It’s fitting that today is International Women’s Day.

Jen and Karen Dubai

My #DubaiMoms partners in fun

I just spent three days with two amazing women after eight months of 24/7 international travel with just my guys.

My friend Jen and my new buddy Karen met me in Dubai. For four days and three nights we laughed and questioned and spa’d and shared our experiences as moms and women.

It’s something I would have taken for granted a few months ago.

Girlfriends are a-plenty in my normal Toronto life. I meet them for lunch and drinks. I have them over for dinners and catch up with them at my kids’ various classes or on our front porches.  I’ve enjoyed it but chatting with female friends has never been something I thought I needed.

Until this trip.

I love my sons and my husband is without a doubt my best friend but what I’ve realized is that estrogen needs estrogen. We women analyze things differently, we talk differently, we laugh over different things. We often carry the weight of the world on our shoulders but much of it is self-imposed and when we need to be talked off of a ledge it’s usually another woman who can do it best.

And when you don’t have that for a while, getting it is like water in the desert.

sand sun dubai

Sand, sun and fun in Dubai

I’ve been lucky on this trip to get it a few times.

Divya and Shruti at the Four Seasons in Mumbai were fabulous.

Chatting with my Canadian pal Lynn in Dubai? Incredible.

I’ve Skyped and chatted with my girls back home too. They’ve roped me into parties and had me into their homes and each time I end the conversation in fits of laughter.

And  having a bit of home fly in to Dubai to share a bit of my world? Amazing.

High Tea at the Ritz Carlton in Dubai

High Tea at the Ritz Carlton in Dubai

We raised our pinkies over High Tea at the Ritz Carlton,  had our kinks rubbed out at the Park Hyatt Dubai (and again at the Ritz!), sipped wine on the shores of the Gulf, surfed the sands in the desert on a Knight Tours excursion. (visit #dubaimoms on twitter to see what you missed)

We ate a lot of hummus and falafel and still found time to squeeze in leisurely lunches, glasses of bubbly and late night chats at the gorgeous Pullman hotel.

And for a few days I remembered what home is like and how much I miss my girls and how much I believe in what I’m doing.

So today I’m raising a glass to all of  the ladies in my life:

*my beautiful mother who always has my back

* my Toronto Star sister from another mister

*my sisters in law and sisters to be

* the ones I’ve known since elementary school

*the ones who listened to the whining through my law firm days

* the JA gone London cuz

* the always supportive twitter crew.

I’m so proud and lucky to know you all.

Happy International Women’s Day everyone.