Why is this travel so special for me?
The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it – Richard Bach.Clueless at first, I traveled a long way to enjoy that lovely moment!
It started in the Southern part of India, when I was on my way to Manipal University, Karnataka to complete my graduation studies. It was June 2008 when I landed in the beautiful green city of Manipal, which is often described as the Harvard of India and discovered that I would be set up at the 13th block; girls hostel. Manipal had quite a few hotels for students but I was intrigued with the thought of staying at 13th block. To be honest, this had nothing to do with what I’d heard from my fellow mates but more for that boy I liked, (now my fiancé) who lived right besides our block (the 14th block; boys hostel). He is from Kolkata, but lives in Dubai. With not much knowledge of what Dubai is and what is the city famous for, I gradually developed interest to know the city because my fiancé belonged from there and someday, I thought I would live there too.
During one of our long night-talks, he told me everything about this Arabian city. For those who don’t know, Dubai is an ultramodern city known for its luxurious shopping lifestyle in its humongous malls, delicious Arabic food, and of course for its culture, entertainment, including the intriguing belly dancing. I have been yearning to visit the city and who knew that day would be right around the corner…..
On my marks! Got set! Left!
Finally, in the winters of 2014, I decided to visit Dubai. It was the best time to visit the city, although I feel, Dubai can only experience two seasons: hot and hotter! Very enthusiastically, I enjoyed packing every piece of my garments and placed them neatly into my bags. In yet another pursuit of wanderlust, I headed out of the door on my own. I wanted to travel solo and I could. I was traveling for my love, and my love for belly dancing.
As people say, an unforgettable travel experience is when you know that you are not traveling alone; your loved one is always besides you. It was my fiancé’s 25th birthday and it was the perfect time to sprawl out and explore Dubai; to take advantage of the Emirate’s desirable weather.
In Dubai with the love of my life
Romance at the Dhow Cruise
Situated at the Creek area of Dubai, this experience was the magnificent sophistication of 21st century with the simplicity of a bygone era. This totally epitomized the city’s personality. A combination of heartwarming welcome with a pinch of Bedouin tradition, we definitely enjoyed an unforgettable evening. The cruise was built of authentic wooden floor, where they served us Kahweh (the Arabic coffee) followed with the sumptuous buffet dinner.
For the entertainment, a performance by some of the talented Arabian men completely blew our minds away. The dance form was called the‘Tanoura’ dance where men were dressed in a long colorful skirt that made a beautiful image when they swirled around in circles. Keeping their balance intact, they managed to do various impressions and art forms just with their “skirt” which was mesmerizing and cannot be explained in words. One has to see it with their eyes to appreciate it.
An Arabian man performing the Tanoura dance
Got hooked to belly dancing
When one thinks of Dubai, they can only relate the city with fabulous belly dancers or maybe at times, the delicious shawarmas available at the Sheikh Zaid road. For me, it was the dancers. Dubai is famous for its overnight desert Safaris, which is a wonderful experience and one must definitely add this to their travel list. These destinations are mostly considered to be the world’s renowned deserts that have great attraction of visitors.
Visiting the deserts of Dubai was our only chance to see the Arabian Desert culture and the tremendous popularity of belly dancing. So, we hopped on and left for Dubai’s Overnight Desert Safari. Although the safari included other activities such as Dune Bashing, Camel Riding, Sand Boarding, Heena painting and so on, it was lovely to watch the belly dance show – which is a torso-driven dance form with emphasis on the articulations of hips. For almost an hour, the dancers had enlightened the environment with their fluid movements, shimmies, shivers and vibrations to best effect. I’d say this was a perfect end to our escapade amidst the sands of Dubai.
Since then, the idea of learning how to belly dance fascinated me. Today, I’m learning how to dance from a troupe of belly dancers in India, hoping that someday I would perform in the deserts of this Arabian beauty too.
So, what makes a travel experience so special for you and why?