19. Hunt with Friends

Last month I turned 30. The big 3-0. Age has never really bothered me, it is what it is and everyone gets older. I don’t wish I was still 21 and I definitely don’t wish I was still 18. At the age of 30 I’m very happily married, I live in the Middle East, I have sold a successful business and have a postgraduate degree in Dietetics. Here’s to the next 30!

For my 30th, 3 of my amazing friends visited from the UK, and gave me a chance to be a tourist again, as well as really appreciate and show off the city of Abu Dhabi. Despite the fact I live in the desert, it seems the weather man didn’t get the memo and the girls only saw one proper day of sunshine. We saw a lot of cloud and the worst rainstorm I’ve ever experienced, both here or in the UK. Trying to keep a positive spin on things, we managed to eat a lot, drink lot and generally be merry. Typically, the week after they left, the 30+ degree weather arrived and hasn’t left since.

We went full tourist for the week visiting Yas Waterworld one day, a mega waterpark on Yas Island, where slightly hungover, I nearly died on the very first slide I went on. Lets just say I hadn’t mentally prepared myself for the vertical drop, face full of splash and the wedgie! Perfect hangover cure. Another day we went on a desert safari which I had previously been on with my husband, and was just as fun the second time. Zooming over sand dunes I was pleased we weren’t hungover that day, the sick bags may have been used. No wedgies that day, even after dismounting from a camel.

The day of my birthday, hungover post brunch from the day before (I see a pattern emerging), we went to Dubai. I’ve been to Dubai a handful of times now, but it never loses its charm. Standing at the foot of the tallest building in the world, in front of a ridiculously large mall, I felt amazed I am a resident in this country. Dubai is literally an hour up the road, but still feels like another world.

Of course a tourist week would not be complete without a trip to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Again, although I have been previously, it doesn’t lose its charm or magic. I will happily take every visitor there to wander the marble floors and listen to call of prayer.

Sometimes, people can get stuck in routines and the daily grind, and forget to take a second and look around them. I’m really enjoying living in Abu Dhabi and the UAE and I feel settled. I appreciate the different cultures and nationalities I come across on a daily basis, and feel I am much more open and tolerant. Sure, it isn’t all sunshine and coffee (honestly it’s not), the washing up still needs doing, the credit card needs paying and the bathroom needs cleaning but I feel my past worries late last year are exactly that – past. 30 is looking good!

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