Autumn travels

Time flies! We just realized last week was a 2-year anniversary of visiting Abu Dhabi for the first time. Before then I didn’t even realize how things work here and me, like many people not living here, would just associate the region with Dubai. Now I feel when people say/think I live in Dubai not Abu Dhabi is akin to someone saying I am from Russia not Lithuania! Okay that’s a stretch but still… you get the gist. I like Abu Dhabi much better.

After relatively calm summer September started with a bang with me on a plane a lot of the time, for all kinds of work mostly…(i.e., without my husband). I had to take a 20-hour plane to Buenos Aires, and visit Brazil for the second time this year too. In contrast to March since I last was there, now it’s a SPRING time in the region, much fresher air and much greener.

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I LOVE Buenos Aires in particular, and this time around, with the Argentinian peso 50% weaker, I could really feel a difference… a nice dinner with drinks just $20! Argentina for me is like Switzerland of Europe, except for politics of course – I could imagine having a nice lifestyle there. By contrast, the few hundred meters I had to walk in Sao Paulo, Brazil, got me a higher heart rate than I would have doing sport – it’s that amount of caution I had. It is notoriously known for street crime, so the rule was to dress down as much as was possible within business environment. Maybe I am exaggerating a bit, because I mostly used taxis, but still – the stories I heard from locals are insane, e.g. a motorcycle theft where a motorcycle would drive by you (in a car) and put the gun on your head to give all you have at hand. Not a fun situation to get in!

Got back from Latin America early October, just in time to get the triathlon season started with a half Olympic race – the inaugural Al Hudayriat Island triathlon.  It was still SO hot that on the running course I saw people fainting and vomiting. Luckily (maybe due to jetlag) and despite weather conditions, I managed to run quite okay and finish the race #4 in women’s age group…. just in time to jump to another plane, to London.

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I spent 6 days in London with a little free time. Wonderful autumn and refreshing weather, for a change. I managed to run early mornings at the river with some spectacular views, albeit unusually with long sleeves.

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I had a nice walk with my friend Sunday afternoon and a dinner. But that was pretty much it what was good about London. I don’t like London! The traffic just kills me. Subway is horrible. The car from airport and to airport took almost 2 hours each way. Walking in the streets is stressful. People look worn out, running and eating their fast foods with coffee on the way; and then full bars of people drinking alcohol after work. Plus everything is so expensive! Yes, the UAE is not a cheap country, but it is well justified by the living standard. In London… dunno. You really need to earn $$$$$$ to can afford a fraction of life quality that of the UAE.

From London – Cathay airways straight to Hong Kong, another 14-hour flight. No movies watched (I never do), but manged to read a few books, realizing that on plane is where I read most of my books these days (the rest goes on Audible when doing something). Anyway, here is my book recommendations from latest travels – Thinking in bets, by Annie Duke, about the general decision making, and The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis – about US and Trump “behind the scenes”. Rather entertaining.   Anyway, Hong Kong. As always pleasant, but now even more with some rain which I haven’t seen for a long time, and sub-30 degree temperatures. Bought some Asian snacks for my hubby which he loves…got almost tempted to buy something fancier this time, but thought he wouldn’t appreciate it as much 😉

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Home sweet home! Back to outdoor activities: cycling, beach walks… People say you take those things for granted in a while but I just can’t stop admiring the environment I live in. Also, the comfort and convenience with everything. It definitely makes me more motivated and engaged at work. (Which I love, love, love – anyway :)) So I keep rolling forward.

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My journeys for the year don’t stop here. The next one won’t be for work, though, but a 10-day trip to (wait for it) Tokyo, Japan! We have never been, and here is our golden chance to go see some golden autumn leaves. We have watched a zillion of Youtube videos, analyzed all maps and wrote down what we want to see and do which…I am afraid leaves us without much time for sleep there. 😉  Stay tuned for impressions and ton of pictures in a few weeks.

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