DUBAI! Top 5 Pieces to Pack.

Dubai Fashion

There are 3 questions I get asked all the time: how I was treated as a woman in the middle east, did I feel safe AND “did you have to cover up the whole time”.

I hope I’ve done a good job clarifying, go to this post to see my answers to all 3 of those questions if you haven’t already.  (We went to the public beach on this trip & there were girls in thong bikinis & topless tanning, so I think people are comfortable doing whatever they please.)

For me, I wanted to fit in.  I wanted to act like I’ve been there before & I know what the fuck I’m doing.  There’s something powerful in that.  Also, for any destination, isn’t it fun to fit in?  Wear what they wear.  I think it makes you appear well traveled, like you know what you’re doing in you life.  So that was my goal this trip.  I stuck to coverage.  When I was living there, I pushed this boundary w my cut off shorts & dresses all the time, because I was bored of being covered & it was HOT AF.  Being that I was just visiting, I had a different approach this time.

The theme:  BLACK BLACK BLACK.  If this is the color of your wardrobe, you’re in luck!  I like bright colors, florals, sparkles, drama – so I had to go shopping.  An abaya & burka are black, so that’s the colors you’ll see a lot of when you’re out.  I asked someone why black?  Why not beautiful colors + design on the abaya?  I was told the original purpose of the abaya was to avoid attention.  Bright florals & colors will do the opposite, drawing attention to the people wearing them.  So black is the theme!

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Two Years Later – Visiting Dubai!

Dubai

The saying “time flies when you’re having fun” is terrible & true isn’t it?  I remember miserable days/years in different jobs, & man did time drag.  But, of course, when you’re having fun & enjoying all the parts of your life, time goes quick!  So, would you rather a boring yet long life or short yet exciting life? Ha!  Nothing like that awful question to wake you up on a Thursday morning.

I’m back from Dubai! Long story short, it was fun & it went fast.  Which in this case is better than the alternative.

Everyone that followed along on my Instagram Stories, thank you! That was fun to create.  If you missed it, I left a lot of the stories in my “highlights” section.  Click on my Instagram profile & right below the bio you’ll see the circle for Dubai & Bahrain with the stories while I was there.

If you’ve been reading for awhile you likely know this trip was a big step for me.  Last time I was in Dubai I left in a rush & didn’t exactly leave every relationship in it’s best place.  And that feeling strengthened even while I was back in the States, especially when Wafiq decided he was going to stay & begin the immigration process.  Needless to say my relationships weren’t in tip top shape across the pond.

Last year, I decided to skip the trip Wafiq took home for that very reason,  I wasn’t ready to walk back into my past OR the lions den.

This year I was ready.  Wafiq & I are both comfortable & confident in the choices we’ve made in the past & knowing we’re in control of the choices were going to make in the future – I felt like there was nothing to fear anymore.  No judgment or conversation or threat or whatever was going to hurt me.  And I don’t mean to paint the picture as if everyone was going to do just that, but when you’re struggling & feeling weak & not confident with yourself – it’s hard to defend decisions in front of anyone.  And we lived in that space for awhile so I had to protect myself.  But this time I was ready.

Right when we arrived, I felt like I was living in Dubai yesterday, but better.  And more comfortable.   Everyone was excited to see us.  The first days were filled with food.  Family. Friends. Kids.  And Food.  I definitely did not have a chance to pick up my phone & document anything.  But because those first days were easy, I immediately knew the rest of the trip would be too.

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We’re Going Back To Dubai!

Bahrain

I have some exciting news! Or at least I consider it exciting… I’m heading back to Dubai!  This time, I’m not moving there & simply going for a visit – like a normal person.

Last time I was in Dubai, I remember literally telling Wafiq “I’m never ever.  Never. Ever. Coming back to this fucking place.”  Harsh, I know.  And I told everyone that!  I hated the thought of ever going back.  Being able to say that out loud & having made it through the experience – felt amazing.  I felt stuck when I was in Dubai, by my own stubbornness, for so long that when I finally got out of it, I felt like I made it! And there was no going back. Literally.

The experience was way harder on me than I expected & by the time I had my plane ticket in hand to come back to the States, I was extremely excited for America!  But, two years later I can say I’m actually excited to go back.  Mostly because so much has changed since then.  Personally & professionally.  Also, I’m not moving there so I know I’m not stuck, merely a tourist.  And shiiiii, I lived there for almost 2 years! There are parts & memories I miss.

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Dating a Muslim Immigrant… during the “Muslim Ban”

Did You Know? As of 2010, there were an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, making Islam the world’s second-largest religious tradition after Christianity. ( v i a ) Heads up – Muslims come in all shapes/ forms/ colors/ backgrounds/ beliefs/ families/ countries/ parents/ lifestyles. They do not all wear a hijab or thobe or a […]

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The Best Sweet Treat in the World! Promise.

Dates!!!! AHHHH Dates! I love them so much (and you will too. Promise). I didn’t think it would be possible to find yummy dates in America but I’m here to confirm it is!  You may have to do a little hunting, but the hunt is worth the catch.   Basics:  Dates come from Date Palms. […]

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My Top Ten – BEST of Dubai

I tried to keep this list to activities rather than accomplishments. For example – getting the job I really wanted would definitely be at the top of my list but I wanted to stick to activities so I can always remember the things I went out and did while living here.. Also, in case anyone visits […]

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Merry {Late} Christmas

Merry Christmas AND Happy New Year! I took a little vacation in Bahrain for Christmas where internet is limited so I didn’t have much time to write. Better late than never… This Christmas I was annoyingly emotional! The whole month I was battling a frustrating case of homesickness. Out of no where and for no […]

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My two favorite parts of Ramadan

Ramadan is officially over. I’ll say the experience of being in the region during Ramadan was an interesting one. I’m grateful I was here for it and extra grateful I was able to experience the holiday with a Muslim family.   I feel like I really got in there and grabbed a hold of the […]

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A Small World

Another note by Juliana… The world all of a sudden seems so small to me. I met a group of friends in Austin through Katie from a place called Bahrain that seemed so far away… then this past weekend we were actually there. It’s so much like Austin but all of sudden we were the […]

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Daily Challenge: Fast Forward

I was having writers block… Ok, that’s a joke. I think you have to be a writer to have writers block?  But I felt I was becoming boring blabbing about my day to day activities so I decided to do a “Daily Prompt”. They appear on the homepage when I log on to my blog. […]

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