Every story has an ending, but in life, every ending is a new beginning.
One week has passed by since I said goodbye to my sparkling life in Abu Dhabi and yet it feels like only yesterday. Having lived all over the world literally my entire life, one would think that goodbyes, closing chapters and farewells are engraved into my system…and yet I find the more goodbyes I make, the harder it is.
I moved to Abu Dhabi 5 years ago with excitement of my new job, my new lifestyle, making new friends and new adventures! Well no one told me that 5 years would pass by in the blink of an eye, and despite the incredible life that I built and amazing adventures I encountered, saying another goodbye was harder than I thought! And while taking a break from my Abu Dhabi life was inevitable, I will never close the doors to going back and can only smile at all of my memories.
Here are a few reasons why life in the UAE is just a little extra special:
- 365 days of sunshine! (Ok minus those occasional drizzle days and deadly sandstorms….)
- Which makes your friends jealous because you constantly post beach photos and have a year round tan.
- Every morning while going to work you look up to check who is spitting on you, then realise its just the AC from every apartment.
- There is an unlimited supply of AC’s which are constantly turned to the maximum regardless how hot, cold, humid or dry it is.
- You are miraculously sick with the flu in 40 degrees Celsius due to the constant weather change (referring to hot, hotter, hottest and then the sandstorms).
- Parking: spending an hour + every day trying to secure a safe spot before eventually giving up and “risking” the fine.
- If you don’t have a friend with a Ferrari, Lambourgini or McLaren there is something wrong with you.
- If you don’t see a Ferrari, Lambourgini or McLaren driving by there is something wrong in the city.
- You get used to the stares and glares of the curious Indians, Pakistani, etc….
- Causing you to embrace the culture of wearing huge sunglasses in the mall and cinema (see above).
- When humidity is high, three showers a day, extra shirts and underwear in the office and drinking gallons of water are normal.
- You have ordered ridiculous things like water, ice cream, chips, toilet paper, and a mop to be delivered from the downstairs shop.
- Brunching is a noun and how you spend your entire Friday.
- You have never been more restaurant savvy and can hold a decent conversation with Gordon Ramsey having tried all kinds of cuisines from the shawarma shop to the Michelin star restaurant (especially when your boyfriend just happens to be an award winning chef).
- In-explainable weight gain (see above) following by shaking your ass off with zumba classes to maintain the year round bikini body.
- Having a maid clean your house every weekend – so normal.
- You are constantly planning an exotic nearby vacation ie: Maldives
- You realise that mastering Arabic is not so hard, incorporating words like “yalla” and “inshallah” into your daily phrases.
- Change is the only constant – referring to official rules and regulations, public holidays and of course the traffic.
- You request countless homemade specialties from visiting relatives and friends leaving them wondering how you actually survive.
- You meet people from virtually every corner of the globe.
- You enjoyed a 14k gold cappuccino in Emirates Palace, rode a camel on several occasions, smoked shisha like a pro and can dune bash with your eyes wide open!
- Seeing a cloud makes you the happiest person on the planet and you start coordinating “rainy” day outfits.
- One word: DELIVERY (for those days when you are too lazy to go down and buy a frozen yogurt).
- There is no such thing as Sunday, the day of rest. In fact there is no rest and even during Ramadan (the holy month) — the city never sleeps!
- Your neighborhood changes every week due to never ending, non stop construction.
- You’ve seen a sandstorm and said several prayers because you were sure this would be your last day on earth.
- You go to every single concert, cocktail, hotel opening because you ” know someone”
- Groupon, Entertainer, Yalla Banana save your life …and expenses.
- You’ve made some of the best friends in your life and can’t imagine ever leaving! <3
While I am back in Belgrade waiting to see where life takes me to next, I look forward to the adventures of this peaceful yet vibrant transitional step.