Here I am in Sheffield after a busy, tiring, exciting few days since taking off on that Emirates flight from Melbourne 3 days ago. The nerves certainly kicked in as my hubby dropped me off out the front of the international terminal in Melbourne... It hadn't really hit that this trip was actually upon me I don't think until I was there at the airport. Emotions were on a high as I had kissed my kids goodbye for three weeks, the longest I have ever had away from them and I was setting off half way across the globe.... The furthest I have ever been. The flights were, well, I guess as good as long haul flights can be! Long and boring!!! Dubai was on my mind, with that being our first stop. A place I have never been and never even considered visiting to be honest, but was excited to see. It was absolutely amazing flying in over the vast desert and seeing how really huge and unforgiving it is. But then what a contrast once arriving in Dubai! Dubai really is an oasis in the desert. It was hot to say the least, but so shiny!! The airport is huge, shiny and bright - you just about need your sunglasses on as you walk through! The opulence and shininess didn't end there - the Dubai Mall, the tallest building in the world, the 7 star hotel all lived up to their expectations. The Dubai Mall and its surrounds are probably one of the most impressive places I've seen, it's stunningly beautiful... And ridiculously expensive! However when you look past the shine and the glamour and the money you still see the gritty streets, the starving cats and the way the average person lives - in small high-rise apartments with washing hanging all over their tiny balconies - it is a culture shock.
- Jess Willman (Bachelor of Arts)