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.

Read More

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…

Read More

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!

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

How A Poem Cleared Up My Weird Travel Emotions

Did You Know?  1/3 of the world’s airports are located in the U.S. ( v i a ) I was looking through poetry the other day for National Poetry Day & the next thing I know 4 hours passed, I ordered 6 poetry books off Amazon, & I confessed to Wafiq that I’m going to become a song […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Oui Please, No More Culture Shock

There are pro’s and con’s to being busy.  I’ve noticed the busier I am the quicker time goes by & I can’t stand when time goes too fast.  When I’m not busy, aka Netflix and chilling, time goes pretty slow.  How did I finish an entire series in one day?!  But that’s the laziest form […]

Read More

A Trip Down Memory Lane – MissBassmaster Favs

One of the coolest parts about blogging, especially travel blogging, is being able to look back at your own writing & experiences.  Recently, I’ve been trying to clean up my old posts to make a more cohesive MissBassmaster.  In doing so I’ve stumbled upon some awesome posts.  Damnnnnnnnnnnnn Katie, round of applause!   I keep trying […]

Read More

What To Wear – In Dubai

What can you wear in Dubai? Don’t you have to be covered? I get asked this question all the time – Traveling to the Middle East & figuring out what’s appropriate for women. I’ve previously written about women in the Middle East, and what it was like to live there as a woman… But this post […]

Read More