Summer Solstice at the Saar Archeological Site

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One of my favorite parts of being a writer is doing research. To write confidently and to fully inhabit the world you are creating for your characters, you have to do the groundwork which can mean reading books, interviewing people, eating certain foods, listening to certain music, anything and everything that might help to paint a fully realized fictional world.

On the summer solstice, that meant spending a magical evening at a 4,000 year old Dilmun temple at one of the world’s largest ancient burial sites.

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Bahrain Beach Retreat

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Do you want to know the secret to a perfect weekend getaway in Bahrain? For me, it all comes down to three things:

  1. a gorgeous, glittering beach
  2. a luxuriously comfortable hotel with fantastic staff and delicious food
  3. location, location, location

Want to know a hotel that gets gold stars for all three…?

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Bahrain Definitions – Art, Music, and Culture

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To me, Bahrain means many things. It means, of course, swaying palm trees and warm sea breezes and scorching hot summer days. It also means meeting the most friendly, welcoming people you could imagine, and exploring ancient temples and crumbling forts beneath star-strewn skies. It means delicious feasts from tiny cafes deep in the winding alleys of the souq, spicy channa and crispy sambosa, all washed down with a cool, tangy lassi. Bahrain means thousands of years of history, of traditions and cultures and languages, that have all intermingled on the same tiny island for millennia. To me, Bahrain also means vivid creativity and inspiring artists that are always pushing the boundaries of their work and striving to express their most profound truth.

Malja Bahrain’s ‘Definitions’ exhibition was a perfect example, and I was honored to take part.

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5 Travel Tips for Homebodies from a Lifelong Expat

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I’m a 3rd generation expat, born in Saudi Arabia to expat parents. They also grew up as globetrotters and spent most of their childhoods in Arabia. Wanderlust can be hereditary, it seems. Before my 2nd birthday my parents took me around the world more than once; in those two years we visited Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, China, Rome, Hawaii, Texas, Egypt, France, and, of course, Disney World. I’m exhausted just typing that sentence, I can’t even comprehend how my parents did it with a baby in tow. Dubious parental sanity aside, it’s clear that traveling was part of my DNA from the start.

For someone who is a dedicated homebody I’ve racked up a lot of miles over the years; by 18 I had traveled to more than 40 countries and lived on 4 continents. At this point I can’t imagine a life that doesn’t involve over-stamped passports, battered luggage, and frequent flier miles on half a dozen airlines. The funny thing is, (or perhaps it’s predictable, given my rootless upbringing) as much as I love to travel, I’m simultaneously loathe to leave home, so over the years I’ve perfected the art of making myself at home on the road. Here are my top 5 tips for my fellow globetrotting homebodies:

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