We made it!! After all the shuffling of plans, (a job in Qatar, a trip to South America and Africa, and whatever else might have ‘been’) we are now firmly planted in Dubai and slowly reacquainting ourselves with all of the opportunities that surround us.
It feels quite strange….and in a good kinda “strange” way, we feel as though we’ve come “home”. As most of our friends keep telling us “It’s like you never left”…..and I guess you could say that in spirit, we probably did leave a little part of us back here when we left 3 years ago and moved to New Zealand unexpectedly. I joked with one of my friends that we just fell down into the “chasm” and it’s taken us 3 years to find our way back again. Something like out of Alice and Wonderland…..we fell down the rabbit hole, had some incredible experiences and then resurfaced with a whole different perspective.
It feels much “lighter” being here this time, and maybe it’s the fact that we’ve done a heck of a lot of “clearing” in more ways than one over the past 3 years.
I feel as though we’ve come in with a new set of eyes and a more open heart to be able to really tap in and connect with all that surrounds us. It’s quite refreshing to return with the likes of Lily (0ur youngest who is nearly 3) who is so open and continually asks questions. She helps us to see the details in things and to really soak up the atmosphere of a place where our souls can sing….
Every little interaction intrigues me more than it ever did before. I am tuned into the pulsating energy of this city and cannot wait to get out and start documenting more of what goes on here through the use of my photography.
Dubai is a city of contrasts in massive proportions and it gives me so much pleasure to take time for the “little things” that I am grateful for noticing this time around…..
Like how much I missed seeing the Arabic writing everywhere. I have always admired it (still hope to take a calligraphy course in it one day!) and am happy to see it all around me even if it is only on a STOP sign…
And then there’ s the fact that the locals take so much pride in how things look, and although we all know that it’s what’s inside that counts, it’s always nice to see that manifested as outer beauty as well. Nothing wrong with that!! Even Lily noticed the special touches all around her and took the time to “smell the roses”….
One of the things I dreamed about doing when we came back was going back to the old parts of Dubai and eating some real local food. There was very little in the way of real Arabic food in New Zealand and so a trip to Al Mullah down in Satwa was an absolute must.
(Make no mistake about it….those cheesy breads are dangerous!!!)
This is the one of the facets of Dubai I craved when I lived in NZ…..New Zealand is stunning there is no doubt about that but I have been craving the diversity and contrasts that Dubai so easily provides as you turn around every corner. It’s almost as if you can take a trip to a different “space in time” depending on what area of the city you go to……..
You can do a bit of cheap retro in Satwa….
Or take a breezy drive down the palm lined streets of Jumeirah….
Or you could even take a leap into the future and try and climb the Burj Khalifa like Tom Cruise did here. Or you could just drive past it and pretend that you were flying high…..(my excuse….there was a sandstorm that day….too much sand flying around!).
And if you wanted to do a bit of shopping, the world is your oyster. There are opportunities at every turn…
Hmmm, not exactly what I was thinking…….
A trip to The Dubai Mall would not leave anyone disappointed.
Ruby and Lily were happy to stand and stare at the Hamley’s Toy shop window display for hours!
Or how about a bit of ice skating in between shopping?
And if that’s not your thing you can always check out the World’s largest aquarium after you’ve had enough of browsing in Cartier….
But it’s more the attention to detail that really blows me away and is what I really missed about living here. I love that you can go to a mall and be surrounded by beautifully thought out works of art, even though at times they can appear tacky (in some places!), it adds an interest and a feeling that you just don’t get in other places.
My eyes are open to the little details unlike before….and what really excites me is the amazing, golden light that just adds that little bit extra to my photography when shooting outside. I could spend hours taking pics of the kids in the park….the light combined with the shade of the palms is just beautiful…
But nothing can replace the thing that I am so grateful to be surrounded by now and that is the love and support of our “Dubai Family” in all the wonderful friends we have made here over the years. It really does almost feel like we never left, and it is so wonderful to have the calls, texts, emails all saying “Welcome back!!”, “Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you settle back in”, “When can we meet up?”, or “If you need anything let me know…”
The chapter has begun, there is light all around us and the future looks bright!