So we started off our newest adventure with a job offer to China. Josh had been offered a position for a few months in China but when he asked a few questions he found out that China was not currently allowing spouses due to the COVID - 19 restrictions. He politely declined the offer because we didn’t want to be apart for that long. His company then offered a 3 or 4 month trip to Dubai instead. Dubai's COVID - 19 restrictions were a bit lighter than China's so they were allowing spouses. Josh called me up in the middle of the day and asked what I thought about a trip to the United Arab Emirates. I quickly googled a map (Add Map) to double check my geography knowledge and instantly answered a big YES!
Getting Ready To Travel:
Our trip would be coming rather fast so we would have a ton of things to do in a short time. We started by packing up our Calgary suite and moving back to our home near Westlock. We unpacked only the essentials needed for the trip and what we needed to live for the next few weeks. Josh's company sent us some photos and basic info on the hotels we could choose from and we were assigned a consultant that would help us with visas and transportation to the UAE. It was actually quite hard deciding on a hotel.
We moved from Calgary to Westlock.
Do we want to be close to work or do we want a better location for excursions? What would you choose? We ended up finding out we could choose the first few days after arriving so we decided to do that and quickly check them out once landing in UAE.
These were the hotels we had to choose from.
Getting Our Taxes Started:
I knew we would be gone from the beginning of October until sometime in December so I thought it would be good to get our business taxes in order before leaving. That way it is one thing less to do in a rush upon returning.
Changing Our Money & Wardrobes:
We took our Mexican, American and Chinese money to the exchange so we could get Dirhams for the trip. Their money is about one Canadian dollar to three Dirhams as an easy way to calculate the exchange. There were a few other chores to get done and a lot of shopping! It is amazing how many extra things we have to buy for this trip. We need a few extra clothes as well because we are going to be living in a rather hot climate. Lucky for me and our bank account all the summer clothes are on sale. Lol.
I bought a new pair of shoes, new purse, new shorts and shirts along with a whole mess of personal accessories. It is really hard to plan how much stuff you will need for 3 months when you haven’t lived in the country before. We have gone on longer trips before like our 27 day cruise but that one provides you with almost everything you need. I am usually very good at planning a trip, Josh gives me a budget and sometimes a location and I go to town making the best plans and finding the coolest things to do but planning this trip is definitely harder than any I have done before. I want to look fresh when arriving in UAE so off to the nail and hair salon I go. I am also going to get in as many last minute visits as I can.
Catching Up With Friends, Family & Packing:
Living in Calgary for the last two and a half years has really taught me the importance of friends and time together. I try to make the most of every visit before I leave because once I'm gone, skype and zoom just aren’t the same. I don’t know much about the United Arab Emirates so I did some research and tried to figure out what groceries they have so I am not packing things I can easily just buy there. Normally the company will ship a container of your stuff ahead of your trip so it is there when you arrive but we are leaving way too soon for that to happen. So we also had to buy some new suitcases and scrounge up and basically every suitcase we had to get all our stuff packed. Josh has to bring a fair bit of work gear like his work boots and vests, work clothing and his work laptop on top of our personal laptops. I am also bringing my basic art supplies so that I will be able to do some painting while I am away. When we pack we try to put a few items from each category in each suitcase so that if one suitcase goes missing we don’t lose a whole category of items.
We literally set up a folding table in the middle of the living room to be able to do this efficiently.
Doctors and Dentists:
I booked one last Doctor and Dentist appointment for Josh and I so we can get topped up on any prescriptions that need to be filled before we go. We also don’t know much about the dental system in UAE so we want to make sure any problems can be dealt with before we leave. Josh and I got back from the dentist and had a little break and we discussed our new adventure. This will surely be a trip to remember. Be sure to join our mailing list if you want to hear about the rest of our trip abroad.
Josh and I having our favorite drinks one last time before we leave for UAE.
We would love to hear your comments and if you enjoyed this part of the story so far be sure to click the and share with your friends. I am curious, what special items would you have brought along if you were traveling for 3 months?