I am a die-hard-love-fanatic-hopeless-romantic-sucker-for-love human being, and given my history with love, that is a sucky person to be, but what the heck, I am! My Valentine ’s Day history has ranged from really good ones to really lonely ones. I’ve had my mother buy me presents (out of pity) and my friends offer to take me out to help fill the void of being alone. But last year, something great happened. I finally learned that I could take control over the day and not have the day take control over me or my emotions.
I intentionally booked my trip to Dubai during President’s week and was excited to find out I would be there on Valentine’s Day. Never mind, that I had a boyfriend at the time and this would be our first Valentine’s Day together (or not together since he wasn’t accompanying me on the trip); it was bigger than him. It was more so about me. This was the first year I realized I could take control over the day, which for years, reminded me of my relationship-less status. So I did.
I started the day at the Dubai Museum and hurried back to my hotel to catch the shuttle to the Burj Al Arab. When you think of Dubai, the first thing that may come to mind is this hotel. Shaped like a sail on a ship, it’s located on its own island and a night at this hotel will run you a few thousand dollars. Fortunately for me, I was able to utilize the Burj Al Arab’s beach because I stayed at the Jumeirah, which is its neighboring hotel.
Honestly, the whole experience left me speechless. I relaxed on this beautiful beach for hours, soaking up the hot desert sun as I splashed my body in the Arabian Gulf. The water was cold but I didn’t care. I stared at Burj in amazement that I was so close to one of the best architectural visions ever built. One day I too would be a guest at the Burj, I thought. The sea served as a barrier between me and the lavishness of this hotel, but hopefully not for long. This was a special moment for me, one filled with many realizations and quite honestly contentment. How did I get here? I was still baffled by it all. I had no intentions to travel to Dubai until I could “afford” it. But I was there, and I was happy. Happier than I had been in a long time and this fulfillment came on Valentine ’s Day, a day that too often made me feel like I was unworthy of love.