Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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I was going to wait to post about Dubai, but this was a landmark trip as I reached 20 countries visited! I say visited as it’s actually 21 I’ve been to, if you count my home in Canada. I think 20 just sounds like such a milestone though and it deserved to be celebrated! Dubai wasn’t actually an intentional trip, in the way my European getaway was, as it was not in my top list of must see places. Instead, I went after a girl I know invited me along while she was visiting family. It was really nice to spend time with her family and hear stories about their history and see some cultural differences first hand. When I travelled though Europe that is what I wanted to experience most, how other people lived. This trip was pretty hard for me and quite out of my comfort zone. While Dubai is not a place I would rush to go back to, I do feel special for getting to see it firsthand. It really is spectacular what they are trying to accomplish and create. During this visit, I not only got to see the famous Burj Khalifa, but also got to go up to the observation deck. It wasn’t my ideal time slot to go at 5:30am (note to others, book your tickets PRIOR to your trip) but I think it was meant to be. Watching the sunrise over Dubai was an incredible experience and something I will remember always. I also witnessed the record breaking firework display that occurred on New Years Eve from the Palm, which was so special to be a part of (and I really love fireworks in general). The beach I went to had a lot of construction nearby but with my headphones in, I was happy as a clam! If you’ve read my previous posts, it’s hard for me not to love a beach though. The one thing I really wanted to see and unfortunately was unable to do, was to go to a racetrack and see an Arabian horse. Both my father and grandfather both are horse race fans and I grew up visiting the track. Maybe one day that wish will come true…

December 28, 2013- January 7, 2014