Backpack Full of SunshineA travel blog of a boy following his dream and embarking on a four year backpacking sabbatical around the world

UAE

We all remember the first time dining in a fancy restaurant. Some James Beard Award winning chef just opened a new shop in town. All of our friends and co-workers have been talking about it for months. So we get super hyped, nibble on some lettuce for lunch, get in our big boy suits, and show up early for our reservation. It probably starts right around the overly polite waiter actually pull out the chair for me, something just feels a little off. What’s this 4th fork doing here on the table? Did you say 25 dollars for a glass of wine? Wait, do you have to explain for 5 minutes before each bite size dish? Afterwards, I almost always wished that we would’ve gone to the burger shack next door and grabbed a couple of sandwiches. Well, that’s pretty much how I felt about my 4 day layover in Dubai. It was shiny, posh, incredibly first world, but lack lustered in culture, history, and most of all, that intimate feeling some places have that keeps you coming back.

Abu Dhabi

2/18/14 With one more day left before our flights to Africa, Brent and I headed for Abu Dhabi for a little day trip. Apparently the mosque that finished only a few years ago was quite impressive. A couple of bus connections later, we hopped off on the side of a highway, right next to a green overpass. The place actually looked pretty desolated. Hmmm, you’d think our...

Dubai

2/15/14 The 10 hour flight from Shanghai to Dubai was actually pretty ok. Decent food, minimal crying from the baby two seats to the left, and stunning flight attendants. What’s there to complain? I landed around 4 pm local time. The immigration officer, wrapped head to toe in a white shawl, was pretty friendly. Some standard questions and a couple of stamps later, I...