Saturday, May 16, 2015

DESTINATION DESIGN: AN INTERNATIONAL ADVENTURE



One of items on my list of goals to complete in 2015 was to travel more. I have always been fascinated with world history and culture. What better way to learn more about a society and its people than to travel and experience it first hand? When I met my husband 17 years ago, we instantly connected on our love for travel, adventure and global cultures.

Last December, we were on the NJ Turnpike heading to my mother’s house for the kids’ winter break. I was in the front seat scrolling through Facebook on my phone, while Musaa sat beside me, tired from work, but driving with eyes focused on the road nonetheless. We were about 2 hours in to our annual trip.  All 5 kids were in the back, either reading, sleeping on watching movies when I came across a Facebook post about airline tickets to Dubai. I clicked on the link and to my surprise there was an amazing deal being offered by Etihad Airways.  Under $400 round trip to Dubai?! Um yes please!  I’ll take 2!  And just like that we were booked for an adventure in the desert.

I was filled with a mixture of emotions as the date of our trip got closer.  Yes I was excited, but I was also a little nervous.  This would be my first trip to the Middle East and our first time spending such a long amount of time away from the kids.  How would the kids fare without us? As much as I lament about the duties of being a mom of 5, I would honestly miss them.   From encouraging Saleh at swim practice and watching Sajayah create masterpieces out of cardboard, to Zaria’s infectious smile and Samori’s seemingly endless bursts of energy to even Jasirah’s teenage mood swings…Yes I would miss it all.   However, I was also so excited.  For years we have talked about visiting the UAE. At one point we even contemplated relocating there.  But as our lives became fuller here in the states, the idea of relocating or even visiting the Middle East was pushed onto the back burner and labeled “maybe one day.”

Now finally we would be able to visit a places we’d long spoken of.  We left the kids in the care of my parents who are absolutely amazing.  Without hesitation they volunteered to watch the kids while we were away. It puts my heart at ease knowing that the kids are with my parents who dote on them but also know when to tighten the reigns so to speak.  They have always provided such a loving, balanced environment for the kids when we visit.  I am forever grateful for my parents.

The kids at my mom's house right before we left for the airport
After lots of big hugs, kisses, and “ I’m going to miss yous,” we headed to the airport.  My best friend Jannah and her husband Jamal are making the trip with us.  I can’t think of better people to embark on this journey with.  
I am so grateful to the Most High for continuing to allow me to experience opportunities  I’d dreamed of and some I didn’t even know I wanted. I’ll be sharing lots of photos of our journey so I’m apologizing in advance for flooding your social media timelines.  I’m looking forward to relaxation, adventure,  fun, sun (I know there will be lots of that), culture, and exploration.  Stay tuned. These next few posts entitled “Destination: Design”  will document  my experiences on this trip.
Trays up and ready for take off!

 You can follow me on Instagram for even more photos and the daily happenings of our trip.  Hope to see you there.  Wheels Up!