I’ve never been an outdoorsy person. I love comfy beds and overstuffed chairs. I like strong drinks with ice clinking in the glass and proper ceramic plates and restaurants that bring tasty fried salty things. I like afternoon naps, lounging in my undergarments and spending too much time on Facebook.
I’ve spent a remarkable number of my Abu Dhabi months cultivating and nurturing this inner sloth. She has been well-fed and amply cocktailed in the company of my four walls and a very forgiving pair of yoga pants. Then, I went home for Christmas this year and while packing, tried on a pair of jeans that . . . used to fit. And those jeans? They laughed at me.
I’ve got this friend who runs an outdoor adventure group called the UAE Trekkers. She’s been trying to pry my ass out of the house for a camping trip since I moved here 18 months ago, and a miraculous thing happened: I was both Really Tired of My Apartment and Ready For a Challenge at the same time. I’ll spare you the “how that happened” details: Short version = gnashing of teeth, dramatic journaling, etc.
So I went on a weekend hike/trek/campout in Oman last weekend. Here are some photos:
It was pretty fabulous. I jumped from rocks and scrambled over boulders and walked a lot in a 5mil wetsuit. Here’s what I learned:
- There is absolutely nothing sexy about peeing in the sand behind a bush. Backsplash on the jeans? Gross.
- Campfires are magical tongue looseners.
- As an American, I have very definite ideas about how a marshmallow should be roasted on a stick. Empirical data gathered by my new friend from Pakistan has demonstrated that his (incorrect) roasting technique offers a marshmallow experience with no appreciable difference. Plus: I’m a control freak.
- Thank god he had a sense of humor at, because otherwise I’d have been hiding in my popup tent crying hot tears of shame, as if I’d been showered with superfluous pepper spray.
- There are a LOT of stars out there, you guys!
I’m feeling inspired to take more trips AND dig deeper into the Arabian Nights stories to discover more about the magic of the desert and mountains in the area.
Going outside: It’s fun! Who knew?