Many of us have had the fortune to see the world. I’m lucky to have seen a great array of countries across the world. One thing I’ve learned more recently is I really like to explore different (i.e. non westernised) cultures. A few years back, Kelly and I took a break in Tunisia, and it was fantastic just walking around the cities, chatting to locals, and that was it (well, that and lying on a beach for basically a week solid).
With my parents living in the UAE as well, i’ve had the opportunity to experience the UAE properly, staying on 3 week stints, and making the most of what’s around. Yes countries like the UAE are obviously super wealthy, and in many cases results in almost soulful architecture, but on the flip side of this there’s some of the most stunning buildings and environments i’ve ever seen! The snaps below were taken on my first trip to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque with my mum/sister; a genuinely stunning building that’s a total must see in that part of the world.
The best thing in the emirates (apart from seeing my parents obviously, is getting out and seeing the country. Yes, there’s all the super over the top things like the Palm, all of Dubai, the worlds biggest EVERYTHING, but the real magic is out of the city and in the desert.
There’s something really magical about the desert. We had a day/night in the desert, and it was a truly spectacular experience. I’ll never forget watching the sun set over the all encompassing desert, and can’t wait to see it again from so many other parts of the world!
Back to reality
Don’t get me wrong, I may have loved the less-traditional locations, but I won’t say no to a few creature comforts either! We both love the states, and have done two trips out there as a couple (Florida and NYC). We’ve had some great adventures across this side of the pond (well sorta) too, such as Fuerteventura, Italy, and more recently, a cheeky trip back to the motherland for the Sweeney (yeah, she’s Irish).
I still can’t really figure out what kind of holiday I prefer, but that’s the beauty of a trip like this. We will be seeing the full spectrum of life, society, and nations. East will meet West, and i’m really looking forward to seeing the almost paradoxical shift in life between countries.
Remember where you came from
One of the things a lot of people really worry about is overspending whilst away, and I am definitely one of them! I totally accept i’m not well known for being prudent with my spending, so will obviously have to reign myself back in (quite dramatically now, thanks Brexit)!, but I know we can do it. Back in 2010, Kelly and I spent 3 weeks in Sydney with her family. We were both earning £1000 a month after tax, and literally had £300 each to live on for EVERYTHING! I never thought we’d do it, but we did. We still had an amazing time, and got to do what we wanted, but didn’t go nuts on the boozing or eating out. It’s amazing what you can live on when you put your mind to it! We were fortunately obviously to have accommodation sorted, and without that, we wouldn’t have had a chance, but remember kids, you don’t NEED to go have a beer, buy the more expensive meal, or do EVERYTHING that other travellers normally do. Some of the best experiences we had in Aus, and all over the world actually were free. Memories don’t have to cost a fortune!