Day 1: Abu Dhabi = Father of the gazelle

السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ

We have finally arrived in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates!

I’ve wanted to go here so badly ever since April 13th 2018, when there was a sale flight via this city to London for $700..! Over the last few days I’ve been trying to obtain the lowdown on this place to build my excitement. It’s more than just a stopover to Europe – it’s the place I will be spending my 27th birthday! 

I’ll speed through the mini geography lesson because I’m only just following it myself, but basically the United Arab Emirates is a small country located in the Middle East. It borders Oman (a pristine country which makes ornate earrings), Saudi Arabia (no comment but yay three women can drive here now) and the Persian Gulf. Turns out an “Emirate” is basically a state. There are seven Emirates (Dubai and Ajman to name two) which together comprise the UAE. Abu Dhabi is the capital. 

We are staying down town in the business district, so it’s a 30 minute taxi to Yas island where all the magic happens. We had traditional Emirati tea in Yas mall and window shopped to our hearts content (this place is seriously amazing. It combines all the best aspects of shopping in London, NYC and Melbourne, but retains its uniquely middle eastern flavour).

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Trying to look effortlessly proficient at pouring from this beaky kettle

Our next stop is Ferrari world. It basically seems like a place that some teenage oil heir with far too much money created to steal yo girl. On the website* it promises “the biggest thrill ever.” To be honest, I’m thrilled I haven’t already succumbed to the >40 degree heat, so at this point I could literally be watching a Ferrari be built; the fact it’s in aircon is enticing. If I hadn’t made this clear, I’m not really a car person. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Hyundai Getz, but any speed above 80km/hr makes me slightly vertiginous. 

So, well and truly devoid of expectation, I step through the gates…

As you’d assume there were Ferraris everywhere; they’re actually a really beautiful car, and the red matched well with my top so I was buoyed. We pretty much had the place to ourselves (the general public had done the smart thing and waited until after 6pm to visit because the park became free to celebrate Eid) and the lines were minimal. It was sort of a double edged sword – on the one hand NO QUEUES; on the other NO PROLONGED ANTICIPATION WHERE I QUESTIONED WHAT THE HECK I’M DOING IN A ROLLERCOASTER QUEUE AS A FULL GROWN ADULT, SO I HAD A HORRIBLE FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY THAT THE RIDES WEREN’T ACTUALLY A DETESTABLE IDEA!

I think I’ve managed to blank a lot of these ghoulish rollercoasters out as a protective mechanism but I’ll tell you what I do remember. 

Rollercoaster one: I don’t even care to know what it was called. It was basically the tower of terror (think Dreamworld, Gold Coast, Australia) meets legitimate terror (think your worst nightmare – mine are heights and rejection).

formula rossa

More like Formula Grossa (heh)

It went up and down and was over in a matter of seconds but it was genuinely nauseating. The second rollercoaster (see pic above) was “the world’s fastest.” I found this out just as we were secured into the ride. I started screaming “noooooo,” but the girl just nodded “yes” and pressed the green button. I was wearing some pretty huge daisy earrings which I did not take out (because I was still a shell of a human from ride one and shells don’t have ears) so basically I spent that ride holding my precious little pinnas so they wouldn’t rip off and screaming so continually that I didn’t even have time to swallow. I was a ball of saliva and sadness by the end.

For some absurd reason I decided to go on rollercoaster number three, the “world’s biggest drop.” Cool. Great idea. 

drving

The aforementioned daisy earrings. Also I’m thankful for small mercies in the midst of this hell, like my arm band matching my top

Have you ever been so terrified you can’t even scream? That was me. The ride was so jolty and upside downy that I honestly thought my neck would snap. I’m still shaking. That ride changed me. The next ride was (thankfully) a gentle train trip which demonstrated how a Ferrari was built at each stop, so be careful what you wish for. 

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Me having a well earned 90’s themed dance break to Whitney Huston

So if you’ve been following along, this will be a plot twist but, I must confess – it actually wasn’t awful. The adrenaline was a welcome reprieve from the jet lag, and I was so traumatised I accidentally bought a new pair of earrings and some makeup. Yay. Whoops.

We headed back to the hotel to a rooftop pool bar, and the World Cup in the sports bar will be tonights entertainment so I’ll sign off for now.

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Sheesh I love it here!

Haddy x

PS – T – 1 UNTIL MY BIRTHDAY!!!

“Life is a rollercoaster, just gotta ride it” – Ronan Keating

*https://www.ferrariworldabudhabi.com

T – 0

Good morning world! 

Today is the day! 

Hip hip hooray!

In order to really drum up a hankering for a holiday, last week I ventured into country western NSW and worked a few shifts in a rural emergency department. It was fun but busy, and now I am in Sydney suitably switched off from medicine. Today will consist of packing and repacking far too many earrings and googling “strategies to get a free business class flight upgrade” as my excitement quietly amps up into a fervour. 

I’m raring to get to the northern hemisphere. It’s actually The Haddymoon!!!

I’ve realised I haven’t really explained the agenda, other than to say that I’m definitely actually doing this today, so in brief, here it is:

PLACES WE WILL GO:

  1. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  2. London, England
  3. Various cities, Croatia
  4. A few places, Slovenia
  5. Venice, Italy
  6. Santorini, Greece
  7. Mykonos, Greece
  8. Athens, Greece
  9. Sayonara, Europe
  10. The throes of post holiday depression, Sydney

In the lead up to this trip, I’ve been romancing nostalgia and reminiscing about life experiences which were worth documenting. I’ve realised it’s unfortunate just how much of the nuance and emotion of adventures I thought I’d never forget, could slowly seep from my mind.

I don’t want to risk that happening on the haddymoon, and I hope that taking the time each day to (briefly) reflect and chronicle even something small will ultimately help consolidate my memories. 

It’s going to be a challenge to think of amusing yet eloquent quips for your perusal, but I’m going to do my best to post something daily. As I’ve already said, I’m super new to the world of blogging and web design so it may be aesthetically average but I hope the content’s competent.  

Haddy x

PS – T – 2 days until my Birthday!

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” 

― Henry Miller

Embarazada – 29/12/2016

To start at the end – I think lately it’s become evident that I’m still grieving December 29th, 2016.

This very long post is intended to be cathartic. It’s not about any holiday I plan on remembering. But it does (almost) explain why I really want another shot at a trauma free trip to Europe.

TBC…

Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, but take the step. – Naeeme Callaway

Welcome

This is a blog to chronicle my upcoming trip with my dear friend Ellie, which was inspired by my urgent need for a holiday and Ellie’s less urgent need for a honeymoon (groom not invited – the sign of a true friend). Check out my About Me section to get to know me a bit better if you don’t already.  Let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to write about and I’ll do my best to come up with something. Haddy x

“The journey itself is my home” ― Matsuo Bashō

 

About me

MY NAME IS HADDIJATOU, BUT UNLESS YOU’RE MY MUM AND I’VE DONE SOMETHING TERRIBLY WRONG, MOST PEOPLE CALL ME HADDY.

I’m 26 years old and of Gambian (smallest country in Africa)-English heritage. I grew up in England up until the age of thirteen, when my parents feared we were all becoming vitamin D deficient and uprooted us all to sunny Australia. I’ve lived here ever since, in various places along the east coast. 

I’m a doctor working in the emergency department of a busy Sydney hospital and have just finished some pretty big exams, hence the desire to unwind. In addition to this, there have been some significant and unexpected life changes for me already this year, which have given me the opportunity to reflect on things that are important to my happiness. Solo travel used to be something I absolutely loved and due to a number of reasons, I haven’t had the opportunity to indulge for a while.

Thankfully, things have lined up just perfectly and I’ve found myself in a position to get on a plane to another hemisphere with my favourite gal pal Ellie to explore a few more places on our beautiful planet. Without yapping on too much, I am so excited for my next adventure and want to combine it with something else I love to do – write. 

As I sit here typing this, I’m not sure whether this will grow into something more personal, or be strictly about the travel… We will see. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do (even though I have no idea what I’m doing) so thank you for reading along.

Enjoy!

Haddy x

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” ― Mark Twain