Leanne Wei

16 hours in Abu Dhabi

sheikh zayed grand mosque abu dhabi
leanne wei honeyandvelvet abu dhabi
sheikh zayed grand mosque abu dhabi
sheikh zayed grand mosque abu dhabi
sheikh zayed grand mosque abu dhabi
almost died in abu dhabi
sheikh zayed grand mosque abu dhabi
sheikh zayed grand mosque abu dhabi
sheikh zayed grand mosque abu dhabi
sheikh zayed grand mosque abu dhabi
emirates palace abu dhabi
leanne wei honey & velvet corniche beach abu dhabi
corniche beach abu dhabi

I wasn't going to share this publicly because I didn't want my friends and family to worry, but I hope this will inspire just one person to never take their safety for granted and remind you of how deadly and important little habits really are.

I arrived in Abu Dhabi yesterday with a simple intention of exploring the Emirates for a short trip before heading to Thailand. I was lucky to befriend a fellow solo traveler at the airport and we decided to venture out into our first experience in Abu Dhabi together. I fell in love with the beauty of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, ate Emirati food, wandered through the Emirates Palace, had coffee on beachside cafes, played in the clear blue water and watched the sunset at Corniche Beach.

Nine hours after this photo was taken, we were merry on our way back to the airport when our taxi driver (who was texting on his phone) hit a sharp break and crashed into a giant SUV in front of us. I hit my face during the accident and had never experience pain so terrifying my entire life. It felt like I broke my nose and chin, but I am so grateful with every fiber of my body for the miracle that nothing was actually broken and that everyone was okay. I'm currently sitting at the airport with a deep scrape on my wrist and a pretty beat up and swollen face from smashing into the front seat like a pancake because of the idiot that I was for not wearing a seatbelt. I feel so angry and disappointed in myself. I literally felt my life flashing before my eyes in those few split seconds. We could have died for making such a foolish and mindless mistake.

I know all too well how easy it is to get all distracted and caught up in conversation when you get into your car or hop into a taxi, but I beg you all to please, please, PLEASE always wear your seatbelt. It will always be that one time when you mindlessly forget when something might happen. And DO NOT text and drive. Just don't. Please. It's not worth it. Don't ever take your life and your safety for granted.