Week 1 in Dubai

Dubai is a lot like Las Vegas. Everything is extravagant and feels surreal. The people are called “expats” with over 80% of the population hailing from literally all parts of the world. The city is built for luxury: the architecture glimmers, the roads do not encourage walking, and shopping just might be the UAE’s favorite pastime aside from soccer. The few days I have spent here have been insightful, teaching me things about myself and the world that I never knew existed.

Top 3 Lessons I have learned so far being abroad:

1. Sleep is not necessary for survival
Since I have been here, I have probably slept less than 6 hours a night, even after already being sleep deprived due to traveling. Jetlag has been a challenge throughout the day; exhaustion starts to creep in around 4pm, but I have been doing well making sure I stay awake and soak up this life changing experience. I can sleep when I am back in the states.

2. Do not value material things
The airport and baggage services will do everything in their power to ensure they ruin something. My brand new (and expensive) Liz Claiborne luggage set has been ripped and damaged already. My hair oil spilled all over my personal items, my clothes always reek of smoke (thanks to the smoking allowed in restaurants and bars), and my new shoes are physically abusing my feet. However, I have just sucked it up, haven’t complained (until now), and have enjoyed my time here so far.

3. Detach
Being in a new country has pushed me to be more outgoing, to make friends, ask questions and explore. Having no phone service has kept me relatively out of the loop, but it has been good to be able to focus my attention on other things and not be so technology dependent. I have met people from Lebanon, Egypt, India, Iraq, Canada, England, Palestine, and Australia. I have eaten Lebanese food, Mediterranean dishes, pineapple fried rice and wonderful pad thai.

ilaliqaa’ ( Until we meet again)

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