It seems appropriate that this first postcard blog post is arriving kind of late. Mostly because I’m that person who always remembers about postcards right at the last minute, so that by the time they actually arrive to my friends and family I’m usually home from my holiday, long back at work and planning my next trip away. But hey, you know, why change the habit of a lifetime.
I decided on a postcards section for FlexFit almost without realising it. I wanted a space that wasn’t necessarily fitness related where I could record all the places that Tom and I are visiting on this great big adventure we’re having. I didn’t want it to be specifically reviews or advice either, which lots of travel blogs are. Just a bit of a log of where we are and what we’re doing so that a) I can look back on it wistfully when I’m back in a full time job and b) so that my mum (as no.1 follower of FlexFit) can keep track of what I’m doing.
An extended stopover in Dubai was first up on our travel itinerary. It’s not the sort of place I would normally think of for an actual holiday, so it made sense to take advantage of the fact that we were going to be passing by anyway, if only to tick it off a list.
The three days we spent there were more than enough. A perfect amount of time to relax in the sunshine, and enjoy a dose of luxury before the real travelling began.
I had made it perfectly clear to Tom that the first day we were there I wanted to do absolutely nothing but lie in the sun. Having worked right up until the day we left London and after a 7 hour flight I needed a chance to clear my head of admin and let my body recover. Luckily, lounging by the pool was the perfect cure. I rediscovered that delicious cycle of lying on a sun lounger, getting too hot, jumping in the pool, lying on a sun lounger, getting too hot, jumping on the pool etc, etc, etc… I haven’t had a holiday like that in a long time.
We did have a wander down to the beach in the evening as it got ‘cooler’. We spent the spending money my parents gave us as a leaving gift on a couple of drinks at the bar at the top of the Hilton Hotel in Jumeirah beach. The view from the top was incredible- beach and sea on one side and the bright lights of the palm on the other, plus a brilliant view of the Burj Khalifa.
The next couple of days was spent in a whirlwind of activity. Toms favourite being the hour we spent quad biking in the desert. Which was brilliant fun and totally insane to see the rolling sand dunes as far as the eye could see- just like in the movies. Our quad bike tour also included something called ‘sandbashing’ in a 4 by 4. it turns out that this means skidding along the sand and going very fast down the dunes in a jeep, with what can only be described as the Arabic top hits blaring on the radio. Very fun, but also quite a relief to get to dinner in one piece- an Emirati buffet which was also included in the price.
We spent the following day at the Acquaventura Waterpark at the Atlantis hotel. Like the rest of Dubai, it was pretty pricey for the tickets, but worth it for a day at the biggest waterpark in the world. We knackered ourselves out on the rapids and water slides – although I was too much of a coward to try the vertical drop where a trap door opens beneath your feet.
It was a great couple of days, lots of fun and plenty of time to relax. A proper holiday holiday, which is what I needed to mentally prepare for the weeks of backpacking that we have ahead of us. I would say that if you do want to go to Dubai, make sure you save enough money to take as spending money whilst you’re there. It’s not a cheap place. Uber is a good way of getting around without spending too much money, and make sure you get a hotel that includes breakfast.
I’m not sure if I’d go back to Dubai. It’s a bit too flashy for me and far too expensive. But it was a nice escape from reality before heading into the Sri Lankan jungle, which is next on our agenda.
Have you been to Dubai, and if so what did you think? Is there anything I missed? Also if you have any tips or backpacking around Southeast Asia, I’d love to hear in the comments!