Live through Travel

Live, Dream, Travel
The magical beauty of Bora Bora and its lagoon sweeps you off your feet from the moment you step out of the airport.  Like love at first sight, the translucent sapphire waters that you have only admired in the pictures, suddenly come alive and become within your reach.  This first impression will last in your memory forever, though you will continue wanting to pinch yourself in newfound amazement for days to come.  

The magical beauty of Bora Bora and its lagoon sweeps you off your feet from the moment you step out of the airport.  Like love at first sight, the translucent sapphire waters that you have only admired in the pictures, suddenly come alive and become within your reach.  This first impression will last in your memory forever, though you will continue wanting to pinch yourself in newfound amazement for days to come.  

Last time when landing in Bora Bora, I took a picture of the Four Seasons Resort that was still being built.  Beautiful and serene, it perched graciously in the midst of the emerald green lagoon, promising to deliver what will be number #1 resort in the South Pacific and undoubtedly, one of the most exclusive, unique, resorts in the world.  Little did I know that six years later, four weeks from today, I will be embarking on a journey to return to Bora Bora and stay at no other than this majestic property. With my wonderful husband, and our two young sons - March 28th could not come soon enough!  Here is to Spring, and to our new adventures!     

Last time when landing in Bora Bora, I took a picture of the Four Seasons Resort that was still being built.  Beautiful and serene, it perched graciously in the midst of the emerald green lagoon, promising to deliver what will be number #1 resort in the South Pacific and undoubtedly, one of the most exclusive, unique, resorts in the world.  Little did I know that six years later, four weeks from today, I will be embarking on a journey to return to Bora Bora and stay at no other than this majestic property. With my wonderful husband, and our two young sons - March 28th could not come soon enough!  Here is to Spring, and to our new adventures!     

Good morning!  How about this serene beach for your back yard?  This is what you would wake up to every day at the Hilton Ras al Khaimah Resort & Spa.  Just over two hours drive from Abu Dhabi, this weekend getaway will recharge your dreams and aspirations.  Just another perk of expat life in the UAE!

Good morning!  How about this serene beach for your back yard?  This is what you would wake up to every day at the Hilton Ras al Khaimah Resort & Spa.  Just over two hours drive from Abu Dhabi, this weekend getaway will recharge your dreams and aspirations.  Just another perk of expat life in the UAE!

I once relished this unforgettable sunrise from an expansive rustic-style terrace of my room at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort in Abu Dhabi.  The breathtaking sand dunes changed colors and shapes in front of my eyes, creating an ocean-like movement on the horizon.  And like an enticing mirage nestled amidst the desert, the pool stayed still, completing this beautiful sight.  

I once relished this unforgettable sunrise from an expansive rustic-style terrace of my room at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort in Abu Dhabi.  The breathtaking sand dunes changed colors and shapes in front of my eyes, creating an ocean-like movement on the horizon.  And like an enticing mirage nestled amidst the desert, the pool stayed still, completing this beautiful sight.  

The seaplane landing at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is one of the most exhilirating experiences.  Anxious anticipation of what’s to come is surpassed by a relaxing sense of finality, as you slowly begin to submerge into a state of bliss and welcome your dreams to come true.   

The seaplane landing at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is one of the most exhilirating experiences.  Anxious anticipation of what’s to come is surpassed by a relaxing sense of finality, as you slowly begin to submerge into a state of bliss and welcome your dreams to come true.   

At Conrad Maldives Rangali Island time stops and everything goes still. Deserted and undisturbed, this is a place where your mind can reach an absolute repose and drift away to the horizon of your dreams.  Though seemingly unattainable at first, this magical paradise is worth every distance.

At Conrad Maldives Rangali Island time stops and everything goes still. Deserted and undisturbed, this is a place where your mind can reach an absolute repose and drift away to the horizon of your dreams.  Though seemingly unattainable at first, this magical paradise is worth every distance.

There are many places I’d rather be today, but this yellow house is at the top of my list.  Majestically spread out on Greg Norman golf course in Great Exuma, and with tranquil waters of Emerald Bay just steps away, it comes with a sense of inviting permanence. So long as you can call it your home.. 

There are many places I’d rather be today, but this yellow house is at the top of my list.  Majestically spread out on Greg Norman golf course in Great Exuma, and with tranquil waters of Emerald Bay just steps away, it comes with a sense of inviting permanence. So long as you can call it your home.. 

The sparkling beauty of Emerald Bay is only comparable to that of Bora Bora and Maldives.  The enticing difference?  This beautiful beach on the Great Exuma is only 4 hours away from Chicago!

The sparkling beauty of Emerald Bay is only comparable to that of Bora Bora and Maldives.  The enticing difference?  This beautiful beach on the Great Exuma is only 4 hours away from Chicago!

Abu Dhabi - a place I once called home.

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On cold gloomy winter days like today I dream of Abu Dhabi.  After all, it’s not every day that one is given, and gives up, an opportunity to live in a tropical paradise.  Choosing to return to my old life in Illinois was an easy decision, but a burning question “What was I thinking?!” often comes to mind these days.  We had a beautiful beachfront apartment, American school across the street, prosperous careers just 5 minute cab ride away, and a wonderful nanny/maid on staff.  Above all else, we were living in close proximity to some of the world’s most exotic locations and upscale resorts: the likes of Dubai’s 7 star Burj Al Arab, which I never managed to visit (blinded by my urge to move back home to Illinois!). 

Perhaps it was the fear that life in Abu Dhabi seemed too unrealistic. Something did not seem right about having a maid, or constantly lounging at the exclusive Monte Carlo Beach Club, or being able to hop on a 4 hour flight to the Conrad Maldives for a holiday weekend.  Or was it when our lease came up for a renewal and we got an opportunity to move to the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort that finally “did me in”?  These branded beachfront apartments came with an exclusive St Regis Resort Membership and overlooked a world class Saadiyat Beach Golf Course.  It was a deal of a life time, but seeing that we are not ones to ever take the easy road, our decision went something like this: “If we take this, we will have officially reached our dream of living in paradise, we will never want to leave, and it will be pretty darn hard to ever top this off!  We need to move back home ASAP!”   

In fairness, my husband did try to put some sense into me, but my stubborn Russian mind was set.  So here I am today, dreaming of Abu Dhabi - a place I once hesitantly called home, and one I will always keep close to my heart.   

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View of Emirates Palace from an apartment at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi, UAE. 

View of Emirates Palace from an apartment at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi, UAE.