By Jigna Tanna
Contributory Author for Spark Igniting Minds
A warm hi to all my wanderlust readers. I was super excited when I sat down to write this article on travel, which is straight out of my heart and is laden with my experiences.
I have always been wanderlust at mind, heart, and soul since childhood. My father had always imbibed a powerful reading culture in my family. So rather than playing with dolls and toys, I spent my time reading books. While reading all the stories of Nancy Drew, Famous five, Arabian nights, Wizard of Oz, other mythologies, the inquisitiveness in my mind to travel to new exotic locations and learn about their rich heritage and culture started creeping in every cell of my thoughts. From 5th grade onwards I started my independent journey with friends on long school trips and graduated to weekend trips in India. Gradually when I grew up, instead of spending money on jewelry and other knick-knacks I started traveling internationally. And oh boy! How I enjoy those travels to this date!
With each passing day and trips, the wanderlust in me awakened and rose in me with full throttle and pushed me to travel more. You know when we step into this enchanting world on being a wanderlust, we gather the quest to learn more and more, and each and every moment of our wanderlust helps us in changing our perspective towards life completely. It doesn’t matter, where we are heading towards, if it may be a warm sunny holiday on a sun-soaked beach, or maybe laying our feet on hot burning sands of a desert to a vibrant colored city or the coldest of ice lands on the North Pole. All that has to matter is the joy, the cultural ethnic feel, serendipity, and the transcendence of the place we are set to imprint.
Last year I traveled to Dubai for the 2nd time. This 2nd trip of mine was more relaxed, though it was a leisure plus work trip. This time I got an opportunity to enjoy every nuance of Dubai. From the first moment itself, I realized the stark contrast in the cultural diversity on landing at the Dubai International Airport. On one side was the immensely deep, hot sand desert and on the other side was the ultra-chic modern city with spectacular high rises trying to kiss the stratocumulus clouds and the buzzing humdrum of bustling life in the Persian Gulf coast undergoing crazy whirlpool traffic interchanges, roads, and streets planted with wood wakens, mundane crowds going to and fro.
My stay at the beautiful Grosvenor House Hotels and Apartments was filled with comfort and luxury. My itinerary started with shopping at the eye-dazzling Gold Souk. I was completely mesmerized by the bright iris blinding golden rays at the Gold Souk. What followed was shopping at the humongous huge Mall of Dubai and the Mall of Marina. At the end of the day, my feet killed me with overexertion of walking for almost 7 kilometers. Practically I dropped dead. The next day began with lots of intrigue for the fascinating place of high-speed trains, fast-paced cars of the latest make, bustling activities on the desert, the co-existence of diverse people blending together for survival, the aroma of exotic local food and the sumptuous deserts peppered with delicious juicy dates, the rich sugar-laden baklavas, the drive on the scenic Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed road, my heartwarming burkha clad visit at the uniquely designed Trampoline Mosque at Bay Avenue, cord biking and desert safari amidst the vast sand dunes, the belly dance and eagle show, and the other attractions! Oh! What a soulful experience!
On the second day, I had visited the magnificent Burj Khalifa late in the afternoon due to work commitments. In spite of suffering from vertigo, I enjoyed a bird’s eye view of the stunningly lit Dubai from Burj Khalifa. The sinful evening at its spa was the ultimate hit out for me.
Sitting in the miniature pool on the 64th-floor spa at Burj Khalifa and sipping bubbling sparkling champagne was like a fairy tale luxury any human could ask for. What followed was a lavish French dinner at the Armani’s fine-dine at the lower level of the magnificent building, while viewing the criss-cross lighted fountain show which was drumming with melodious Arabic tunes. Simple, chic, soothing luxury to the soul and palette! What more can I describe!
The next day began with a city tour at Abu Dhabi, tearing through the unimaginable grandeur of the palace of the king of Abu Dhabi, the bright white and gold-encrusted Sheikh Zayed mosque, the scenic parks laden with woodwakens, cluttered and famous date markets, walkthrough the Heritage Village, thrilling joy rides at the Ferrari World et al.
Late in the evening, I went on a dinner cruise at Grosvenor House, one of the elitist places of Dubai. The luxury cruise liner veered through the canals among complete glass tinted skyrises. I plunged into The Buddha Bar, the most happening pub in Dubai. I completely transcended into the awesome food, décor, and music. Post-midnight I dropped into the busiest area of Dubai, the Jumeriah Beach Walk. Completely, inch to inch filled with innumerable cabbanas hosting international cuisine hotels, fine dines, sheesha bars, coffee shops. It was exhilaratingly euphoric. The buzzing energy till the wee hours of the morning can turn any normal human insane.
What a memorable trip! I can still feel and smell the entire journey. Now I’m waiting desperately to pack up for another soul rendering trip, maybe to Greece or Alaska.
So, how many of you who are reading my article can resonate with my wanderlust emotions? How many of you are just dying to go on an exciting adventurous trip? NOW? How many of you have made a wanderlust bucket list of what exotic location of the hemisphere you want to experience in the coming 2 years?
About the Author
Jigna Tanna is an author, a performance strategist, and a change catalyst. She is a construction entrepreneur, Tedx Speaker, and one of the most sought after celebrity performance strategists. She is a powerful influencer and her success mantra is: "Life is not about discovering yourself, it is about creating yourself."