The Story behind the shot: Wadi Shawka

So I’ve been back home in Dubai for a few weeks now. And while it was really fun coming back and meeting with old high school friends, the novelty has worn off. A lot of my close friends have left and there’s really not much left to do. As a result each day has been feeling monotonous and kind of drab. Literally every day has been spent at home since the pandemic has killed most other options for me. I’m back home, but it doesn’t feel the same since the people who made it feel like home are gone.

So this is the headspace I was in when I decided I needed to travel. It’s the golden opportunity. I have access to a car. I have cheap fuel (thank you Middle East) and I’ve got a country that I haven’t fully explored yet. 

My first step was to find a location. 

Now the way the UAE is set up, there isn’t a lot of natural beauty in the city. Dubai is very artificial. So to see some of the sights you’ve got to drive to other Emirates. The problem is, that all the good stuff is in Abu Dhabi. And Abu Dhabi is taking the pandemic super seriously. You can’t enter without a negative COVID test taken at least 72 hours before. Let me tell you, I was in no mood to have them poke satan’s toothpick at my brain again, so I’ve got to avoid Abu Dhabi.

Eventually I settled on Ras Al Khaimah. It’s a nice, mountainous area where I don’t have to worry about getting the car stuck.

My track record in sand.

My second step was to find a partner. 

Now my sister wakes up super late and has university. So she’s out. That leaves my 10 year old brother. I had to bribe the kid with a lot of chips and shawarma, but he was ready.

We left at 8am, before it got too hot to stand outside. It was a two hour drive where we spoke about fortnite and school problems. Occasionally I’d stop and excitedly show him some of the views. He didn’t share my enthusiasm. He made it clear he was only here for the food.

Once we made it to the dam he backed out. He didn’t want to climb up at all. So now I had to climb up this gigantic staircase in 45 degrees. And let me tell you. My ego would not allow me to back down. SO I DID IT. I went as high as I could. Nearly passed out. And took this picture before I did. I returned a sweaty, out of breath, barely functioning, mess. 

The view at (not) the top

And I pretended like it was all worth it. Even though I was basically dying, just to rub it in his face.

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