People will think why would I visit a place which I once lived, why not going some place new… Habibi, Dubai is that place I would never get tired, period. I have to admit that when I was pregnant, I hated Dubai with guts. I wanted to get out, I was tired and all the homesick came together and collapsed on top of me, but that was the mess of hormones talking. After I gave birth, I was so ready to jump on a plane and move back to Dubai with my little one, but life is not that easy, right? So this opportunity came up to stop in Dubai on my way back from Hanoi and I couldn’t be more excited.
When I stepped on that plane and watch the Emirates crew, I relived those moments, I knew their tasks, the call bells meaning, type of service, everything. It felt nice and proud, knowing that I used to wear that famous red hat. There’s been some minor changes regarding to the inflight service and other miscellaneous, but after flying with other major Middle Eastern airlines, I have to say and not because I used to be their crew; but sorry they are still the best.
When we landed I had so many things I wanted to do, even grocery shopping! I just wanted to do what I used to love when I was local, and relived every pinch moment, but I also knew that time was a factor. Fortunately I made this trip solo, which means no tourist interests, my own schedule and just walk around with no hesitation. I don’t mind traveling to Dubai with people who have never visited, but this time was my own little space.
One of my Emirates cabin crew friends that I still have in contact, managed to provide me his own apartment. He was on leave so decided to leave me the keys so I could use his accommodation for sleep, take a shower, eat and so on. That really helped me since I arrived at 5:00am and I was so tired! I took a beauty sleep, had a nice shower and off I went.
The first thing I did was visiting the Burj Khalifa, it’s my favorite spot to chill, eat and relax. I watched the fountain show with an arabic background music. The place was crowded, full of tourists taking pictures. Later I went inside Dubai Mall, walked and remembered how I used to do shopping in that gigantic mall. I really loved that mall and specially their closing hours. They close at 12:00am regular hours and 1:00am weekends, THAT is something I miss :D!
One of my favorite shops to have delicious desserts and hot chocolate is in Angelina. My family and husband loved this place as well. I went straight to the shop because I just wanted to seat there and have any dessert with a hot chocolate, we don’t have Angelina in Puerto Rico, so why not indulge myself once again? Angelina Tearoom is a luxurious french pastry, so is quite expensive but worth it.
Another stop I made was Starbucks but not for coffee. I collect coffee mugs and specially the “You Are Here” collection. Later, I went to see the aquarium. I wanted to take myself pictures but I forgot to bring my tripod with me, I hate asking for photos, I’m used to take my own, plus not everyone is willing to. Thinking to have one more picture, I decided then to ask someone to take me a photo… and of course she gave me a creepy look, took the photo and walked away… (geeez soorry!)
As I was walking around, everything started not to really impressed me… it felt more like visiting my second home. I saw families and couples together, eating, laughing and smiling… and then, it hit me. Dubai has a very special place in my heart, where I would love to bring my toddler and my family again for a holiday. I felt alone knowing I have a child and I could have made memories in such amazing country, take lots of photos of not me alone, but with my family. Running around with my little one or eating together. Yet, I relived when once I felt homesick, alone and wanting to show the world that I knew with my family that was miles and miles away (literally in the other side of the world).
I have such amazing, fun experiences and memories back in Dubai. But, my life has a meaning now. For some reason Dubai is that place now in which I didn’t felt comfortable traveling alone. I’ve even promise myself that next time, I’ll visit Dubai with my family. Maybe it made me remember how bittersweet it was or how lonely I was. Nevertheless, I quite enjoyed it once again, and hopefully will visit again with my baby.
Definitely reliving some things from the past is not meaningful or pleasurable anymore than doing it with the people we love. Or maybe is a motherhood thing? Can you relate?