First time in the desert

As I’m writing these words, I am in a tiny bungalow in the jungle of Ubud, Bali. It is pouring rain outside, and the thunder is strong. The perfect moment to reflect on my trip to Dubai.

I stayed there for a week to visit a friend and explore what the city has to offer. I wasn’t disappointed. The city is effervescent, with lots of activities to do (the highlight for me was trying camel meat for the first time). But my favourite activity was not in Dubai…

My friend enjoying the sand of the small desert near Dubai.

We went to the small desert right outside of Dubai and a bigger one called Al Fayah. It was my very first time in an environment like this, and I absolutely loved it. Since reading Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, deserts have held a special place in my heart. They are mystical to me, and while we’re now crossing them with big 4x4s, not so long ago, people used to walk through them with camels and very light equipment.

We met falcon masters who were generous enough to let me photograph them. They drive through the desert with quads, looking for tourists who might be interested in holding the falcon in exchange for a few dollars. The Oakley cap reminds us that we are indeed in 2024, but without it, the photograph would seem quite timeless.

A falcon master and his friend wearing blinders.

We then enjoyed a gorgeous sunset there. During the whole trip, I felt grateful to be able to travel like this and explore the world with my camera, full-time. It felt like a new chapter in my life, and many more will come, I’m sure. Before heading to Bali, I wanted to make the most of my experience here in Dubai, surrounded by my friends. Time flies. This sunset was the perfect reminder to stay in the present moment, at all costs.