Dubai Pt. 2: What Solo Travel Taught Me

TGIF all!

I can’t tell you how many times I contemplated canceling my trip to Dubai.  I had so many doubts about traveling solo.  I worried about who would I talk to and how could I do this alone?!   The awful terrorist events in Turkey and Brussels leading up to my trip only fed into my growing regret.  But with all this going on inside me, I knew I had get on that plane.   I knew if I chickened out, I would never grow.  Traveling solo takes you completely out of your comfort zone and shakes you up. For me it highlighted how much I hid behind the security of my comfort zone which includes my family and friends. When you’re in an foreign city without that shield the fact YOU ARE ALONE hits home hard, especially at night. Stepping outside my comfort zone exposed that I wasn’t comfortable being alone without those supports readily there.  Although I felt this way, it was okay because it forced me to to adapt.  I relished in wandering around Dubai going places I wanted to go whenever the mood struck me. Traveled on the Metro to destinations and was even okay when I got lost because eventually I found my way.  I had no one to answer to but myself and that was liberating. And despite the distance, my supports were still there encouraging me on through Snapchat, texts and telephone calls.   My first solo trip experience taught me that no matter where I go I will never truly be alone.

In retrospect, the decision to travel solo was  one of the best I’ve made so far this year.  If I had chickened out I would’ve never met  the wonderful Luanne from Weeshas World  who I’ve been following since 2012.  She and her boyfriend were so gracious and kind to me.  They introduced me to paparoti buns (a delicious Indian snack), the best mint tea ever,  delicious Emirati food and the Box Park area of Jumeriah Beach during a mild Spring evening .   We engaged in  amazing conversations that taught me about Dubai and it’s culture from a locals perspective.  The time I spent with them made me want to visit Dubain again ASAP!

If I had let my fear get the best of me, I wouldn’t have met Nicole from Nomadness Travel Tribe, the online travel group I belong to.   When I posted on the group’s  Facebook page that I was going to Dubai, she responded quickly. Nicole and I immediately hit it off when met up for the desert safari and our day trip to Abu Dhabi.   Because I moved outside the confines of my comfort zone, Nicole introduced me to  Korean soju (which is SO good!)  and encouraged me to eat a camel burger topped with 24K gold gold flakes at Emirates Place. Nicole was the first person  I’ve  met from Nomadness.  During the time we spent together, Nicole showed me what a confident solo traveler looks like.  I think once I get a few trips under my belt, I too will become a confident solo traveler!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Luanne and I

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Nicole and I

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11 Comments

  1. Wendy
    April 8, 2016 / 5:47 pm

    How heavenly!
    My first solo trip was from London to New York. I remember gnawing my fingernails in anxiety at being by myself, in a strange new place. After weeping in the airport toilets for five minutes, I decided to interpret my stomach-twisting fear as excitement and since then have travelled across South America, South Africa, China, Australia and New Zealand and throughout Europe. My advice can be condensed into 4Bs:
    Be gracious
    Be elegant
    Be prepared
    Be wise
    Travelling with someone that you love is wonderful but finding a whole new place to fall in love with is perhaps even better. If all God’s children wear travelling shoes make sure yours are fabulous at least. Keep those posts coming. Have you been to the souks where they sell either gold or silver? Hone your haggling skills there and then see if you can visit a spice souk in Deira …Whenever I think of Arabic oud perfumes, I am instantly reminded of their heady sophorific scent. Drink in the detail, soak up the surroundings and enjoy. Travel well.

  2. April 9, 2016 / 11:32 am

    I inadvertently ended up in Berlin on my own earlier this year and was initially filled with dread but once I got going I actually had loads of fun and I quite enjoyed being completely in control of my own schedule. I think I might do it again once my baby is old enough to be without me for a few days.

  3. April 9, 2016 / 5:06 pm

    Congratulations! When I was in my early twenties I traveled alone for two months. I look back on it now (25 years later) with such pride for my younger self. It is one of the bravest things I’ve done in my life and has given me courage in so many other aspects of my life. This trip will stay with you and give you strength for an interesting life!

  4. Rita
    April 9, 2016 / 7:40 pm

    Congratulations on your solo trip to Dubai! It’s been so enjoyable to see your pictures and read your adventures in these 2 posts. Thank you for sharing with all your readers. I am older than you and I have never travelled alone to such a far away place. You have my respect! Now that you’ve done this, you can do anything!

  5. juliette
    April 9, 2016 / 8:09 pm

    So cool! Thank you for sharing your journey!

  6. April 10, 2016 / 7:57 am

    Travelling solo has never bothered me. I find that it leaves me more free to meet new people, do new things and go new places, and not tie me down to any schedule (except when the plane departs). I’m so pleased you found you were quite capable of it! It sure sounds like you have had an AMAZING holiday! I can’t believe how awesome Dubai looks. It’s somewhere I’d be scared to travel, alone or otherwise, but you’ve just shown me that it is perfectly fine and, in fact, a little bit amazing!

    Like I always tell you.. whenever you want to add Australia to the list, I’m a willing and able host! So. Where’s your next holiday? 😀

  7. April 16, 2016 / 1:02 am

    Its such an inspiring post. Makes me want to try solo travelling which I have yet to do.

  8. Debra Andrews
    April 29, 2016 / 3:57 am

    Good on you for the solo trip. I’ve been travelling solo for a million years and love it! I’ve travelled the USA many times, many African countries, Europe, etc etc all on my lonesome (I’m in Australia). Yes it does take you out of your comfort zone but that’s really good for me. I find I do things and talk to people I wouldn’t normally if I was at home. I get lost going places and that’s wonderful, because I have to talk to people to find my way and / or end up seeing places I wouldn’t have seen otherwise. I have met great people and had some magical experiences solo. I hope you’re hooked and will do it again soon.

  9. Karla V
    April 29, 2016 / 10:50 am

    I was terrified the first time I traveled solo (Thailand in 2010) but felt it was empowering! So glad you decided to take the plunge and do it 🙂 You are an inspiration! Thank you 🙂

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