Have you ever dreamed you would ride a camel? I didn’t either. In fact, that thought had never crossed my mind until I found myself sinking in the sand of the Dubai desert! I ventured to the United Arab Emirates in 2012 to visit my mom who spent a year overseas for work. Of course when she first proposed the idea of coming to Dubai I was elated! Then, after the plane ticket was purchased and I realized how many hours I’d be in flight, I was slightly anxious about how I would entertain myself for that long 30,000+ feet in the air. But, somehow you have a way of figuring things out when an opportunity arises that you just can’t let pass you by.
I still rave about my trip to Dubai. It was one of the most best experiences of my life! My mom did everything she could to ensure that trip was amazing. You remember in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York when Kevin first walks into the Plaza Hotel and stands there in awe. That was me at the front door of the hotel we were staying at for the week. I honestly had never encountered splendor of that magnitude. Meanwhile it was almost midnight, and I’m wide awake and jet lagged trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I’m actually in the Middle East. The next week I found myself cruising the Dubai river, perusing gold souks, admiring the beauty of mosques, dune bashing, shopping, and even meeting a few new friends. That was also my first exposure to desert temperatures, so I learned a new meaning of hot! The funny thing about life is that sometimes you get opportunities you don’t even dream of. God is just that good. I’m a small town girl from a single-parent home. While I had my share of field trips to museums and local beaches, traveling internationally was not always in the family budget. So, I’m grateful to my mom for all the sacrifices that would ultimately place us across the world for this journey. The best part about this trip was not all the glamor and opulence, because just like any other city, there is a certain level of disenfranchisement. Traveling to Dubai helped me learn how to dream bigger and expect greatness in all things, because no matter where I’ve been, there’s always something more to blow my mind.