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Looking Back Over the Past Year of Adapting in the UAE

Heading into June, I will officially have lived in the United Arab Emirates for a year. One year in, I very much feel as though I'm still figuring this place out. I am still learning how to navigate the seasons of life here – and there are definitely seasons. 


Missouri and Scotland (my former homes) brought distinct Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter seasons. While California followed a dip into cooler and even cold temps in the winter before following a rise back to sweltering, the UAE follows an offset pattern of inversion. Summer is the season I dread on the cusp of this second year – heat and humidity too unforgiving to allow for running, hiking, or even much neighborhood walking; burnt hands on steering wheels if I don't put up the sun shield; curtains closed during the day to save my AC bill. 


Winter, on the other hand, is the season we all wait for here. The wind whips up and cloud seeding makes the fate of late winter a haze of stormy unpredictability, but for the most part, late October to early February offers blue bird skies and an almost feverish drive to go out and traipse across the dunes and mountains. Unfortunately, most of those mountains are over a two hour drive from where I live, but my goal for this next hiking season (far away as it may be) is to get much better acquainted with the local (and virtual) landscape of Waze and Wikiloc, a drive navigation and trail navigation app, respectively.


Hopefully, more on those tech tools – and their role in my adventures – to come.

By Dr. Miceala Shocklee

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