Incase you missed the memo, we’re moving on from Abu Dhabi in June.
The last almost-two years have been amazing, eye-opening and of course, at times, challenging. We wouldn’t change it for the world though. We’ve loved emersing ourselves in a new culture, connecting with like-minded people, having the opportunity to travel more and jumping into this crazy-fun world of blogging. I’ve grown, both personally and professionally (I’ve been teaching here in Abu Dhabi) and making the move has been an awesome reminder that at any age, you can set off on a new adventure.
Since our arrival in the UAE in August of 2015, I’ve been to 32 new countries (and Nathan’s not far behind) which far surpasses anything I’d hoped for.
It’s funny though how, at least for me, opening your eyes to the world doesn’t quench your hunger for adventure, instead it fuels it.
The more I see, the more I want to see.
The more I explore, the more I appreciate how fortunate I am to be able to do so.
As we start on our journey home, it’s probably not surprising that it’s with real mixed emotions.
When we first arrived in Abu Dhabi it was with the understanding that we would probably only be here for two years – Nathan’s job is back in New Zealand and there was never any doubt that he’d rejoin the family business.
When presented with the possibily of adding a third year into the mix we faced the difficult decision of staying put in the UAE or heading off again. Though Abu Dhabi has become our home the call of the unknown and the possibility of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure was too great to ignore – so, off we go on our way in June.
We’re pumped to see our family, friends and cats and to chow down on some New Zealand treats – I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed steak & cheese pies and lamingtons! I can’t wait to get back to the style of teaching that I love, to spend some time revisiting some of our favourite spots in and around Aotearoa and to walk outside in the summer-time without melting!
I’ll miss the hussle and bustle of living in the UAE though – the sea of kandoras and abayas in the massive malls here, the call to prayer singing out throughout the day, the attitude towards travelling and so much more. I’ll miss having friends that have started to feel like family, my awesome workmates, dinner dates to PF Chang’s and Chili’s and picking up fresh caramel popcorn at the movies.
As much as we know we’ll miss it though, there are new adventures to be had.
My confession is I fall in love with so many places. I’m always half broken-hearted by goodbyes, and I don’t believe in non-attachment. There’s no passion inside of that. I believe in burning, and long, and I believe we leave tiny pieces of ourselves in every place we’ve loved.
It’s time to fall in love with new places all over again…
So, what’s next for us?
We’ll be making multiple stops in Europe over a fairly short timeframe. Although we would have loved more time there as so much of our travel recently has been up that way, we thought we’d stop into a few of the major cities that we’ve not seen yet to farewell to a continent that we’ve come to love.
- Paris, France
- Dublin, Ireland
- Edinburgh, Scotland (where with any luck we’ll make it up to the Isle of Skye!)
- Barcelona and Ibiza, Spain
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Zurich through to Geneva, Switzerland
- Kiev, Ukraine
Having never stepped foot in South America we’re a little clueless as to the details of what we want to see and do but we’ve found plenty of inspiration through our friends and our ever-trusty Pinterest account.
We’ll be flying into Buenos Aires in Argentina before making our way over to Santiago, Chile but from there, who knows?
With approximately six months, we’ll be travelling slowly and working as we go. We can’t wait to have a little more time up our sleeves to to be more responsive with our plans.
Due to the tight timeframe we normally travel on, things have to be super planned-out to ensure we see and do everything we want – this trip will be significantly more relaxed. Bring it on!
The following places are featuring high on our agenda (but are anything but a conclusive list):
- Machu Pichu and Rainbow Mountain, Peru
- Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
- Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia (salt flats)
- The Amazon Rainforest
- The Iguazu Falls
- Christ the Redeemer, Rio, Brazil
- A cruise to Antarctia or visit to the Falkland Islands – both of these as much less likely but never say never!
Which of these spots have you visited? Where would you recommend? What were your favourite things to do?
We’d love to hear your thoughts as we start digging into planning these trips!
The way I figure, the best way to get over moving on from a place you love is to plan the next adventure…