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I have learned that I love to travel and try new things. Coming to live in Dubai in 2015 was the first time I had ever been outside of the United States of America. It was the first time I ever got a passport. Instead of being sad about not living near my friends or close family I decided to make the most of my stay in the United Arab Emirates and do as much as I could while living here(I sometimes live up to this personal challenge).
Some friends visited in July and we made an itinerary with some of the biggest and best things that Dubai has to offer. Some of those things included Ferrari World, Aquaventure Water Park at Atlantis the Palm, and The Burj Khalifa.
I am afraid of heights. Those places we went to with friends all have something in common. The attractions are high in the sky (some more than others). What was a supposed to do? No matter where you travel in the world there will be some things that you are afraid of doing. But do you skip over certain activities completely and miss out on once in a life-time opportunities? I sure hope not!
I do not want to stand by bored while those around me experience something amazing and fun. If so many people ahead of me have done this same thing and survived, then why can’t I do the same? I think that when you travel you should seize the moment, take charge, and do what you may never have the chance to do again.
In the Burj Khalifa I was nervous to stand next to the windows and look down at everything. It is the tallest building in the world! I gave myself some time to adjust before going out on the highest outdoor observation deck in the world. And then I tried my hardest to pretend that we weren’t really all that high up in the sky. A fear of heights for me is more mental than anything else, I have never fallen from a great height so I know it is partially unrealistic. There was no way to fall from the Burj Khalifa. The views were incredible. Dubai looked small from so high up, all the sky scrapers miniature and closely grouped together with the ocean on one side and the desert disappearing into the distance on the other. Tips for At the Top Burj Khalifa are located at this post.
It was worse at Aquaventure Water Park. I was so nervous walking the steps to those water slides. I hate heights, and that dropping sensation you sometimes get in an elevator. As long as I know I wont get sick from a ride then I feel I do not have much excuse for skipping them. My husband had to coax me a bit to go and the attendants at the slides encouraged us to take the plunge. And so I did! I only did them once and that was enough for me, I can say I rode some of the scariest water slides and I am still alive. The water slides there are so high and you aren’t strapped in.
You really just fall and slide with nothing but gravity to keep you from flying off. The Leap of Faith slide is almost 90 degrees and goes through a shark tank. Water is splashing into your eyes almost the entire time, you can’t see anything and before you know it you have reached the bottom. Poseidons Revenge drops you straight down and you shoot quickly through the tube. The anticipation is the worst part of this one, the angle is not all that bad because you are enclosed in the slide and drop almost straight down. Again, water is splashing into your face so you may not be able to open your eyes at all. I am proud to say that I did not scream for either of these rides! (The group tube rides are pretty exhilarating and fun as well.) I wish I had taken some pictures here but I was afraid to get my phone wet.
Tips for Aquaventure:
Roller coasters are easier for me because you are always strapped in well. At Ferrari World I was a little nervous of the Formula Rossa, the fastest roller coaster in the world (reaching 240km/hr in 5 seconds OR 149.1miles/hr). You have to wear goggles on the ride and water is sprayed on the gears(?) where the wheels touch the track since it’s so hot. The ride starts and I was thinking “wow, this pretty fast”, and it picks up more speed, “oh, crap, this is really freaking fast!” I laughed and hollered and felt a bit nervous on some turns and twists. It was fun. I also recommend hitting up Flying Aces roller coaster. (I love Busch Gardens, but these rides take it to a whole other level). Ferrari World is good for adults and children. We had four adults so we traded off with the kids and took them on smaller rides.
I think the trick for me is to not let myself be paralyzed by fear. I have to keep moving and in a way stop thinking. Don’t let your mind rule your actions. Breath and gain some familiarity from your surroundings before taking the plunge. It may not always be a water slide, or a roller coaster, or a high lookout point. (Heck, I couldn’t finish the Angels Landing hike in Utah because I was afraid of falling off the cliff. A few people each year die on that hike btw.)
Take a chance and try something exciting even if it’s a little scary! You may not have the chance to do it again.
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