McLaren’ing around the UAE

I’m a Pittsburgher who has somehow never watched a Steelers game, and from a young age I knew that the Steel City wouldn’t be able to contain my curiosity about the rest of the world. I entered college with the assumption I’d eventually depart for Los Angeles to start a career in animation, but by the time I obtained my Bachelors in Fine Arts, the lure of LA (and animation, for that matter) had faded.

I spent my final summer in college studying Renaissance art history in Europe, and that was that; I knew I would never be truly happy unless I was exploring the world. After a (very enjoyable) four-year prelude in Philadelphia I eventually dove into the deep end on a one-way flight to the Arabian Peninsula, and moved to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, sight unseen and without knowing a single soul in the city.

After moving to Dubai in summer 2008, I eventually broke into my dream job: travel journalism. My writing has been published in Condé Nast Traveller Middle EastDestinations of the World News, Citizen K Arabia and The Ritz-Carlton Magazine. To see samples of my published work, please click here.

I am currently travel writing on a freelance basis, and am open to collaborations and commissions, so please get in touch with any enquiries.


Instagram: @travelaurel
Email: lmunshower (at) gmail (dot) com


22 thoughts on “Who?

  1. Hi Laurel!
    I was blogwalking and found your blog. I’ve always wanted to travel across the globe since I was little and the real travels have just started a few years back. Right now I’m searching for travel inspirations out there and your blog is definitely one of them.

  2. Hey Laurel!

    I just moved to Dubai a few weeks ago from Adelaide, Australia to meet up with my husband who’s been working here for a couple of months. I’m a writer, but I really love visual art, too.
    Stumbled across your blog today and absolutely fell in love with it! I look forward to following it! : )


    1. Heyla!

      Glad you enjoy my blog & I hope you continue to enjoy Dubai as well! ❤
      Checked out your Tumblr, and regarding the moon the other night – I too remember thinking it looked exceptionally lovely! Plus, it was absolutely HUGE as the sun was setting in the evening! Loved it.


  3. Thanks Laurel – enjoy your posts – especially about the traffic planning! Are there many Pittsburghers in Dubai? We usually tend to seek each other out although I’m not quite sure about Dubai –

    Recent arrival in Al Ain (and bored to death) –
    I’ll check on your blog now and then!

    (Upper St. Clair)

    1. I think there are a few – I feel like I’ve seen them post on forums as mention as much, but I don’t know any other Pittsburghers here personally. If you’ve only recently arrived, I imagine you haven’t yet experienced the UAE in good weather; even Dubai is a total bore in the summer. Things should definitely start picking up all over in the coming weeks! Good luck!

  4. Hi Laurel,

    I would really like to use one of your Dubai pictures in a new Turkish magazine that is launching. If you could please get in touch with me as soon as possible (going to print today!) at ashleylumb@yahoo.co.uk that would be great. Thank you, Ashley

  5. Hey Laurel,
    I just stumbled onto your blog and am amazed at our similar paths. I’m an American in Abu Dhabi, also writing a blog and recently went to Istanbul (very briefly) and India, among other places. I’ll be looking at your published stories and following your blog wanted to say hello.
    PS Have you been to RAW coffee in Dubai? We went there yesterday. It’s definitely blogworthy, I’ll be writing a story about it.

    1. Hi Anne!
      Thanks for writing and I’ll definitely be checking out your blog to compare experiences!

      Nope note been to RAW coffee – I’m actually one of those weird people who don’t drink coffee!

  6. Dear lmunshower,

    My name is Joyce and I work for ExpatFinder.com.
    ExpatFinder.com is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
    We quite enjoy your blog about living in Dubai, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expat and your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
    Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
    The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
    Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.

    Best regards,

    1. Hi Joyce – I don’t see the questions, so you can email them to via the connect menu at the top of the page and once I review them I’ll let you know. Thanks, Laurel

  7. So glad I stumbled upon your blog. Really love your blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s