When I first left corporate America three years ago, travel was a huge priority to me. I was sick of watching Anthony Bourdain explore the world from my couch and tired of pinning another gorgeous, exotic landscape to my Pinterest “Bucket List” board. Seeing, viewing, and learning about the world from Chicago wasn’t working. I had an appetite (and a little push from Phil) to get out there and document it for myself. So, I did. Welcome, #wanderlust.
Phil and I are about two weeks into our current three continent trip, and every morning when I wake up in a foreign land, I cannot help but feel so blessed and alive. We have already experienced so many amazing things during this trip that I cannot wait to share. I am doing my best to photograph as much of what we are seeing / eating / trying as possible and share it on the blog. But be sure to follow along on instagram to see snaps in live time. :) I haven’t been editing and sharing quite as quickly as I had hoped. :)
Our first stop was Abu Dhabi. We only had two full days to take in the culture of the Middle East, but we managed to sneak in a lot. Here is a little look at ABU DHABI!
All of the guidebooks suggested a visit to the Emirates Palace Hotel even if you were not staying there. We opted to walk the Corniche there (which was a nice (long) walk – with lots of photo taking). The hotel is stunning on the outside and pretty grand on the inside.
I really wanted to photograph the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque once I saw it when I was planning our trip, and it was just as magnificent as it appeared in the images I saw. It might be one of the most beautiful places of worship that I have ever visited.
The mosque is HUGE. During Eid it can be visited by more than 40,000 people!
One of my favorite things to do when we travel is visit the local markets (hello, shopping!). We wandered the local souks and tasted some delicious local dates.
We made friends with Sadiq, one of the owners of the date stalls, while we were shopping. He let us sample the dates, and was so kind to give us a container to bring home. My favorite were the chocolate covered dates. :)
And no trip to the Middle East could be complete without a trip to the desert.
It was a pretty windy day, so the sand was blowing everywhere. I definitely had sand coming out of my ears and scalp for days, but it was such an incredible experience. Everywhere you look is dunes and dunes of sand.
Heading to Abu Dhabi? Or want to know more about where we stayed / what we did / what not to miss? Leave me a message in the comments below, and I would love to tell you more. Until then …. #wanderlust.