooted because the sand just jumps into your pretty little flats. And you'll spend the next few days dealing with sandy shoes.
2. It is COLDDDD in the desert. Depends on how you look at, we were lucky/unlucky with the weather in Dubai this time. Average night temperatures in the city were around 19 degrees celcius (66° fahrenheit). Temperatures in the desert go down many, many, many more celcius at nights. Imagine that, coupled with the wind! Felt like 10°. Now imagine me in my light summer clothing. FREEZING! I looked at some very prepared Japanese tourists in their down feather jackets and really wanted to cuddle up to them.
3. Wear white. It photographs beautifully in the dessert. I wish I wore white pants too.
Today, I also wanna wish my darling Bryan, a very happy birthday. I love you so much littlest brother! You're so handsome and adorable and wonderful and caring and loving and understanding!!!! I think of you all the time, and love the moments when I get to hug you, dance with you, drink with you, and just hang with you. Here's a quote that I loved best from the Alchemist, which I've bought for you as one of your birthday presents to get you to read and inspire you to find your bliss :))
“What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the
Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It
does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to
realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved
toward that dream. That’s the point at which, as we say in the language
of the desert, one “dies of thirst just when the palm trees have
appeared on the horizon.”
Thank you for your love. Thank you for your patience.
Thank you for encouraging me to dream, and then for letting me fly.
Thank you for being there when I fell, and then for letting me try again.
Thank you for saying what you needed, and then for letting me be me.
Thank you for giving me stronger wings, and then for letting me know that I always have a place called home.
I love you with every inch of my soul.
And if I ever had a choice, I'd do anything to have you be my parents again in another life.
Super Daddy and Mummy celebrate their 33rd Wedding Anniversary today.
The poem below is dedicated to them, my heroes. To me, this is how I've seen them living their lives together. Inspiring me by their quiet
actions, simple joys, crazy humor, unwavering love, and heartwarming efforts be better partners, parents and human beings every
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
I have sent you my invitation, the note inscribed on the palm of my hand by the fire of living. Don't jump up and shout, "Yes, this is what I want! Let's do it!" Just stand up quietly and dance with me.
Show me how you follow your deepest desires, spiralling down into the ache within the ache. And I will show you how I reach inward and open outward to feel the kiss of the Mystery, sweet lips on my own, everyday.
Don't tell me you want to hold the whole world in your heart. Show me how you turn away from making another wrong without abandoning
yourself when you are hurt and afraid of being unloved.
Tell me a story of who you are, And see who I am in the stories I am living. And together we will remember that each of us always has a choice.
Don't tell me how wonderful things will be . . . some day. Show me you can risk being completely at peace, truly OK with the way things are right now in this moment, and again in the next and the next and the next. . .
I have heard enough warrior stories of heroic daring. Tell me how you crumble when you hit the wall, the place you cannot go beyond by the strength of your own will. What carries you to the other side of that wall,
to the fragile beauty of your own humanness?
And after we have shown each other how we have set and kept the clear,
healthy boundaries that help us live side by side with each other, let
us risk remembering that we never stop silently loving those we once
loved out loud.
Take me to the places on the earth that teach
you how to dance, the places where you can risk letting the world break
your heart. And I will take you to the places where the earth
beneath my feet and the stars overhead make my heart whole again and
Show me how you take care of business without letting business determine who you are. When the children are fed but still the voices within and around us shout that soul's desires have too high a price,
let us remind each other that it is never about the money.
Show me how you offer to your people and the world the stories and the songs you want our children's children to remember, and I will show you how I struggle not to change the world, but to love it.
Sit beside me in long moments of shared solitude, knowing both our absolute aloneness and our undeniable belonging. Dance
with me in the silence and in the sound of small daily words, holding
neither against me at the end of the day.
And when the sound of all the declarations of our sincerest
intentions has died away on the wind, dance with me in the infinite
pause before the next great inhale of the breath that is breathing us
all into being, not filling the emptiness from the outside or from
Don't say, "Yes!" Just take my hand and dance with me.