USA! USA! USA!…and Abu Dhabi

Traveling is amazing and very exhausting. It’s worth it but there are times when coming home is the only thing that sounds appealing. Since the last post I went to Abu Dhabi, then back to Doha, and finally traveled the 8000 miles home. After 9 days straight of working I got a 5 days off to hibernate then worked for 3 days to get another 4 day break. During the last 4 day break a few co-workers and I decided to visit Abu Dhabi (my visa was expiring so it was also a visa run).

We had so much fun! I personally liked Abu Dhabi more than Dubai. I don’t know if it was because of the group I went with or the overall vibe. In Dubai everything was for tourists, nothing seemed genuine. Abu Dhabi seemed to be more real and trying less to impress. The two cities are just a couple hours apart so they’re not vastly different. During our first day we went to the beach, played and lounged around. I tried wake boarding for the first time…’tried’ being the key word. I don’t know how people get up on those things, it seemed impossible. We also went to the mall, that was of course gigantic, it had everything you could want and so much more. On another daytime adventure we went and saw the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. That place will take your breath away…it is the definition of grand, both the inside and outside was so beautiful. We were lucky enough to get there around a prayer time where we heard the call to prayer echo through the mosque, very very cool. If I ever got to go again I would go at sunset, the views and lighting would be amazing plus there would also be a call to prayer around that time too. Admittedly, we spent a lot more time on the night scene than anything else. The first night we made our way to Yas Island to try to go Rush, an upscale club that over looks the race track. Little did we know it was closed one day out of the week, of course the day we decide to go. Rush is located in the Viceroy hotel so we went to a rooftop area there for some hookah and casual hangout time. We ended up taking a cab back towards our hotel (30 mins away, nothing is close to Yas Island) and went to Etoiles inside the Emirates Palace. We loved Etoiles, so much that we went back almost every night. They played upbeat music and had great prices for everything. Eventually, we made it to Rush on a Friday night and it was less than impressive. Based off of what we heard we thought it would be the to be, but it was underwhelming.To sum it up we had pretty relaxing days, then would dance the night away.  The beach and the mosque are a ‘must see’ during the day and Etoiles was the place to be at night.

After Abu Dhabi, I returned to Doha to finish off the last couple weeks of work. I made one final trip to the Souq to get gifts for loved ones and eat my favorite meal at Le Gourmet (best hummus I’ve ever had). I said my goodbyes, knowing I’d see my coworkers again. I was more sad to say goodbye to the staff that made Doha feel like home, they are truly great people.

Now I am actually home, St. Louis by no means is the greatest city on this planet, or is on a list of “must see” places but it is home. I could have cried tears of joy when I touched down in America, not because the Middle East was terrible or I didn’t enjoy it. It was AMAZING! I had a great time! But it’s not my home, for some people it doesn’t matter but I feel like I have a strong sense of home. When I’m away for too long, I miss the way my mom smells and my dad’s laugh and all of my siblings. I’ve learned so much about myself over the past two months, I’m so thankful for that. Luckily, I got a week off when I came back to readjust. Next trip is to Los Angeles for 3 weeks! Lately, I feel like this blog has focused on travel which is not my intention but I’m just going with it. With Valentine’s Day coming up I do want to stray away from travel and towards a pretty cool love story but we’ll see what life has in store until then.

Float on!