So after multiple flights and many hours of travel, I finally made it home for Christmas. It was really great to be home for such a special night I always share with my family but, all things aside, I felt very different and I’m not talking about jetlag.
I realize many of the cultural experiences have impacted me greatly. During many conversations with family and friends, I caught myself referring to one particular cultural event to describe the excitement that I feel when I think about the Arab culture. The Desert Safari gave me a chance to learn more about the root of Arab culture and experience things I have only seen on TV. Riding a camel, watching a falcon hunt, and sitting to watch the sunset in the desert were all things I learned about at the cultural dinner on our first day. It was amazing to be able to experience it all myself and, as I share these experiences, I realize I have grown fond of the culture and my time in the desert.
Although I had to leave, it is not forever. I am extremely excited to return to Dubai; especially after our visit to the World Expo 2020 office. What we learned about the expo concerning how it will be designed and how it will be conducted is beyond exciting and helped make sense of the numbers we were given at other presentations with regards to growth and expected growth in development for the city. Furthermore, the subtopics of Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability are even more exciting to me because of what I have learned about Dubai and their environmental commitment during this course. Let’s just say they don’t exactly have a sustainable or environmentally friendly past, so the fact that they are tackling this topic is really a testament to their dedication to change and a more environmentally-friendly future.
And just like that, I am back where I started– in front of my suitcase. Only this time I’m unpacking. I am so thankful for this adventure, which has made me much more knowledgeable about a culture I truly knew nothing about and for affording me the opportunity to learn more about the hospitality industry as well as connect with professionals in the field. This trip has opened my eyes to a new part of the world and I think it has made me better as both a citizen of the world and as an industry professional by introducing a new market I had no idea existed and a country that is, in my opinion, really doing hospitality right!
I cannot wait until my next trip to Dubai and I urge everyone who reads this to plan a trip to Dubai (best time: Winter, 2020) and encourage others to do the same.
Yours In Wandering,