I am off from work today, which is very rare. It's Saturday and I woke up at 11:30, another rarity. My best friend's weedding starts at 3:30 so I am enjoying my free time just doing nothing at home.
As I am having tea in the kitchen I look at my fridge and some magnetic panels on the wall and see a few hundred magnets from different places that my family and I have been to. Every magnet brings me back to the place where it was bought. I start thinking bout Dubai, Prague, London, and many other places that I have been to. I start thinking about how much I love to travel and quickly check prices for Rio in January.
I also start thinking about why I travel. Why everyone should travel. Everytime I visit a new place it brings a new dimension to my personality. I like social interactions with foreigners, even though I often feel more comfotable with Russians and Americans, I like to observe attitude and work ethic, as well as appearance. As I am an etrepreneur I always look for different ideas that I can use in my own business. I always like to visit museums and other famous sights wherever I am. I'd like to say that I do so for their cultural value but it's mostly for the check mark to know that I have been there seen that.
Many places that I have been to are very unique and I don't have a favorite since it's hard to compare rural Thailand with modern Las Vegas. Here are some thoughts on a few places that I have been to:
Dubai - I visited during the Summer of 2006. This was the time of war between Israel and Lebanon and I was concerned about going to a Muslim country. However, once there I never felt so loved as I did in Dubai. I was able to book Burj-Al-Arab, world's only seven star resort, for only $600 by using my travel agent discount. Our room was a 2 story luxury condo with anything that you can imagine, including a 24 hour concierge assigned to our floor. Even though there were only 4 of us travelng the room could have easily accomodated 20. We had an office, a dining room, a living room, a bedroom, a master bathroom with a whirlpool, and a guest bathroom. We ate exotic fruit and read the NY Daily News and NY Post. We decided to go down the beach where we each had personal cabana boys who constantly brought cold water, in various forms such as sprays, towels, and bottles; this helps to deal with temperatures that range from 95-140F depending on the time of the day. The water was very clear, still, and peaceful despite of my idea that it would be polluted with crude.
We took a city tour and learned that Dubai is a new city and about 50 years ago it was nothing but a desert with minor fishing trade. Wa saw massive sky scrapers as well as the world tallest building. However, nothing compares to Mall of the Emirates, an enormous shopping facility with a movie theatre, amusement park, bars, restaurants, designer boutiques, and of course the world's famous indoor mountain skiing facility.