A Michelle Karam is a travel and lifestyle blogger based in Dubai, where she has lived for almost 30 years. With a background in events and travel, Ms Karam launched her blog, traveljunkiediary.com, nine months ago and now works closely with hotels and tourism boards across the world as well as reporting on her adventures. As a travel blogger, Karam doesn’t have set office hours, but when she’s back on home soil in Dubai, this is how her typical day flows.
I always believed that 6am was the best time to dream – now that I’m a mother it’s my wake-up call. I start my day getting my 23-month- old daughter Chloe, ready and dressed for nursery. In the meantime, I also make my green juice; I recently started a 30-day workout programme with Real Pilates studio and my private instructor Delinda has given me a juice recipe to have every morning. I finish the juice while I make sure my daughter has her clothes on the right way. I then pack lunch for my husband, Chloe and myself, and at 7:30am we all say goodbye.
Once I drop Chloe to the nursery, I skip and hop with excitement to my Pilates session where Delinda makes sure she squeezes every muscle in my body. Sixty minutes of intense workout leave me full of energy for the rest of my day, and sometimes sore too, but that is always a good sign.
I frequently meet PR executives, as well as representatives from hotels, restaurants, tourism boards, charities and new businesses. When one meeting ends, another hotel site check is usually scheduled. Once my meetings are done and social media accounts are updated, I sit and design travel itineraries for clients – I act like a personal stylist but for travel in and out of the UAE.
I pick up my daughter from nursery, drop her home and put her to bed for a nap. I then rush back out to meet people whom I have contacted to interview for the blog. This is where my afternoon gets even better. I love meeting strangers and letting them share their most inspiring travel stories with me. One climbed mountains to raise money for cancer patients, another went to Nepal on a self-discovery journey, and one found true love while climbing a summit. I created my blog to inspire my readers. In a world where people find themselves yearning for an escape, it soon became a platform for all these people to meet; a place where everyday inspiration is embedded and life-changing experiences are shared. My blog is all about hidden gems, travellers’ adventures, enlightening getaways, exquisite cuisines and everything in between.
I am back home by the time my daughter wakes up from her nap. I then take her out to spend some quality time together. We usually meet up with other parents and enjoy the afternoon together. We run errands, go to the park, or sometimes take a walk in Century Village, which is my favourite hangout. At the same time I am keeping up to date with emails and messages, and while I try to sneak replies in as much as possible, I try not to let it interfere with our time out. Chloe likes to run after the ducks by the lake and at sunset we sit on the grass and I feed her dinner.
Everyone knows at this time I cannot be reached, no matter what emergencies there are. Chloe’s shower and bedtime are super-crucial to my husband and I, and we always make sure we free everything up for this final hour of the day with her. My husband helps me put her to bed every night without fail.
On many nights I attend events – openings, launches, dinners. These help me socialise and connect with people as part of my job. When I don’t have an event, I’ll make dinner at home, we’ll eat, and I’ll start working on my blog. This involves researching, working on social media, answering clients or just writing a post. I usually finish by 11pm. No two days are the same in my life, though, and I make it a point not to live by a routine.
* Andrea Anastasiou