Yesterday, July 12, 2008, marked exactly a year since I left New York and embarked on my backpacking tour. My journey led me to some of the most storied cities of Europe, from London to Istanbul. I continued East and explored the colorful, cacophonous, and awe-inspiring India. I then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan and found myself in the midst of the tumultuous aftermath of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. Even as the city roiled in fear and violence, I met Leena, the girl who would soon become my fiance. Finally, after seven months abroad, I returned to New York in early February. I had just enough time see some of you and pay a visit to my family in Florida before I got an offer from my old company’s Dubai office. In mid-March I left New York again and relocated to Dubai.
It’s been almost four months since I moved here to Dubai, and I’m happy to say that things are going well. It was a bit of a rough start — opening a bank account, renting an apartment, and other mundane activities we take for granted in the US can all be quite challenging here — but I’m starting to get the hang of things. Dubai is a remarkable place, and surprisingly, in many ways, it is very similar to the US. Of course, in many ways it is quite different and takes some getting used to. I plan to write in greater detail about my Dubai experience in my blog. For those of you keeping up with my blog, I apologize for falling so far behind. Now that I’ve finally settled into my new apartment though, I plan to start writing again soon.
Work is going well. My team is great, and though the hours can be long, I’m getting the opportunity to work on some very interesting projects. I’ve also had the chance to travel around the region a bit. The social scene, however, is still under construction. One of the benefits of living in New York was that many of my college friends still lived in the area, and the social scene was largely an extension of the college one. Here I have yet to find my groove. However, in yet another one of those strange coincidences I’ve come to relish during my travels, my Moroccan friend, Faical, whom I met on the train in France (Next Stop: Basel), moved to Dubai around the same time as I did. We ended up renting apartments in the same area, and now we hang out regularly.
In other news, the wedding dates have been finalized. The week-long (as per Pakistani custom) fiesta will begin December 17th, 2008. The proverbial tying-of-the-knot will take place on the 19th. All of the festivities will be held in Karachi, Pakistan.
It’s certainly been quite a year, a truly life-changing one. I’ve visited some fascinating places, met some amazing people, and learned a great deal more about our multifaceted world. Moreover, I’ve developed a deep appreciation for the possibilities that exist at the fringes of our comfort circles. Life can take some pleasantly surprising twists and turns if only we open ourselves up to those possibilities. I expect much more change ahead, and I’m looking forward to the new experiences.
I would love to hear from you, so please drop me an email when you get a chance. And if you decide to visit Dubai, please know that you have a place to crash.