Allow Me To Introduce: The Kingdom of Bahrain

Bahrain

Wafiq is from Bahrain. His family moved to Dubai while he was going to college, but he was born & raised in the tiny little island, Bahrain. That’s how I wound up learning about the country & ultimately visiting.  I rarely write about Bahrain for a lot of reasons, the shiny things are in Dubai – all the glitz, glam & tall buildings, which is where I spent most of my time. Also, because Wafiq grew up in Bahrain, we don’t tend to do very much when we visit. We stick close to his house & his friends houses and… there’s a lot of people that don’t want to share anything online so I can’t write or photo with them unless it’s curated. ha!  More on that another time.

Bahrain is still my favorite.  Each time we go I notch something new off my belt.  It’s a small island country in the middle of the Middle East, with approx 1.2M people.  The vibe is very much island.   One of the reasons Wafiq knows English so well is because he went to an English speaking school with the same exact curriculum that I had when I went to school, in America.  There’s an American Military Base on Bahrain, so Wafiq went to school with a lot of little Katie’s.  {aka: American’s.}  Which is also why Wafiq tends to get along with American’s that served in the Military – they know where Bahrain is & they know what type of dude Wafiq is.

Besides the history & political parts of this country, I love the feeling I get from being there.  Every time I would visit from Dubai I instantly felt relaxed stepping off the plane.  Bahrain is very CHILL.  Like an Arabic island vibey country, intriguing right?

I will admit, I don’t think all Bahraini’s feel the same way – because it’s a small country, almost like a small town, locals feel like they know everyone & people depend on gossip.

BUT for visitors, I can tell you, this place is the shit!  And more affordable than the shiny neighbor Dubai.  If you want to get culture, laid back, easy living, personal feeling – Bahrain is the place.  For example, we went to the Al Fateh Grand Mosque in Bahrain our last time visiting, because it’s the #1 thing to do on trip advisor.  We happened to go on Christmas Eve which I found pretty interesting – my entire life Christmas Eve has been the coordination of a Church Service & this year it was a tour of a Mosque.  Silly how things work out.  Anyway, the tour guide could not have been more informative & RELATABLE.   He was our age. & as soon as Wafiq & I realized he was incredibly easy to talk to we started grilling him on every single religious question we could think of.  I mean everything, even if I sounded dumb, I went for it.  I love exploring religions & learning what other people believe.  It’s crazy how much you can learn when you’re not afraid, and you ask questions.  Rather than preach or intimidate, our tour guide answered questions honestly & fearlessly.

So far on my visits to Bahrain this is the vibe I get.  Easy, relaxed, people.  When you go to the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, you don’t feel the exact same way you do in the Grand Mosque of Bahrain.  As glamorous as the Abu Dhabi one is – there’s tons of people, large tour groups, and a formal education.  I’m not trying to knock the Abu Dhabi Mosque as it’s one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture I’ve ever seen, rather show the perks of both 🙂

Unlike Dubai, you’ll see Bahraini locals everywhere when you visit.  They’re available to be seen!  Emirati’s are so few, that you don’t interact with them very often or even see them everywhere.

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10 Favorite Things From 2017

2017 Favorites

Better late then never sharing all my favorite things of 2017.  We shall call this a mix up, because why limit ourselves to one category of favorites?  These products were not all created in 2017, rather things I used through 2017.   Weird but true, I typically don’t like something right when I get it.  I put it down.  Stare at it.  And on one random day pick it up & use it consistently after that… or throw it out.

CHANEL Soleil Tan De Chanel

The obvious.  Bronze anything will make my list, just be happy I’m not talking about my at home spray tan.  I try not to wear a lot of makeup most days & bronzer is one of the few products I need daily.  I ditched powder bronzer most of the year for this cream bronzer.  I take a medium sized brush & blend it on my cheekbones to look alive everyday.  Because it’s creamy I don’t feel like it drys me out & I like how it blends into my skin.  I’ve had this one jar of bronzer for 45 years, used it every single day & am just now at the point where I need to repurchase.

ColourPop Echo Park Satin Lip

I’ve had this lip color for a long time & used it almost every day in 2017.  I realized using a natural color on your lips, even without anything else on your face, makes you look like you’re trying.  It’s such a cheat to looking ready, that or a nice lip gloss.  (My fav: here)  This one in particular keeps my lips super moisturized which is hard to do, and doesn’t rub off in 1 mili second.  I put the smallest amount on my lips in the morning after I apply chapstick, and then use my finger to smudge it around.  Au naturel.

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The ONLY Knives You’ll Ever Need. & You NEED Them.

Ikea Knives

Well here’s a little known fact about myself to chipper you up on your Thursday – I prefer/can only write a blog post when I’m listening to the Kygo station on Pandora.  It has that perfect mix of vocals & instrumentals, inspiring me to get my deepest words out to the world!  It can also take a turn for the worst & get me too emo, when I go back & read posts I can always tell. Ha!

TODAY is one of the best days for you guys because I’m forcing you to listen to me rave about these fucking incredible knives that I’ve ONLY cut my fingers on ONE time.  And that may or may not been because I was under the influence.. of something other than wine.

ALL HAIL IKEA $2 KNIVES!

I’ve tried other knife sets & knives from different companies that claim they have the baddest, bestest, sharpest knives in the world!  Not because I’ve owned many of them, but because I’ve gone to other homes & asked to use their knives.  And as predicted, they fucking suck!  They either have to be sharpened, be polished, or go through some other bull shit procedure in order to cut a tomato… BUT THESE IKEA BEAUTIES REQUIRE NOTHING BUT LOVE.  And they slice through a tomato like butter!  Are they the prettiest knives with their bright yellow & red handles?  Depends if you like ketchup & mustard.  I have no shame, I proudly set them at the table, especially with guests over.  I’ve thrown out the other prettier knives Wafiq inherited, no more pretending Ikea knives aren’t the only things in our kitchen that matter.

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6 Must-See Items in Dubai (& they’re free!)

Dubai List

I would argue one of the best things about Dubai, if not the best, is how much you can explore & simply see.  Without having to pay anything or work very hard.  Not without effort, Dubai sets records & created a visual piece of artwork.  You can fill your entire trip just driving around exploring the different landscapes – for FREE.  Sometimes paying for the view, isn’t as good as actually searching for it yourself.

I wanted to show you how to make a trip adventurous without spending a ton of money!  I feel like I’m a master at going on budget friendly trips, including Dubai.  Food & drink is expensive, but there’s SO much to do for free, or nearly free – if you can just get yourself there.  You wouldn’t even be able to finish this list in one trip!  And if you do, I can add to it 🙂

This is MY checklist when I go back – things to go stare at.  And they never get old.  Even when I lived there, going to stare at the items on this list was one of my favorite things to do.  And a way to ensure I won’t waste my precious money.

1-  Burj Khalifa
This twinkly building still takes my breathe away.  Because it’s right outside the Dubai Mall there’s plenty of space to go walk around the building & look at it yourself – without paying a dime.  Get yourself to the Dubai Mall & walk outside.  You can eat near it, shop near it, walk near it, or just sit down & stare at it.  The fountain show that plays outside the building at night will also take your breathe away.  Go check it out during the day & at night for completely different views.  Until Dubai builds their next world record setting building, this is the top spot for me.  And you absolutely need a GoPro to fit the whole damn thing in a photo, OR spend $$$$ to have a tourey sales man take one measly photo for you…

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CONNECT WITH ME, PLEASE! MissBassmaster on Social Media Xx

MissBassmaster Facebook Page

I’m actively working on improving my social media! I may not be uber addicted to a phone, but let me start scrolling on a computer & I’ll end up browsing every crack of the internet.  From people, to blogs, to etsy shops, to the ends of social media.

I love finding cool people, projects & knowledge!  They motivate me to think uniquely, be creative, laugh, ask questions.  I love people & their ambitions – what floats their boat.

…so lets C O N N E C T !!  Find me in all the places below, currently working on keeping them active & ready for you! AND US!

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5 Personal Fav Posts from 2017

Muslim Ban

For anyone that hasn’t had a chance to read my old posts, below are a few of my favorites from 2017!  Enjoy!
Dating A Muslim Immigrant… During The “Muslim Ban”
Tis a sign of the times…  I love this post because, Wafiq.  What an interesting time it was.  We happened to just be finishing our own immigration journey during this time & learned TONS of immigration info we never knew before.  Which I think is why we were super comfortable.  Even though people were freaking out.  I remember we were happy, lucky & together 🙂

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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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Reasons You Don’t Have To Set 2018 Goals

Goals

2018 is on it’s way!  Lets set goals, shall we?!

No.

No we shall not.

I thought a lot about this.  The big, long-term beautiful (somewhat vague) end goal is always in sight, but all the others change.  I love it!  I welcome change, even though I fear it.  As ideas & goals shift throughout the year, you create new agendas & updated accordingly.  Which is why, now that it’s 2018 & resolutions are all the talk, you shouldn’t feel pressure to make them.  

I’ve learned one of the worst things you can do to yourself is lose your own trust.  Disappoint yourself.  I know any goal I set on Jan 1, 2018 will end up changing, therefore I’ll end up disappointing myself & losing my trust.  Which is a big no-no.  So, fuck the 2018 goals.

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Always Do Your Best (and that’s enough)

Do Your Best

Remember when you were little and getting ready for soccer games, a school play, choir/band performance and your teacher or parents would tell you “Just do your best”?  Maybe you heard that, maybe you were already the best…

I wish we still had an adult following us around, reminding us to do our best.  I recently had a boss that filled a position where he was in way over his head.  Drowning in the position because he likely over promised what skills he actually had.  I watched him drown.  I tried my best to help him but quickly noticed he wasn’t trying his best.  He didn’t fulfill the position requirements and instead of digging his heels in and trying to do his best to figure it out, he resisted.  He passed everything he could off to anyone that would take it.  He gave it to his bosses, people under him, people next to him.  He refused to learn.  He trusted his seniority would precedent.

Over the weeks, that turned into months, I started wondering why he wouldn’t try.  What happened to trying to do your best?  Come in to work every day and do the very best YOU can do.  If it’s a mess or not everything gets done, at least you tried.  I don’t understand people who don’t try to do their best.  Why wouldn’t you?  With my boss, whatever his issue with the position was, I still think he should’ve tried to do his best at it, every single day until he’s either learned the position requirements or found something else.

If you stop doing your best, how boring? What are you learning? What are you getting better at?  In conversations, try to do your best at listening.  At workouts, try to be your best athlete.  Preparing for the week, try to do your best each Sunday.  I mean shiiiii, if you’re not trying at anything anymore you need to get a hobby you enjoy. If you’re an expert at everything, you have the wrong mindset. Find things to work hard at & be passionate about.  I hated my job once, and let me tell you – I did my very best at finding something better. At going to work every single day knowing I was trying for something better, so I felt comfortable working hard while I was there.

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