Friday, April 10, 2015

Are You a Tourist or a Traveler?

Burj Khalif...not the Emerald City. Tallest building in the world!
I keep reminding myself that I am not in  Kansas anymore!  Actually I have never been in Kansas but if I was there once I am not now...or something like that.

Travel books and goals are all wonderful but sometimes life just happens and what you think you want may not be what you get. If you are a tourist you will come home with horror stories. If you are traveler you will come home with bragging rights and much better stories. It is your choice. And the lessons you learn on the road will apply to your life from beginning to end.

We are in Dubai. We left Tucson, traveled to Houston for deep fried salt, flew to Frankfurt Germany where I learned about the German attitude towards limping, spent a week in Florence Italy where I learned to eat, flew back to Frankfurt to eat Irish Food and spend the night in a gorgeous hotel and flew to Dubai the next afternoon.

As I walked the streets seeing the real Italian lifestyle and beautiful sidewalk cafes, remarked on how Frankfurt reminded me of Portland and took pictures of the Dubai skyline, I remind myself over and over that this is not Las Vegas. This is the REAL THING! Those blue skies in Pisa with clouds wafting overhead are not painted on a ceiling in the Venetian Casino. That park along the Rhine in Frankfurt is not Tom McCall Park. The Mirdif City Center mall near Academic City here in Dubai is not in the USA. But most of all, the skyline here in Dubai is not Kansas's version of Oz.
Park on the Rhine no Portland's Tom McCall Park on the Willamette. 
Tower of Pisa with beautiful blue skies!
Dubai shopping mall...
women totally covered in Burqas walking by Victoria's Secret
Along the way there were flight mix-ups, difficulty with airports larger than your hometown and rain. Boy did we have a good time. Our oldest grandson is traveling with us. This is the first time he has traveled overseas...the first of a lifetime of travel I hope. It is fun to see it all through his though we are doing it for the first time all over again. I hope he is learning a lot because I know we are.

We will go to a resort to watch the tourist version of Arabian Nights, eat beautifully prepared foods at the Polo Club and take a taxi to the city center to see the tallest building in the world...and the rest we'll just make up as we go along. We are not tourist at all...we do not set out so see something. We set out to see what we see. We have never been disappointed. We are truly travelers.

Have a wonderful day!



  1. This sounds like an amazing trip! I've been to everywhere on your itinerary except Dubai... I've never even thought to go. I'll be interested in hearing more!

    Always better to be a traveler than a tourist!

    1. My son lives here so the trip is possible for us. We have an inside track on all the important information about how the country works. I am loving it but still want to get a tiny glimpse of the REAL Middle East.

  2. A friend I met in the Peace Movement has lived in Dubai for several years and I find her posts to be enlightening. I am not sure how I would react to burqa and hijab, in a world of excess - even more than here, which are supposed to reflect and protect modesty. I will be interested reading more of your impressions, Barbara. And thanks for the kind words on Midlife Boulevard.

    1. I will write more soon. This is a separate universe and people that live and work here are doing what everyone else in the world does. The excesses are in eyes eyes of the beholder stay tuned.

  3. I loved the shopping mall where women wore their abaya and veils in Saudi. I was taught to look at their shoes. That was the key to how important the women were. :)
    We are travelers. We have the terrible reputation of not seeing the important sites. We just love to be in the middle of the people.
    Happy travels!

    1. Thank you Jannette. We are doing it our way until we drop...literally. 😏

  4. So what is the German attitude to limping?

    1. We are so spoiled in the USA. I was expecting a offer of help when I arrived limping and swollen. But the German shuttle drivers pointed out that I need to fill out a request and should not use an abandoned wheel chair. It was my mistake because I was unaware of the procedures. In the U.S. Flight attendants took care of it for me. Traveling requires a lot of flexibility and understanding of different cultures. I was not angry at all...just a little puzzled. I am learning.


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