Summer, Summer, Summertime

First off, today marks one year of marriage for my husband and I. Time has flown by so fast, we can’t believe it has already been a year. I believe who we marry is the biggest decision we make in life, because it affects every other area of life. I’m so grateful that God brought us together and that our love, friendship and willingness to change for each other continue to grow daily! #blessed.

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“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” – John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

Imagine leaving work exhausted at 3am, anticipating a hot shower, cup of tea, and warm bed while watching a favorite tv show. Upon walking outside, despite layers of winter clothes, as soon as the cold air hits, you wonder why anyone would live here as your fingers freeze while scraping the snow and ice off of the car. It’s a 20 minute process in sub-zero weather before you can safely drive home. This was my life, every winter, for 5 years living in Connecticut. Each winter I wondered why I continued to put myself through these tortuous conditions and longed for the days where I no longer had to wear 4 layers of clothes.

Well, oddly enough, after escaping only one year ago, I suddenly can’t wait for the winter to arrive! Coming from a cold climate, I didn’t understand what 115ºF and over 95% humidity really felt like until I stepped foot in Dubai last June. I  actually had trouble breathing the thick, moist air. Not only did I labor to breathe, but my skin literally felt as if it would burn off, and to top it off the humidity makes it almost impossible to control frizzy hair 😦 .

My first summer was a learning experience. Walking less than 5 minutes in the heat would cause severe perspiration resulting in multiple showers daily. My definition of summer and winter clothes changed, and I went from wearing scarves for warmth to covering my arms and shoulders to protect my skin and keep cool. I bought an umbrella designed to reflect the sun rays and I learned to cut through areas with shade in order to avoid direct sun exposure. I never thought I would miss the Northeastern climate, but my first summer made me realize being snowed in wasn’t that bad!

As the worst of the summer heat approaches, I’m looking for new ways to combat the heat. I learned that in addition to the religious meaning, the traditional dress, kanduras and abayas worn by men and women respectively, are actually designed to help locals survive the summer climate. The loose fitting clothing provides ventilation between the fabric and the skin allowing the body to dry quickly and feel refreshed. It protects the body and hair from the extreme heat and dangerous sun rays.

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My husband and I at the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. The first time I wore an abaya.
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My Jedi Knight look. Weapon of choice: my purse. 

Additionally there are many adaptations to the traditional style of wear. There are unlimited color and fabric options as well as open faced styles that enable you to show off your clothing underneath. This summer I plan on ordering a few variations and test its ability to combat the harsh temperatures. I will update the post in a part 2 as I shop around local areas for abayas! Stay tuned….

Check back later this month for a special one year anniversary post. Check out our instagram page for early sneak peaks to guess where we spent our anniversary.

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