Over 5 years ago, I moved abroad to Spain. I had graduated from college a few months before and was waitressing for the summer while half-heartedly job-hunting, and figuring out the next steps. Pursuing a career made me feel trapped. I was NOT ready to sign my life away! What really lit me up inside was finding a way to get back to Europe. I had studied abroad in Greece the summer before and was trying to find any way I could to get back there, or really anywhere on the continent. I looked at jobs that needed native English speakers, Master’s programs, Fulbright grants, you name it. A lot of the programs I was researching were on an academic-year basis, and I had found out about them too late and missed the deadline. Not wanting to stick around another year, I looked for a quicker way to get to Europe. Fall was fast approaching and wanderlust had me stir-crazy and impatient. [Read more…]
I didn’t think Rihanna would ever dictate my travel plans, but sure enough, after seeing her (controversial) photos in front of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, I was intrigued. Not by her, but by the strikingness of the structure: blinding white marble, towering domes, minarets, and gold details. Visiting the Grand Mosque was, without a doubt, the highlight of my trip to the UAE and is a must-see if you’re planning to visit Abu Dhabi or Dubai. [Read more…]
A trip to Dubai wouldn’t be complete without visiting the capital of Abu Dhabi too. While you’ll absolutely still find the same excess as in Dubai, Abu Dhabi at least appears to be a city that isn’t half-constructed. I was in Abu Dhabi to see the Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, but since I was there, I stopped in at The Emirates Palace. Now this is a hotel deserving of its moniker; opulent in every sense of the word, it is truly fit for royalty.