International Women’s Day

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Interview with Ms. Gina Dillon

We start our series of Interviews for International Women’s Day with the founder of the blog The Abu Dhabi PTA

Name: Gina Dillon

Nationality: USA

Occupation: Writer, social innovator, and change maker.

Tell us a bit about yourself…
I am married to an incredibly smart and witty guy who is my perfect life partner. I have two boys who were born 20 years apart. I have two dogs and I have a soft spot for animals. I am a very curious person and I am always looking for new interests, new people and a new way to see the world.

What is the driving force behind everything you do…what keeps you motivated
& driven on a daily basis?
The motivation behind everything I do is to create some sort of meaningful change. I have a Masters in Critical & Creative Thinking; that’s my academic background. But for me, it is an innate thing. I cannot stop thinking of ways to make life better. I have been doing this since I was a little girl. I only earned the degree to provide legitimacy if I ever needed it.

Who do you look up to?
Thinkers, creators, people who inspire me, motivate me, and intrigue me.
These people typically come from all walks of life. I love progressive thinkers, people who provide insight to things I struggle to understand, make me laugh, make me change my opinion, and make me happy to be sharing the planet with them.

Who are your ideal female ‘icons’?
One of my icons is definitely Lucille Ball because I love funny women. I come
from a long line of funny women. You have to be comfortable in your own skin
in order to be a funny woman. I love women who aren’t afraid to laugh out
loud. It sounds like a small thing but have you ever noticed women are afraid
they will snort when they laugh? I hate to quote Frozen because I am the only
person on the planet that hates Frozen, but seriously — let it go. Ladies, please
just bust out a laugh without covering your mouth!

With so many things happening around you, sometimes it will be necessary to
take a break. How do you relax and pamper yourself?
I don’t really pamper myself. I don’t know if it is an American thing or a
personal thing but I feel guilty if I am not doing something productive. I am one
of those people who processes an enormous amount of information and I am
always observing my environment so it makes it difficult to find a place within
to rest. I feel like I am always on.

You are the founder of theabudhabipta.com, an online platform from which you
show your particular and humoristic view about life in the UAE, as well as your
adventures around Abu Dhabi. What inspired you to open the blog?
I arrived in the UAE with an enormous amount of misinformation courtesy of the American news channels — not that I ever believed it all but was pleasantly surprised when I realized that vision wasn’t correct!

One day I was bored sitting in a hotel waiting on our shipment to arrive, I had no friends, and I was trying to read up on Abu Dhabi to better educate myself. I ran across an article produced by Twofour54 and something clicked with me. I realized I had the power to make a difference in how Americans view the Middle East and I felt compelled to use my storytelling skills to make a change. I believe humor is a very powerful tool to use to teach people to see situations differently. It is non-intrusive, it allows people to process at their own pace, and it isn’t preachy. So I started spinning my observations into mini stories and rhymes.

To be honest, I am always amazed that people bother to read my stuff but of course I love it when expats say they can relate and when Americans say it has changed how they perceive the Middle East. Ultimately, that’s the goal — bringing people together and teaching them a better way to see the world.

As part of the International Women’s Day celebrations, Zen the spa is offering you 15% off on all treatments booked and redeemed on that same day. Don’t keep postponing your well-deserved break and #MakeItHappen.

The opinions expressed in the above interview represent the individual’s personal or professional opinions and do not represent or reflect the position of Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi.

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