I was never a fan of the indoors, neither was I a calm clam to remain still in my place. My typical Thursday did not involve being curled up on the couch with a good movie. The thought of that makes me clench my teeth with a bore. This is not to say that people who enjoy doing so are doing absolutely nothing with their life but there’s a whole world out there for you to explore. Mountains, rivers, oceans, beaches, roads, lights….so much out there.
As a human being, we are instilled with survival skills. Our body is able to produce mental and physical defense mechanisms to survive in this world, and it’s a wonderful feeling when we put it to the test. We may have used your modern day equipment such as vehicles and sleeping bags, but it certainly was a change from your comfortable bed and night lamp.
My friend and I stacked up our cars with faded blue cool boxes, hipster blankets, a few pieces of wood and an inflatable mattress. We turned on our walkie talkies, signaled the code for “all good” and set out to drive the roads of a country I so dearly call home. As the road changes in behaviour the farther away we get from the city, the high rises slowly fade in our rear view mirrors and I can almost feel us breaking out of the vortex we call the concrete jungle. The roads are suddenly accompanied by sand dunes wiggling to the right and left which suddenly transcends into a rocky terrain.
Upon arrival to our first destination, we were disappointed to find out that they had closed off the initial camp spot we hoped for. Settling for less, we set up camp and watched the sunset from the highest peak possible. This view at the tip of the Arab Peninsula overlooking the waters beneath — it’s almost as though you can see the world curving (Columbus was right, Pythagoras and Aristotle too). Night came and there we were left in the silence and the dark. Three hours into our conversations and goat interactions we were yawning our eyes out.
“The sky grew darker, painted blue on blue, one stroke at a time, into deeper and deeper shades of night.”
― Haruki Murakami
The break of dawn was upon us and this was day two. Day two in driving. Day two in discovering. Day two in throwing yourself out and seeing how you will cope. We were hungry. We were thirsty. For knowledge. For Experience.
But first, let me feed off the energy of this.
Our next destination included a drive through the mountains of the Northern Emirates. Unwinding roads, perfectly symmetrical street lights and the right playlist.
“ Get yourself a car and ride it on the wind” — Getaway Car by Audioslave.
So here we are, halfway through our adventures. We've picked up methods of interacting with goats, installed natural biological clocks, and burnt plenty of gasoline. A little tickle in my mind and stomach — both synchronized — had me park at McDonald’s for lunch. A little disappointed with my decision but knowing my nature, I do not have an appetite for discovering new foods or contemplating my dinner — I eat what I get my hands on when I desperately need it.
Downing our McDonald’s while watching Tom and Jerry in the kids section, we decided on pushing our cars limits in a Wadi nearby to our next camp location.
The last time I attempted to pull a three ton car across a mountainous terrain, I was the victim of an overheating engine and a flash flood on the cliff of a mountain bordering between Oman and the United Arab Emirates. I could feel the blood flowing through my veins at such high speeds, my head felt light and my legs numb. My car on the other hand felt exceptionally good — like an eager dog wanting to go for a walk. An hour later, I find myself tackling the highest of inclines on rocky routes. Stocked up on adrenaline and an insane amount of caffeine. It had been the most rewarding moment for me, and with this experience my body and mind have finally opened the door of possibility within my systematic approach to life. It was the reassurance, the ability, the accomplishment. It was done. I made it.
For a minute, I stopped to breath. Chaos and fury was shushed within. For a minute I looked at what I was surrounded by. And in this minute, I knew for a fact that there is no other place I want to be. My mind is in euphoria, a quiet serene euphoria. All the feelings of satisfaction, all the moments of joy, all the overwhelming heart races were boxed and sent through my veins. Here we were. Overlooking a world that was created in six days.
Let’s imagine for a second the sound of the sea curling up against the moist beach, the sound of heritage coming through rusted metal, the sun that is resting itself behind rock formations. The Arabian Sea felt pure, untouched and surreal. Warm in manner, calm in nature. I would pat myself on the back for the smart decision of ending the trot around the country by the beach.
and waking up to this.
and driving with this.
And that wraps up my mental and physical displacement.