This Week I Loved… Travel Edition: United Arab Emirates

(aka This Week in the UAE We Hope To Have Seen…)

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (Photo Credit – http://visitabudhabi.ae)

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UAE Pavilion (Photo Credit – http://www.constructionweekonline.com)

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Emirates Palace (Photo Credit – http://commons.wikimedia.org)

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The Arabian Desert (Photo Credit – http://www.nature.com)

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The Burj Khalifa (Photo Credit – http://architecture.about.com)

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Ferrari World (Photo Credit – http://www.bestdubaiholidays.com)

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Sunset Yoga (Photo Credit – http://www.timeoutabudhabi.com)

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Next week we’ll be moving on to Turkey! Stay tuned to follow us along on our journey.

5 Activities to Avoid Glowing Rectangles

Technology is great. It allows us to video-chat with friends on the other side of the world; look up the answer to random questions within seconds; navigate our way to someplace we’ve never been before, just based on an address. We work more efficiently because of email, entertain ourselves with tv shows and movies, and play video games “to maintain peak hand-eye coordination.”
When you have a desk job like me, you spend your entire day looking at a computer monitor. On top of that, if you’re in the entertainment business like me, many times you are stepping away from your computer monitor only to look at a tv monitor or film screen. Or someone else’s computer monitor. And we all know how prevalent cell phone use is. Not to mention e-readers and tablets. That’s a lot of strain on your eyes over the course of a day!

Realizing that we have a habit of coming home from glowing work rectangles only to immediately sit down at our home computer or turn on the tv, the hubby and I decided to institute one evening a week with no glowing rectangles allowed. We are calling it “No Tech Tuesday.”

In honor of stepping away from the glowing rectangles in your life, here is a list of 5 activities you don’t need computer technology to enjoy.

Play a Game

Whether a board game or card game, this is a great way to pass the time! Try choosing a strategy game like Risk or Settlers of Catan, or a word game like Scrabble or Bananagrams to keep your intellect extra engaged.

Read a Book

You can’t beat good old fashioned story-telling with words! Chose a fiction book like Water for Elephants for a quick entertaining read that lets you easily escape into another time. If you’re more interested in stories about real people, you might try Me Talk Pretty One Day for a laugh out loud account of David Sedaris’ life, as told by David himself. For history and science lovers, try Bill Bryson’s funny yet eye-opening A Short History of Nearly Everything.

Work on a Craft Project

This could be the perfect opportunity to work on that scrap book you started five years ago. Or better yet, learn how to knit or crochet so you can make that scarf you always wanted to try to make. For a bigger project, maybe refinish that chair you found at the flea market last week, or repaint that old dresser you’ve had for years. The sky’s the limit, just follow your ambitions!

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Physical Fitness

Use your extra time free from your computer to take a hike, a walk, or go for a run. And I mean it, leave that iPod at home. Use the sounds of nature (or the sounds of your city) to motivate you on your journey! Maybe even take a moment to chat with a fellow hiker you meet along the way; embrace that human interaction! If you’re not much for walking or running, try taking that yoga or pilates class you’ve been meaning to try. You won’t regret how good you’ll feel afterwards!

Cook or Bake Something New

Remember when you were perusing the internet last week and saw that amazing recipe for a double fudge chocolate cheesecake? Or what about that delicious sounding lamb osso bucco recipe you saw the other day? Even if you’ve never cooked or baked anything in your life, now’s the time to give it a try. You’ve got nothing to lose. You’ll probably learn something new and have a delicious meal to follow!

What do you do at home to relax and rest your eyes from a technology-filled day?