Age is just a number. This old-cliche was exemplified by Sridhar in a classy way as he traveled outside India for the first time and that too on a solo trip to Dubai. Read the enlightening account of what is merely not a vacation, but an affirmation to the spirit of traveling that is boundless. His trip cost him a total of INR 48,500 which included flights, accommodation, transfers, sightseeing, and meals.
Initially, I was a bit hesitant about traveling abroad all by myself, since I had never been outside India. However, my enthusiastic daughter and son convinced me to enjoy my retirement to the fullest. My daughter researched extensively on the internet and told me about TravelTriangle and how it was a good option for the kind of a vacation I was looking for.
TravelTriangle provided an option in which travelers could customize their itinerary according to their needs. We submitted a query with TravelTriangle and got a call from their travel representative. Areeb understood my requirements and connected me to various travel agents providing me multiple offers for the same itinerary. I selected the best deal given by ‘View Holiday Trip’ agency.
Thanks to the rigorous efforts of my daughter, I was ready to fly off on my first ever international vacation. It came a bit later than I would’ve expected, but eventually I was excited to see it finally happen.
Day 1: The beginning of an adventure
An overwhelming feeling of pride and achievement engulfed me as I stepped onto my flight in Mumbai. I arrived in Dubai at 11 am. After clearing the immigration checks I found the driver assigned to me waiting to receive and take me to the hotel. I checked into the hotel at 1 pm, and proceeded for lunch.
From the moment I had stepped out of the airport, my mind had started comparing Dubai with India. One thing which was noticeably different was the fact that every single person followed the rules and laws to the letter. Be it on the airport, or while driving a car, or inside the hotel, there’s a lot we Indians could learn from them.
After resting for a few hours, a cab came in the evening to pick me for the Dhow Cruise. I boarded the traditional Arabian boat at 8 pm. There was a pleasant breeze blowing which welcomed me onto the deck, accompanied with some local dance and music shows. Following the shows, I had dinner and the Dhow Cruise ended at 10 pm. I was dropped back at the hotel via taxi and I retired for the night.
Day 2: Exploring the stunning city of Dubai
The next morning, I had breakfast and got ready for Dubai city tour. The cab was present at the hotel to begin the tour at 9 am. The driver started the tour by showing me some of the tallest and modern skyscrapers of Dubai which left me stunned.
Next up, we visited the Dubai Museum. Located inside a fort, I had a great time at the Museum and took a glimpse into Dubai’s history. It was impressive how authentic they kept the experience for visiting tourists.
Post lunch, we drove by another man-made wonder in Dubai- Palm Jumeirah. The incredible beauty of the place lays in how the island is made in shape of a Palm Tree, which is a symbol of the desert. The tour got over at 5 pm, after which I returned to the hotel and rested for the night.
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Day 3: Conquering sand dunes
The conventional advice for a first time international solo traveler is to take baby steps and gradually acclimatize into the solo trip experience. Whereas for me, surprisingly, it all came pretty natural. After breakfast, I explored a mall near my hotel for a while.
Post lunch, a car came to take me to the Desert Safari tour at 3 pm. I indulged in dune bashing wherein the car first drove outside the city, and then hit off-road, piercing through the beautiful sandy dunes. The vast enormity of the Sahara Desert was an incredible sight to see. We stopped somewhere in the desert for a chance to see a beautiful sunset.
After the sunset, we were treated with local dance performances and an early dinner. I really enjoyed the adventurous experience in the desert. At 8 pm, I proceeded back to the hotel and called it a night.
Day 4: Tallest building in the world!
The next day, I woke up late and had brunch at the hotel. As there was nothing scheduled for the afternoon, I decided to visit the local Gold Souk market and Dubai Mall to do some shopping. After lunch, I came to the hotel and got ready to visit Burj Khalifa. At 4 pm, I arrived outside the Burj Khalifa.
The greatest human structure I had ever seen was standing in front of me tall and strong as a rock. I went up the elevator to the 124th floor to enjoy panoramic views of Dubai. The view atop the tallest building in the world was unforgettable.
Later at night, I enjoyed the incredible Musical Fountain Show before the Burj Khalifa. It was beautifully choreographed and left every on-looker stunned. At 9 pm, I returned to the hotel to sleep.
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Day 5: Cherishing a memorable trip
Alas, the final day of my journey had arrived. After having breakfast, I packed my bags and then proceeded to utilize the hotel facilities for the afternoon. I checked out at 4 pm and the taxi dropped me at the airport for my evening flight back to Mumbai.
As I sat in the airport lounge waiting to board the flight, I looked back on an incredible journey I took breaking barriers, stereotypes, and reservations. Travel has been an integral part of my life right since my childhood. I also wanted to set an example for my family and other people who like to travel, that they should’t let age or any other barrier hinder them from traveling.
- People in Dubai were nice and very helpful.
- It was a bit hard managing food as a vegetarian. Arrangements could’ve been better.
Tips to Travelers:
- Take part in a Desert Safari tour and you won’t be disappointed.
Experience the modern wonder that is Dubai. Book yourself a trip to Dubai and see endless possibilities!
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