Beginning of this year, three of my colleagues flew to Thailand and had a ball. They partied, relaxed, had lots of fun, cheap shopping and some other things that I must not say online. In short, they had a great time and came back refreshed. That was when I decided to take a break from my crazy professional life and go on a vacation as well.
Ideally, I would have loved to go to Thailand, but given its repute for cheap sex and booze, I got a big NO from my family and fiance. I couldn’t afford to fly to Americas or Europe – I only have a week off and limited funds. After some serious brain storming, pros & cons and SWOT analysis, I decided on Dubai.
It’s practically next door. My sister is currently in Abu Dhabi. It cannot cost me more than a 100 grand (or so I thought). It is known to be a safe place and my parents weren’t skeptical about it. So, Dubai it is.
Companion – Who Needs One?
Initially, I wanted to join a tour group. As soon as I floated the idea amongst my peers, I got many gruesome and scary reviews. I had no desire to be a victim of such criminal incidents, so I went for Plan B – Friends.
My best friend did not get permission and had some other financial obligations to take care of. Other than her, I couldn’t think up of anyone I really wanted to go with. I asked friends at work and surprisingly, some of them were actually interested! Many were interested, few took it seriously and only one got permission! But even that couldn’t work out as she is my boss’ secondary wingman (myself being primary). If her and I both took off together, it would create serious problems at work that neither of us were looking forward to.
Eventually, she pushed her vacation plan forward to end of the year (new year to be exact) and I continued to drag my whimsical plan forward.
Fortunately, my sister announced around the same time that she has to go to Abu Dhabi for work-related matter. I jumped at the opportunity and insisted to tag along. And guess what? Everyone Agreed! *wohooo*
The catch in this whole plan was that while my sister had to stay in Abu Dhabi, I wanted to experience high-life of Dubai. But as the two are merely 2 hours drive away, it didn’t create the ruckus I had expected.
The very last problem – who was I to hang out with? I have a few distant friends in Dubai but they are too distant to have fun with. My secret group of ladies suggested I signup with Meetup & InterNations. What brilliant idea it was! InterNations didn’t work out for me but Meetup looks like a blockbuster hit. It is basically a forum that allows people with similar interests to meet socially, make friends and have a good time. And as Dubai invites tourists and expats from all around the world, this idea is well established in Dubai’s cosmopolitan society.
And thanks to Meetup, I will be out and about from the minute I land!
Now that everything is in place, I had to get started with my preps. Visa, tickets, accomodation, luggage, clothes, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, toiletires *head spins around* I have about a million things to get done! And as I am flying day after tomorrow, I have almost half of them taken care of already. Details, however, will be coming up tomorrow. Its 2:30 AM and I must go to bed. As I said, half a million things are still left undone, and I must rise early!