Dubai ChroniclesπŸ‡¦πŸ‡ͺ✈️🌏

They say it happens when you least expect it. Around this time last year, my friends and I were dreaming of the day we would visit Dubai. Let’s just say the “Sex and the City” movie was not only the source of inspiration but it kind of planted the seed. Little did we know, the universe was listening in on us. Just this past week, we got the opportunity to fulfill one of our travel adventures which was to visit the capital city of the Emirate of Dubai. 

Dubai is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Located on the Southeast Coast of the Persian Gulf, it has emerged as a global city and business hub of the Middle East.

Some even call Dubai the trendsetter due to the many things you can ONLY find in Dubai. It is known for -:

* The tallest building, man made structure and free standing structure – Burj Khalifa

* The world’s only 7-star hotel – Burj Al Arab, Dubai
*The largest mall in the world – Dubai Mall
* The largest water cannon show in the world – Dubai Mall
* The largest artificial islands in the world – Palm Islands (The Palm Jumeirah, The Palm Jebel Ali and The Palm Deira) in Dubai and among many other things.

With the little background of traveling I have had, I’ve gotten the experience of travelling alone and travelling with a group of friends. Although Both adventures are completely different, they  still quench the thirst of the travel bug (The urge to travel and see the world). As much as I have enjoyed traveling alone and learning more about myself, nothing can beat the excitement and fun that comes with traveling with a group of close friends.

We were a total of four when we decided to take on this adventure. Sandra who I met in South Africa πŸ‡ΏπŸ‡¦ ,Natalie my best friend, Adam my childhood best friend, and myself. We Couldn’t have asked for a better crew because not only did each of us bring a different perspective and vibe but we also came with different personalities. 

We booked our flights through RwandAir not knowing what to expect since none of us had heard of it before. Not to be dramatic or over the top but when your planning for a vacation, the kind of airline you use normally sets the mood/foundation for your trip. If you come to think of it, your journey for your trip marks the beginning of your vacation.

To our surprise their services were pretty good. I am talking from the look of the plane to the actual presentation of the staff. Ofcourse my favorite part had to be the food🍲. Normally plane food is never anything to look forward to but RwandAir changed the game for me. I like my food to burst with flavor from the first bite and let’s just say the food that RwandAir served, did that and so much more.

 


Don’t be fooled though. Like every good service there is always a downside to it. RwandAir was not the best with keeping time. Our flights were delayed both when we were leaving for our trip and also when we were returning. This is just a precaution to those who might consider to use their airline. But in all honesty, I would fly with them again just because of their food.

We ended up staying at ‘Time Crystal Hotel Apertments’ in Bersha Heights Dubai. You would think that AB&B would be cheaper but in Dubai it actually isn’t. Hotel apartments tend to be less costly because you can accommodate a large group of people and also save costs by cooking your own meals. Although our location was not as close to the city as we would have liked, the use of uber and taxis made it easier to commute everywhere.

When in Dubai, there are just certain things that you have to do during your visit. We had the intentions of checking out the night scene, the desert Safari and ofcourse tour the city. A night out in Dubai is actually very expensive. Not only do you have to pay for a cover fee at the club but the alcohol itself is also quite pricey. Due to the fact that its a Muslim Country, they tend to have strict laws. Things like alcohol are one of the things that are taken very seriously.​

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I personally must admit the desert safari was the highlight of the trip. 

There’s nothing better than when you are speciafically dressed for an occasion that goes along with the theme. Not only does it set the atmosphere but you are completely embersed in the moment making the experience even more authentic than it already is. Being as outgoing as we are, we knew we had to go all out and dress the part with no apologies.

We got a package that included a late night dinner, hookah, camel ride and the best part, desert driving and dune bashing. Personally when vacationing especially with a group, it’s normally cheaper when it comes to doing activities. Most companies even give a better discount the bigger the group. Groupon (

 


Dubai has opened my eyes and raised the bar when it comes to travel destinations. In the words Gustave Flaubert, “travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”

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My Safari!! πŸ‡ΏπŸ‡¦πŸŒπŸš›πŸ¦πŸ˜

I read a quote that said, “when in Africa, everything bites but the Safari Bug is the worst of them all.”

As funny as it sounds, I must say that it is absolutely true. Don’t know if you could tell by the cover page of my blog, but I have always wanted to go on a safari and this experience was absolutely more than I ever imagined. Apart form the idea in my head and what I had seen on TV, this opportunity was way better than what I expected. 

I had planned to do this adventure as soon as I knew that I was coming to South Africa. When I mean by planning, I am literally talking about from my outfit, to my mini photoshoot angles. Fashion is everything and what better way to express it in every aspect of your life.


We are currently on spring break and this was the perfect time to go on the safari. Normally, it’s encouraged to go on any type of safari before the seasons change. This is due to the migration of animals as they search for pastures and food. 

We decided to go to a private game reserve just because your are guaranteed to see the animals. Through ‘Tourism that cares’, we got a great package that comprised of a rental car, accommodation at a backpackers for 3 nights and the actual safari at Botlierskop Private Game reserve all  for under $200.00. Honestly it doesn’t get any cheaper than that compared to all the deals we found. 

Located in Mossle Bay Western Cape, it was a 4hr drive from stellenbosch. Not gonna lie but lowkey, I was very nervous to drive just because we usually drive on the left and in SA, they drive on the right. Ofcourse at some point I found myself on the wrong lane but all in all I got the hang  of it. One thing to keep in mind, is that not all areas in South Africa are mapped on the GPS, so getting lost and reading maps is a norm. So you can only imagine the struggle that we went through. But The gorgeous scenery made up for everything.

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​​Situated between the Outeniqua Mountains and the Indian ocean, the Botlierskop Private Game Reserve offers close to a 4hour scenic drive of the game park while riding in a 4×4 truck viewing 4 of the Big 5. Lions, elephants, buffalo’s, giraffes, rhino’s, hippos, rare black impalas and more as well as a unique bird life.​

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I would not trade this experience for anything in the world. I must say that this was a dream come true and cannot wait to go on my next big adventure. 

NATURE LOVE TO AN EXTENT β›°πŸŒπŸ‡ΏπŸ‡¦

NATURE LOVE TO AN EXTENT β›°πŸŒπŸ‡ΏπŸ‡¦

It’s funny how just three weeks ago I was literally working at drive through McDonald’s, not knowing I will be half way accross the world hiking and being surrounded by magnificent views. 


Like everything is still so surreal to me that it somehow feels like a dream. Yesterday I got the opportunity to hike Mt Stellenbosch.  Those who live, work or study in Stellenbosch know that all mountains dominate the town and are visible from almost anywhere. 

If am not wrong ( still trying to figure out the geography), this is the same mountain that I get to see from my bedroom window which I posted  in one of my last blogs. From the first day I saw it , I have daydreamed about being up there. 


Anyways, yesterday after sleeping in most of the day, I decided that my unfit self should take on the challenge. At first it wasn’t the best idea but once I got half way to the top, it all became worth it. 

Not to intimidate you, but the trails are not really safe and guided so it is encouraged to hike at your own risk. For those who have fallen under the spell of the new PokΓ©mon game, I strongly suggest do not try to play while your hiking. 

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It took me about 4 hours to get to my desired point and back. That also included rest stops, sight seeing, snap chatting and most importantly photoshoot sessions. 

​​Not sure if you can already tell by now that I am not really the adventurous type, so I wasn’t really aiming to get to the summit.  But as you can see from the photos it was well worth it.  


I bet your wondering how someone like me who’s a little on the heavier side did it. I mean, it was a bit of a struggle but don’t be fooled because I still got the African genes in me and they did come in handy. 

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I guess in a way being able to live  in Vermont during school, I have had my share of hiking which was all along preparing me.

Am still kind of sore from the hike but definitely looking forward to hiking the next mountain. Hope fully this time I will make to the peak. πŸŒπŸ‡ΏπŸ‡¦β›°