Dubai / by Jason Johnson

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About 5 years ago I took my first trip to Dubai, my close friend had recently moved there and was urging me to come visit. I was uncertain with life, I had quit my career job of 6 years and was unsure of my next move, so I took my friend Saeed up on his offer and booked a ticket .

Going to Dubai then was everything I needed, it was a new city, new friends and the opportunity to start fresh. Twenty-three and having a midlife crisis, I thought. So many parts of myself I left unchecked and undiscovered. I ran from a lot of my emotions and things I had to deal with. I took the two months in Dubai to really discover where I wanted to be and what I wanted out of life and more importantly who I wanted to become.

Throughout my stay I reconnected with my friend Saeed and in the process met his then roommates who became an extended family. I took a lot of time to reflect on where i've been and where I wanted to go. Along my trip I met a girl that made me look at life differently a lot of my clarity and experience from the trip was owed to her, without being too emotional I would say she was exactly who I needed in that moment. She imparted her extensive wisdom from traveling, life and love it was what I needed to hear. It's hard for me to not think of her when I think of Dubai, I think a lot of the best moments there were spent with her.

Camping in the middle of the Desert with nothing but the stars and the makeshift fire to light our faces, Jumping out of a plane, Dune bashing and spending time with close friends made a place people often refer to as cold or "lacks culture" felt more home to me at the time than Toronto did.

I visited Dubai once more after that experience. I wanted to give a bit of backdrop as to why Dubai is a special place for me.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and my third overall visit to Dubai here are some pictures from my recent trip.

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