I should be finalizing my summer plans by now, but alas, I have yet to book any actual tickets or figure out any lodging. Thus far the vague plan is: NYC for reunions, Long Island for wedding, Tulum for partying/cenotes, and then Chicago for family time. I also might throw in Colorado or Connecticut for more reunions. And I’ve contemplated Montreal, but I don’t know anyone there/who has time to go with me. Also, I have at least a week before school opens that need to be filled somewhere less blisteringly hot than here, but not America (for tax purposes.) But at a certain point in the debate of where to go, I realize that it would just be smarter to come back to Abu Dhabi, save money, and hibernate in the air conditioning. But that’s so boring, you know?
To procrastinate actually figuring out a plan, I am going to outline some dream plans that don’t require me to take any action yet!
Travel Wish List!
Skiing in Croatia: Contrary to popular opinion, the Swiss Alps are not the only slopes in Europe. Croatia actually has some nice ones, from what I hear. They’re not intense, but considering I haven’t skied in roughly ten years, that is perfect for me. And it’s extremely affordable! Ideally, I would convince a large group of friends to do this with me and we’d rent a lodge, ski ski ski, with breaks for hot cocoa, mulled wine and huge group-cooked meals in the evenings.
Photo-ops in Socotra: If you haven’t heard of this awesome island off the coast of Yemen, go look it up. I would totally let a tour group plan the details of this trip, but it is one of the few trips where I would actually make an effort to take photos. Because they would be fucking kick ass. My ideal person to go with would be my friend who convinced me to come to Abu Dhabi. Unfortunately, I don’t know if I could actually convince her to come back to the Middle East, but it’s a wish list, damn it!
Partying/eating in Madrid: I have wanted to go to Spain for roughly forever. Mostly to utilize my rarely used Spanish skills, but also the culture seems like my kind of place. I dreamed of living there, actually, but alas, they pay teachers shit, just like the rest of the Western world. So instead I would want to go for 2-3 weeks, rent a flat, and live it up. This would be an insanely expensive trip because I intend to eat and drink everything. Ideally, I would do this with a boyfriend, so I should seriously get a new one already.
Sightseeing/eating in East Asia: I have a lot of Asian-American friends back in America and I can honestly only picture myself going to East Asia if I was with one/two of them. They would know people who could find out what’s good. And we would see the sights worth seeing and eat the food worth eating. I don’t know enough about East Asia to plan it myself, unfortunately. Slash I am lazy. Slash it would feel inauthentic if I did it with white people/by myself. That’s not totally racist, by the way; it’s the way of things that you get better experiences with people who fit in more. And I would basically be wearing a sign that said “tourist” with all the whiteness I exude. I don’t mind which one, but some East Asian country must be visited in my lifetime. It would be too cruel to my “honorary Asian” title not to get there. (That’s an inside joke, so just smile and nod.)
Chilling in Marrakesh: I have a friend with a house there, which is highly convenient. He and his boyfriend also happen to be amazing people and spending a week with them in Morocco would likely be life-changing. (Only a slight hyperbole, I assure you.) I am also extremely curious to get a peek at the African-Arab world to see how different it is from the Gulf-Arab world.
Partying in Beruit: In the same vein, it would be interesting to see what another liberal Arab country is like. I am constantly wary of the instability, but with the huge number of Lebanese people that I now know, it’s rather shameful that I haven’t been yet. Ideally, this would be done with a few Lebanese friends and a few non-Arab friends to make me feel less like a sore-thumb.
Relaxing in Santorini: Apparently it is super cheap to travel there nowadays, although I don’t know if I believe my source. Also I am always going back to work in September, which is right when I would want to visit. But ideally, this would happen anyways. And ideally, I’d be with a significant other. Oh the cliche! He’d probably propose. It’d be disgustingly perfect.
And on that unrealistic note, it is time to return to reality….