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I could start by saying 2022 was a roller coaster, but frankly, last year was more akin to skydiving or bungee jumping. Both can be thrilling or terrifying depending on the person and the circumstances. In rare cases, they might cause death too.
I’m not into extreme sports, or any sports for that matter, so living through 2022 was as much excitement as I’ll need for a while.
Let’s start with the coasting parts which were the mostly nice-ish bits that focussed on experiences and travel:
- January / February: My mother traveled to Dubai and stayed with us until mid-February 2022. Since it was our first year in Dubai, I’d been ‘saving up’ a bunch of experiences to share with her. Expo was on, and we visited 5 or 6 times. We visited the Dubai Opera, Ain Dubai, old Dubai, Kite Beach, West Beach, and saw a couple of shows, including La Perle and Chicago. We also visited Umm Al Quain, RAK, and spent a weekend in Abu Dhabi. There were also lots of exceptional dining including the infamous Hell’s Kitchen brunch. All in all, it was an action-packed six weeks to kick off the year.
- February: I attended our 2nd annual ladies’ yoga and meditation retreat at the Lighthouse in RAK with Carla and Laura. Laura and I kicked off the weekend with a cultural tour beforehand. In between juicing and cleansing, we snuck in some cheeseburgers and soft serve too
- Steve spent several months in Saudi working and exploring places like Al’Ula, which was amazing with its 2000-year-old villages and ruins.
- April / May: We celebrated several 50th birthdays. To celebrate Steve’s, we ticked Egypt off the bucket list and spent time in Cairo before heading down the Nile for a legendary 4-day cruise.
- May: I finally got to Indonesia and spent time with my team. It was so great to finally meet them in person. As well, I spent a few days in Bali on a yoga retreat that had been delayed since 2020. Though I really hoped to get back with Steve, it wasn’t in the cards.
- July / August: I spent 5 weeks in Canada catching up with friends and family from Montreal to Toronto and everywhere in between.
If the first 9 months of 2022 were relatively stable, October, November, and December were more like jumping out of a plane and asking if the parachute has been checked after you’ve already been pushed out of the plane.
- September 29: I found out that my role was being made redundant. After discussing with Steve, we decided to sell everything, leave the UAE, and move to Mexico. We had already bought a condo, but it won’t be ready until mid-2024. We figured we could explore the country or other parts of Latin America during the interim. Plus, Steve’s twin brother Mike had invited us to stay with him in Playacar. He and his wife had just bought a place that they would be taking possession of in early December.
- October – November 25: In 6 weeks we sold everything we owned (again). Out of those 6 weeks, I spent one of them flat out, sick as a dog, so really we’re talking about a 5-week window to sell everything we owned and close out our life in Dubai. I don’t ever recommend this to anyone. During those 5 weeks, we had Halloween, my birthday, and about 10 going away parties, dinners, and events. This was just enough fun to offset the absolute chaos of burning our lives down.
- November 25 – December 5: After closing out our villa and life in Dubai, we spent a few days in an Airbnb and flew back to Canada on November 25th. We weren’t originally planning to fly to Mexico via Canada, but flights with dogs were extremely limited. It was the first time Steve and I were home together in two years, so it was great to reconnect with our friends and family. Plus I got to see my mom on her birthday which was an added bonus.
- December 5: We left for Playa del Carmen on December 5th. There were some delays with Mike’s condo, so we rented an Airbnb for 10 days. Plus, I had a friend coming to visit from Dubai, via Jamaica. As of December 14, Steve and I have been at Mike’s.
Shuttering a life in one country and starting a new life in a brand new country within 50 days is extremely hazardous to one’s sanity.
I HIGHLY DO NOT RECOMMEND IT.
The stress was unbearable at times, but luckily, the fun times offset the absolute and frenetic chaos that was the hallmark of the last three months of 2022. When you are moving at this speed, you cannot make thoughtful, well-informed decisions. Day in and day out we made countless decisions, to the best of our ability, and 100% of the time, we were flying by the seat of our pants. I am still not sure of the repercussions of all our decisions. My fingers are still crossed…
With 2023 around the corner, I simply cannot and refuse to ‘plan’ anything. The dust is not settled; we are not settled. Other than squeezing in a meditation retreat and going home to Canada this summer, everything else is unknown.
In hindsight – I have no idea how, but somehow – we launched this blog, our Instagram and YouTube channels. While my goal was to take 6 months to a year off, life handed me an incredible opportunity that I’ve decided to jump on. I’ll share more on that in a future post. As well, Steve is headed back to Saudi for some more adventures in mid-January.
We wish you all a peaceful start to 2023. God knows we need it!