Outdoor activities – a motivational kick in the …

How many of you know that feeling when you know you should be doing something, you had a plan, a task, yet as soon as the time comes you always find excuses not to do what you have planned? You are too tired, too busy, too something? Well… that is how I’ve been feeling for the past few weeks. Up to the point it became worrying… I needed a motivational kick ASAP! Believe it or not, but winter has actually came for the rescue…

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I hit the wall of reality after coming back from my last holiday and I haven’t been able to get myself together since. Feeling lazy and lacking motivation of any sort started bothering me. On top of that, I got sick, which didn’t help. Blog suffered from that mental state of mine to. I just couldn’t force myself to sit down and start writing… I knew I had to do something about it and I had to do it quick. Funny to say, the more busy I actually am and the more active, it becomes easier for me to get everything sorted on time and be efficient. So… I had to get myself busy again!

If you have read my previous posts or you simply know me, you know there is nothing else that gives me that extra power and helps to recharge mental batteries like being active and spending time surrounded by nature, away from a city noise. Therefore, my plan for getting back on track naturally had to involve some outdoor activities.

Luckily the winter has finally arrived! You may find this statement weird, but believe me, when you live in the Middle East winter is the happiest time of the year. The temperatures finally drop to a pleasant 20 something degrees during the day, you don’t sweat straight after leaving an air conditioned area and you can finally enjoy being outdoors!

Taking under consideration all that I just told you, I had to take a full advantage of that first pleasant moments of winter and get my batteries recharged by spending time outdoors. I needed it like a medicine! And since winter in U.A.E. equals a beginning of a motorsport season, as a No. 1 motorsport enthusiast I could not be spending my weekends in any other way than being involved in some events to. “Desert life” is a huge part of my life in Middle East (I actually wish it was bigger, but that is something I’m working on :))

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That said, I have a first ‘camping’ of the season behind me. Done as a part of preparation for a Round 3 of the Emirates Desert Championship. A motorsport series that is a great fun, day spent in a desert dust, outdoors with a bunch of crazy people! Just loving it!

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I arrived at the bivouac straight after work late at night. Everybody who came down the night before the start of the event have already finished their duties and were chilling by the bond fire. It was so much fun to see them again! (some first time since last rally I attended in April).

I must tell you! there is nothing like that total desert silence, cool breeze at night and stunning black sky filled with stars. As soon as I switched of a car engine I felt a change, I felt how I start relaxing, letting go of that tension and how stress is fading away… it’s unbelievable feeling.

I’m sure each one of you know it when you get to do what you really love or you find yourself in a place that matches your comfort zone. For each one of us it is something different, but whatever it is, don’t forget to treat yourself with that special moments which bring peacefulness to your mind and the whole body!

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It was a cool day that started before 5am after around 4h of sleep (boy I must like it!) and just an introduction to a fun weekend yet to come! Good there are still three more rounds to go, so if any of you is around Dubai and wants to come down, let me know! For more info check out web page www.emiratesdesertchampionship.ae

The next day I combined forces with a friend of mine and we head down to Oman for a bit of hiking. Well it actually didn’t exactly turned the way we have imagined, but at least I finally got to see a bit of that neighbouring country and I know I have to definitely go back with a proper plan, gear and a bit more time to explore it.

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And there is so much to explore. Mountains are just incredible. There are countless numbers of hiking trails, wadis, camping sites. True paradise for outdoor activities lovers!

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We knew where we wanna go, but we neither had a proper car, to actually be able to drive up the mountains where 4×4 is a must, nor a camping gear, what forced us to find a place to sleep in Muscat.

Next time I’m packing my tent and sleeping bag to a 4×4 and staying over night up in the mountains! It is so easy to do, yet if you have a similar plan don’t forget the rainy season is about to start (and by rainy I mean it can get quite dangerous in the mountains of Oman if you are not prepared and don’t know what places to avoid when the weather gets nasty) and it can get very cold, freezing actually, at night.

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We had just two days (not even full) to see what we have planned to see and we had to include almost 6h drive from Dubai! Not a good idea 😉

We decided to see Wadi Tiwi on the first day. It got our attention as one of the highest rated wadi in the area (if not the whole Oman). The pictures looked stunning and so did the place live!

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We reached it late in the afternoon and since our car was way too low (never take a sports car for a hiking trip, unless you don’t have a choice ;)) we couldn’t drive all the way up to the last point from where you walk to the Wadi. Instead we decided to walk for as long as we could along the river and up into the mountains until it got dark.

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It’s all together a 23km road and a big part of it you can cross driving. I can only imagine how beautiful it must be when water level gets higher.

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On the way back, when it already got dark, we stopped few hundred meters from a small village in the mountains, where a group of kids were playing on the street. At some point one of them started singing. Apart from few lights coming from a village houses it was pitch black and apart from an earlier crickets, frogs and wind noises, now we could hear also that child… I must say it felt special, I had goosebumps!

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The next day we drove from Muscat all the way to Jabal Shams, which is the highest mountain of Oman. It’s elevation reaches 2,997 to 3,009 m (it has South and North summit but the second one is occupied by a military base and is a restricted area). We wanted to see the Grand Canyon of Oman in particular and Wadi Nakhur.

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As expected though, nearer the top the tarmac gave out and the track became quite steep and rocky in places, meaning that 4×4 was essential. I didn’t wanna give up! Luckily at the place we stopped we meet an Omani who offered to take us to the top (what he apparently has been doing for other tourists for the last 30 years!). I couldn’t miss seeing that place already being so close, so after a bit of negotiation we were taken to the place where … you just have to see it yourself!!!

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What I saw so far, even if just briefly, amazed me. I must say I was surprised by the beauty of Oman. I regret I didn’t have more time to enjoy the places we visited and see them properly, to hike and to camp, but I’m happy I did go there, because now I can plan the next trip better and prepare myself for what I actually want to do and how I would like to spend my time in Oman.

I’m glad I did that trip because seeing and feeling the power of nature filled me in with positive energy and made me feel strong again. Standing at the edge of the cliff made me realise few important things and find answers to the questions I was asking myself lately. Believe it or not, but it felt a bit magical and definitely very powerful. I’m glad, because I feel much better now! The whole weekend experience made me remind myself of what is important to me and where to find my inner strength, and what was my goal in the first place. Plan fulfilled! So now lets get back on track and stop being lazy and demotivated! Next weekend is approaching and another experiences await! Happy days!!!

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