Dubai, United Arab Emirates

I went to Dubai for 2 days, just for business. I knew I would barely have the time to do any tourist activities but if there is the possibility of mixing business and pleasure, I’d find a way. And I did.

First of all, let me say that the politeness and level of service of almost everyone in Dubai was incredible. How incredible? Even Americans, who are usually amongst the best at customer service, can learn from the people in Dubai.

Second, I was there at a time when antisemitic attacks were happening worldwide in numbers that had not been seen in decades and here I was going to a Muslim country whose normalization agreements were still fairly fresh. I had heard that there was nothing to worry about but the truth is that any Jew will tell you it’s never far from your thoughts. And wow. I was pleasantly surprised. At no point did I feel uncomfortable. 

I took a boat ride around Dubai and took loads of pictures with a camera that had no SD card in it so that means I now have to work extra hard to keep the memories of that trip in my mind. Since I was the only one on the boat, the crew were being extra attentive. Of course, it was heavily influenced by their desire to receive a tip but even so, they were very friendly. We were able to have a conversation about Dubai, their life, their goals and many interesting things.

There are many other things I wish I had had the time to do but let me say this already now, I am sure that one day I will be back.

Pauses for rest and pauses for strength

Sometimes we need a pause to rest and sometimes we need a pause to build. The lockdowns forced me along with everyone else to take a pause. Since it was completely unexpected (to me), I had many constraints without the time to be able to work on finding optimal solutions for them. But true to my nature, after a brief moment of stress, I found the best solutions I could and used it to my advantage to build new connections, meet new people and better develop the ultimate nest.

After some time to pause and rest, I took the time to build. During the weeks of confinement I focused my energy on building something new in business so that I would come out of the lockdown better than before. During the weeks of confinement I started a regular physical routine to work on improving myself and to come out of lockdown better than before. And during the weeks of confinement I took the time to really ask myself some tough questions about myself and my life which are easy to put aside in the day to day.

Unfortunately, towards the end of the confinement we lost Piggy to a virus. I know I did the best I could in real time to save her but in hindsight I see all of the mistakes. And though I know I did the best I could with the information I had, I still deal with some guilt. Especially, I deal with the pain of missing her.

So what now?

The lockdowns are over and various restrictions are easing. I had initially thought this would be the time I jump at the opportunity to travel again.

However, I still need some time to process some things. I still need some time to give my all to the new business and I still need some time to chill without the stress that comes from epic adventures – even when the stress is ultimately the good kind and the rewards are absolutely worth it.

I rented a beautiful place in the suburbs of Paris. I am almost in nature, there are windows all around (reminds me of the penthouse I had in my 20’s except that then my view was the sea and now my view is a forest). I will rest myself here, do more work than I could if I were on the road, take care of Lucy who is still a bit sick and… find and build our new land nest. No details on that yet. You’ll have to wait till next time.