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Monday, September 21, 2009

Desk update from Abu Dhabi: month #45 on the road but whose counting?

We're back in the UAE and after a couple of days in Dubai (pictured*), we're chained to desks once again in Abu Dhabi - not our desks, but our friends', at their colossal home in the new part of the capital, off the island. The closest thing to a 'home' for us still being in storage in Dubai. A 'desk update' in publishing-speak suggests a guidebook update by phone and email. It's what publishers commission authors or in-house staff to do when they're not inclined to spend the money to send writers on the road. From what we're hearing, it's happening increasingly of late. But we won't have that. Aside from the fact that we still don't have a 'home' to speak of - this week marks our 45th month living out of our suitcases! - travelling is why we do what we do. Why on earth a travel writer would want to write something from a desk without having been to a place we'll never know. We've well and truly researched the stories and reviews we're currently writing up, having spent the last six weeks on the road travelling around Syria, Qatar and Kuwait. But we're paying for it now. We're tired. Chronically tired. My feet are wrecked. We've both been fighting off the flu for a couple of weeks although poor Terry has finally lost his battle. As we write, we're talking to publishers and potential sponsors about future projects - in Thailand, Syria, and the Arabian Peninsula - and in the interim we're considering trips to Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen, Iran, and possibly Kathmandu. We're also contemplating an opportunity that could keep us on the road even longer if it comes off, but more on that in the near future... for now, deadlines await. So what have you been up to and where are you going next?

* the pic is of the view from our room at Jumeirah Emirates Towers where we stayed recently; Terry had photographed the hotel and we'd done site inspections so many times over the years, but never checked in. Now we've stayed, we know why it consistently wins awards for being Dubai's best business hotel. While the rooms are a bit dated in terms of their style, they're impressively appointed, the lobby has always been one of the city's buzziest, and the towers and adjoining Boulevard are home to some of my favorite restaurants and bars, including Vu's, Noodle House and The Agency.

9 comments:

internet marketing services said...

Abu Dhabi is one of the best places to visit out there. Very useful article. Great photography.

Costa Rica Hotels said...

Sounds like you are a bit tired right now ! but the good thing is that you are having fun doing what you love to do most: traveling !

Lara Dunston said...

We are very tired - gosh, I'm sorry it's so obvious. But you're right, we love what we're doing!

Now, I also loved Costa Rica when I was last there - a long time ago - maybe 14 years!

Heather on her travels said...

Sounds like you need a holiday, not a busman's holiday

Erica said...

Chronically tiredness is not a nice feeling. Hope it turns around sooner rather than later.

Just a quick question, how many suitcases are you traveling with? I tried to fit my most important things into a mid-sized suitcase, but didn't really succeed. It would be convenient to only travel with one suitcase though - when I finally do leave Sweden. I've had more than enough experiences of traveling with too much luggage already. One suitcase and one smaller bag or backpack would be optimal.

AndyEWilliams said...

After carrying around a laptop and a bit of camera gear during most of my travels I can empathize with you feeling weighed down. I'm still trying to figure out a way to free myself from having to keep my gear nearby most of the time because I'm either worried about not having it when I need it, or about having it stolen. Being tethered to a pack full of difficult to replace gear is the difference between throwing one's clothes off and running into the surf on one hand and sitting on the sand looking at the beautiful waves on the other.

http://www.andyewilliams.com/blog

Francine Gardner said...

I have this strong desire to visit Yemen, but have a feeling that you will be there before I do and hope to read about it. How wonderful to do what you love. My great passion in life is traveling and learning about culture and nature. i unfortunately spends far too much time by my desk si instead, i read your stories....

Xander said...

Don't you need two assistants to do some of this globe-trotting for you? :) -X

AngelaCorrias said...

Hi Lara, I was wondering...do yo ugo with organised trips to Lebanon, Yemen, Jordan, Iran? I was thinking about going there but I'll probably be alone and I don't know if it's best to go alone or with some organisation. What do you suggest to a person who's never been to Middle East?
Thanks
Angela