Alexis M Spencer


Alexis M Spencer

I was an engineer on a long term assignment, first in Dubai and then in Qatar. During this time, I took advantage of my nice paycheck and proximity to other places to start seeing the world. After three years, I decided to take a much earned break and traveled for a year. After working about two years in New York State, I am on my way back to Dubai.

Africa » Seychelles » Cerf Island December 3rd 2018

For a four day holiday weekend in Dubai (celebrating commemoration day and National Day on Dec 2nd), I decided to take a break and do something fun. While I love the Christmas markets in Europe, I wanted to go somewhere close and somewhere new. I considered Cyprus, Greece, but finally settled on Seychelles. I am happy with my decision. For most, particularly in this region, Seychelles means a resort on white sandy beaches, fruity drinks while sunbathing, and without a care in the world. I wanted this too, but I also wanted to experience the culture of a new country. Cerf Island Marine Resort seemed to meet all of my requirements, so I booked. The resort had someone, Ron, meet me at the airport where he drove me to Eden Island to catch a boat. From ... read more
View of St Anne Marine Reserve
View of sunset from my room
My room

Europe » Netherlands » South Holland » The Hague November 3rd 2018

I woke up fairly early on my last day in Amsterdam. I hoped to get a small breakfast from the hotel restaurant but it was either all you can eat for 25 euros or nada. Instead, I went out for a little walk along the canals and cute streets, looking for a nice little shop to get a little food. It was a nice stroll, and I enjoyed seeing the buildings that had settled, tilted or cracked significantly. It was something we had all discussed a bit, curious as to why we didn't see many. But I think if you looked closely, you could. It is still amazing as many of these buildings are very old, built on timber piles that penetrate only into the first sand layer. I also enjoyed seeing the city workers cleaning ... read more
Royal Palace
Oliebollen stall

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam November 2nd 2018

After leaving my friends, I took a train to Amsterdam Centraal. With my heavy bags, I just took a taxi to my hotel in Westerpark. The Conscious Hotel was our designated accommodation for the training, even though the training itself was held at other locations. This is yet another modern hotel, but placed in a former factory in a beautiful park. So the location was nice, but kind of far away from everything. Check in was similar to my first night, where we had to do it ourselves. But my room was ready and it was huge. And freezing. Someone had left the window open and it didn't warm up until well after I went to bed.... I was able to take a nap and a quick shower before meeting our group at a nearby restaurant, ... read more
Breakfast at the Conscious Hotel
Conscious Hotel
REM Eiland

Europe » Netherlands » South Holland » Leiden October 28th 2018

The next morning, I was planning to meet my friends. I first had breakfast of bread and strawberries before packing up to go. Getting to Leiden from my hotel in Rotterdam was beyond easy - the Rotterdam Blaak train station was just steps from the hotel and went directly to the Leiden Centraal station in about 40 minutes. My friend and their oldest daughter picked me up and drove me home. I had worked with the couple in Qatar, but in the last three years, they had had two kids and bought a home. What have I done again...? So, the grandparents came to pick up the kids to watch for the day while my friends and I rode bikes into town. On the way, it was cold, rainy, and a bit windy, but the day ... read more
Leiden windmill
On our way to Leiden - the Dutch way
Nordwijk dunes

Europe » Netherlands » South Holland » Rotterdam October 26th 2018

I had training for work in Amsterdam at the end of October, so I decided to leave a few days early to see the Netherlands and visit with friends. After a quick of the area, I decided to stay my first night in Rotterdam. Of course, I got business class on my morning flight from Dubai. Many friends had told me how easy the trains were here, and after a few minutes of figuring it out, they were right. I arrived at Schipol, went through customs with little wait, and got my checked bag. After walking out into the waiting area, I looked for signs for the train and found a site map nearby. At first, getting tickets was a little confusing and the station information (that I saw) was in Dutch, but I was able ... read more
Rotterdam waterside restaurants
Cube Houses
Top level of cube house

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai September 5th 2018

Since I got back from Singapore, I threw myself into my work. Well, mostly. I'm still catching up. But since many of my geologists are on annual leave and the rest are mostly in the field, I had to do a lot of the day-to-day tasks on my own. So, I definitely got caught up on a lot of the technical things pretty quickly! I have neglected my blog, which is somewhat unusual, and the only excuse I have is - I feel like I am at home. So, nothing too exciting or noteworthy has happened, at least to me or out of the norm. But I guess a lot has happened, so I will try to stay more on top of it. And today I made a pact with myself to continue my tradition of ... read more
Fancy cars at Dubai Mall
Toko dinner

Asia » Singapore August 25th 2018

My last day in Singapore. I have to say, I was so impressed with this beautiful city. So, while I enjoyed sleeping in and taking my time to pack and get ready, I also wanted to get in a last glimpse of culture before I left. I also needed to make sure that I used my hop-on, hop-off pass before 2:30 pm. Malay Neighborhood So after checking out and storing my luggage, I got on the bus to head towards the Malaysian area of town. Chinatown and Little India are more well known, but I was interested in the Malay area. Once I got off the bus, I got just a little lost before I realized the majority of the sight-seeing part of the Malaysia area were tucked well into the neighborhood. I soon saw the ... read more
Mural at Malay Heritage Garden
Sultan Mosque
Chicken rice

Asia » Singapore » Chinatown August 24th 2018

After a good lounge breakfast, I made my way to the bus stop across from my hotel, ready to head down to Chinatown. While waiting at the bench, I heard three loud cracks of thunder. Awesome. And I was smart by sitting on the bottom level of the open top bus- a few minutes after boarding, a few women came running down. Loved it! Good start to the day. The bus let me off right across from the Smith Street Food Center of Chinatown. It was still early at this time, around 11am, so most of the stalls / restaurants were just getting started. I walked down the street to see if anything looked particularly interesting, but in the end, I wound up in the restaurant of a girl who was forward, but friendly. It was ... read more
Chinatown - architecture is beautiful
Singapore zoo

Asia » Singapore » Raffles Marina August 23rd 2018

I slept in a little later than I had planned, but I think I needed it to do what I had planned for the day. I got my included breakfast, just a lite bite for me: two strips of bacon, a salmon mini-quiche, and fruit. Little did I know I would not eat again until 3pm!! Once I put all my stuff in my purse that could fit, including the provided phone from the hotel (really!), I made my way down to Marina Square Mall and across the street. It was only just after 9 am, but it was already a humid hot. Gardens by the Bay The walk itself was quite pleasant, along the bay, over the helix bridge and along the promenade. I bought a combined ticket to see the Cloud Forest and Flower ... read more
Cloud Forest waterfall
Flower Dome - sunflowers!
Super Tree Grove

Asia » Singapore » Raffles Marina August 22nd 2018

My flight left Dubai at 2:30 am. I don't know why, but I was a bit nervous about my first trip. I mean, this used to be second nature to my living here before, so why was I nervous? I don't know, but it all went smoothly. Because of my new credit card, I was able to enjoy lounge access, despite traveling in economy and still needing to build up my miles. So, I got a light, very late dinner (I didn't eat much during the day) and a glass of wine while I waited. I read my book (Crazy Rich Asians) to prepare me for my trip! The flight was also pretty smooth. It was not full, a 777 on its way to Brisbane with a stopover in Singapore. I was one of the few ... read more
Coconut ice cream
View of hotel lobby
Street food center on esplanade

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