Tuesday, December 24, 2013



Over the next two weeks, I will be traveling a grand total of 21,484 miles. For scale, the circumference of the globe is 24,901 miles. I'm missing it by 3,417 miles. Damn.

The magic formula of this mileage looks a little something like this:

Baltimore > New Jersey > Dulles > Doha, Qatar (layover) > Abu Dhabi (layover) > Amsterdam (layover) > Prague (for 2 days) > Amsterdam (layover) > Abu Dhabi (5 days) > Doha, Qatar (layover) > Dulles > Baltimore

= #YOLO?

= #guaranteedflu?

= #whiskeytangofoxtrot

This holiday season, I decided to do...everything! Spend Christmas day with the entire extended family, fly to Europe (via Abu Dhabi because, believe it or not, is was almost $2,000 CHEAPER to do so) for two days to be with The Gentleman's family who are overseas visiting Prague, and then to Abu Dhabi to spend New Years and also begin moving into our new flat which is available January 1. Huzzah! Exhaustion! Emergen-C! 

In between all of this, I am wrapping up my final paper for a year and a half long certification I've been doing through University of Baltimore, and gearing up for the last 3 weeks at my job when I get back in January. And packing up my existence and moving to another country by February 8. 

You know, no big deal.

One of the things I am most looking forward to in my expatriation is the opportunity to unpack my suitcase and LEAVE it unpacked for more than a couple of months. To just breathe for a few months and not gear up stress about time off of work, customs, time changes, currency exchanges, the potential of lost luggage, and standing in line for security. 

Do you have any idea how much of my life has been spent standing in line for airport security?

A lot.

I plan to sleep through most of February upon my arrival.

I am certain that this will not be the end of crazy travel at the holidays, especially in the future when we will not only be crossing the Atlantic multiple times a year but trying to see family and friends on both coasts of the US, but it will (happily) be the end of this chaotic long distance relationship. I'll gladly take the trade-offs. 

And it really is amazing to think that, within the span of a week, you can spend Christmas day with all of your extended family, then hop on a plane(s) and be in the Christmas markets of Prague with your partner and your partner's family, and then hop on a plane(s) again and be in the Middle East in the lovely 75 degree weather. Can't complain about any of that.

Thus, I embark on my two weeks of insanity starting today with a drive up to New Jersey to be with the whole family for Christmas day. Which I'm quite excited about. 

I just need take a metric shit ton of vitamins and Emergen-C. And possibly wear a SARs mask.

After The Big Move, I have grand plans for a blog redesign and re-launch. I'm thinking about moving to Wordpress or Squarespace. Thoughts? Suggestions?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Please note: this attire is only required for mosque visits.
This is not everyday normal attire, which is more like designer jeans and stilletos yoga pants and flip flops.

مغامرة adventure

So, I'm moving to the Middle East. In February.

During a year and a half of long distance, The Gentleman and I have been plotting and planning and scheming and this is finally coming into fruition. I shall be uprooting my life here in Baltimore and moving, cats and all, to Abu Dhabi.

I'm pretty psyched.

This has meant a lot of planning and preparation, with much more to go, and a lot of soul searching. Truth be told, I have always wanted to live in another country. I didn't exactly picture the United Arab Emirates as that country, but hey- a foreign country is a foreign country, and it has gold ATMs and 75 degree weather in January to boot. Could be worse.

The underpinnings of this move are rooted in love, however, and not wanderlust. After three years together (a year and a half of them in an EXTREMELY LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP), The Gentleman and I have ascertained that we cannot live without the other any longer, and that we should be physically together as soon as possible so that we can commence with antics such as the time he told me that Paranormal Activity was a documentary and I cried for two days. That happened.

Love is so awesome.

(On a related note - my dad used to get a kick out of my firm belief that the Blair Witch Project was real. IT HAD A WEBSITE which, in 1998 or whatever, was a BIG DEAL and the stamp of authenticity. He was also convinced that Jodi Foster is a lesbian. I didn't fight him too much on that one.)

The truth is, over the last year and a half while The Gentleman sussed out life the Middle East, we have both been living a sort of half life. Every single day has an element of "having to be gotten through" as a day closer to when we could be together. This element of not living in the moment takes a toll, and a hefty one. The high highs of vacations together and the low lows of the long stretches (4 months at the max) of being apart seem so surreal now that we are down to less than 90 days before beginning the next step of our lives together. Thinking back, I see how I crammed a thousand hours of activities into every single day with the express purpose of making time pass as fast as possible. Talk about burn out.

Not that it was terrible. Over the past year and a half, I met and re-met some amazing friends, went on some pretty epic vacations, and picked up some new hobbies like quilt-making and air yoga and spinning. That was all pretty fun.

Charm City has been very good to me over the past seven years, and I will be sad to leave it. But also excited for life in a different country for a couple of years and learning/embracing the expat lifestyle. And, you know, being with The Gentleman. That will be ok too, I guess.

Watch this space for upcoming adventures as I navigate things like:
1. Navigating the expat paperwork situation
2. Moving 2 cats overseas (one who is small and extremely troubled to begin with)
3. Do they have blonde bobby pins in the Middle East?
4. Saying goodbye for now to so many family and friends that my heart is going to explode and burst out of my eyes. In the form of tears. Which I'll say are allergies.