It’s a Wild Wild World

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// Part 4 of 7 //

Off the Riviera Maya, while snorkelling in the waters of the second largest coral reef between the “butterflies of the oceans” – stingrays – I felt overwhelmed by a feeling of sadness triggered by the following thought… I realised I ❤️ all creatures except the Homo Sapiens found in my birth country: the rulers and those electing them…the greedy and corrupt as well as the ignorants and bigots who put them in power…

The maligned animals of prey hunt out of hunger, ONLY…if they were to duplicate those Homo Sapiens’ greedy and auto-destructive behaviour, many species would have been extinct by now…

South Africa

After reflection, I realised I didn’t feel that way during the previous encounters with the animals in their natural habitat…

South Africa

On the contrary, I had some of the most exhilarating experiences while scuba diving in the beautiful Great Barrier Reef 🇦🇺 ( crossed paths with a white tip shark 🦈 )

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in the Maldives 🇲🇻

and in Sharm El Sheikh 🇪🇬…

Ditto on terra firma during our safari in South Africa 🇿🇦 

as well in Madagascar’s tropical rainforest 🇲🇬

and again in the Andes mountains in Peru’s Alto Plano 🇵🇪

and lately in Costa Rica’s cloud forest 🇨🇷 …

My moodiness must have been induced by the elections taking place at the time in my birth country…this charade had affected me despite the disttance…

Wonders of the World

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// Part 3 of 7 //

As of May 2018:

63 countries

6 New Wonders of the World 🌍 out of 7

I hope it’s not a pattern; Brazil has been on top of my bucket list for so long! I don’t want to visit 7 more countries before I get to see the 7th 🤔😲🤷‍♀️

The Roman Colosseum, Italy 🇮🇹 1993

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Taj Mahal, India 🇮🇳 1998

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Petra, Jordan 🇯🇴 2001

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Great Wall of China 🇨🇳 2011

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Machu Picchu, Peru 🇵🇪 2011

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Chichen Itza, Mexico 🇲🇽 2018

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The Great Pyramid of Giza Egypt 🇪🇬 photo?

Somehow I feel it belongs… I just couldn’t rule out of my “Wonders’ List” the oldest and only vestige – remarkably quasi intact – from the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World 🗺!

You Have a Memory on That Day

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// Part 2 of 7 //

During our “US, Caribbean cruise & Mexico” trip, every time I checked my Facebook account, I was taken back to our last US trip due to the frequent “on that day” notifications. Here we are again, a year later, pulled to the other side of the world as if by a magnet.

However nothing is the same…different destinations to discover and no Facebook posts: last year some of my friends  requested to follow my trip on Facebook so I was keen to oblige and actually relished my established routine.. I usually wake up early, much earlier than the hubby, so I’d have my coffee, check my whatsapp and Facebook messages and dutifully send the mandatory replies. It was a slow and peaceful way to start the day…My friends felt they were with us and were happy about it, the hubby felt my friends were with us and he wasn’t happy about it !! He had jokingly complained “throughout the whole trip I’ve been feeling that it was me, you and your friends”🙈.

Did I miss this whole routine? Not really…I thought I’d miss the adrenaline that comes with each post and comments but strangely though I’m not.. however I’ll definitely miss having Facebook chronicled memories of our latest adventure!!!

US, Caribbean Cruise & Mexico 26 April-14 May 2018
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Saint Kitts 1 May 2018
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Saint Kitts 1 May 2018
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Saint Kitts 1 May 2018
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Saint Kitts 1 May 2018
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Saint-Martin 2 May 2018
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Saint-Martin 2 May 2018
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Sint Maarten 2 May 2018
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San Juan Purto Rico 3 May 2018
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San Juan Purto Rico 3 May 2018
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Labadee Haiti 4 My 2018

Definitely Was Meant To Be

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// Part 1 of 7//

Part of being grandparents is that you can’t pick the dates of your holidays anymore: you have to choose them according to your children’s holidays as there might be some babysitting involved…once you receive the seal of approval you can go ahead and proceed with your booking…

We followed the protocol and once we had the green light, we got the US flight tickets early on in order to secure our “dates” with the kids and to prevent any change of mind from their part. However, due to some circumstances WE had a change of mind and decided early in March to reschedule our trip and plan it for September instead of May.

However a laid back attitude from the hubby’s part led to the following situation: with only three days before we were due to start our journey as per our initial plan, he  called me with the News 😳🙈:

”Either we stick to the original dates or we go for one week only in September!”

For me it’s a no-brainer…My inner Speedy Gonzales showed up and showed off her skills😉 apologized for all the RSVPed invitations and managed a marathon suitcase packing while the male version, Speedy Sam, matched the rhythm and in the blink of an eye booked us the internal flights, the hotels  and a cruise in the Caribbean.

So throughout this journey, we had a daily ritual: a recurrent topic of conversation..We were stuck  in a state of disbelief and happy about the way everything worked out despite our initial reluctance : if Samih thought of changing the dates earlier, if he succeeded when he tried it later, if he didn’t secure our type of accommodation on the cruise ship🚢 (the last one available),we wouldn’t have been there 😳😊 !!

Definitely, this trip was meant to be, definitely 🙏🤷‍♀️…

 

 

 

Peanuts and Emeralds

This is the most romantic story I know; after so many years, it still has the same effect on me whenever I read it: silent tears, and if I’m reading it to someone else I pause towards the end, unable to continue for a few seconds, provoking an unpremeditated suspense🤷🏻‍♀

“It was in a glittering New York salon that Miss Hayes, still rather shy, met Mr. MacArthur. In her best-selling 1990 autobiography, “My Life in Three Acts,” written with Katherine Hatch, she recalled: “I picked up a glass of sherry to fit in and retreated to a secluded niche. Twenty minutes later, a good-looking fellow with curly brown hair and sparkling green eyes came over, maybe because he felt sorry for me sitting there all alone. He held out a small paper bag. ‘Wanna peanut?’ he asked. ‘Thanks,’ I said. He poured a few in my hand and said, ‘I wish they were emeralds.’ Right then and there I fell in love.”

…In 1945 (after 17 years of marriage,) returning from a sojourn in India, he dropped a sack of emeralds in her lap and said, “I wish they were peanuts.”

(From NYT).

The original love gesture, the blasé attitude with the poignancy of his remark stirred in me, when I first read this story, a mixture of emotions and a sense of overwhelming helplessness caused by a scary insidious thought: I might one day feel I wish I can be back in time…a fatal combination knowing I loath regrets and dread the feeling of not being in control of my personal life, decisions, choices…

Only recently, when looking at two pictures taken while on a cruise in San Francisco, I’ve realized my fears weren’t founded and that after all I’ve succeeded and passed the dreaded test; I don’t wish to be back in time! I see here centimeters apart, the photo of a 27 year old young woman and that of a 51 year old young woman with achievements. I’m where I want to be, I’ve a lot to be thankful for,and if I were back in time, my bucket list of the “places to see” would be mostly untouched, I would still be struggling with the children’s homework, birthday parties, orthodontists’ appointments, I wouldn’t know how my babies have turned out to be as adults…I would certainly miss the joy of having the grandkids around in my life!

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My Secret Lover

This is for all the good times I enjoyed with my secret lover. Yes, I’m admitting it now, I’ve had one for many many years..

This relationship only brought me extreme happiness and fond memories. I still remember how I used to furtively check the time while helping out the children with their homework; I’d steal a glance at my watch longing for our daily dates then I’d rush quickly – literally running outside 🏃‍♀ – in anticipation of the strong emotions I’d feel whenever I feast my eyes 👀 on my lover …and because being one minute late meant I’d be stood up!!

I didn’t mind this zero tolerance stance because of the flexibility I was allowed: my love never missed a date, followed me everywhere even to Lebanon 🇱🇧and didn’t mind if I was too busy to show up !

The other thing I enjoyed about my : I could be myself, I didn’t have to dress up 👗for our daily date…casual outfit, no salon visit 💅

How convenient is that!😊

How did I manage to keep this relationship going on for so long? Honestly it wasn’t arduous despite my ‘s dynamic schedule (a fluctuation range of one and a half hour plus or minus ) for I was fortunate we lived conveniently near the Corniche so I cleverly timed my routine jog according to our daily dates 😉

Our relationship came to an abrupt halt when we relocated to a new house, quite distant from the Corniche…just like that 🤷🏻‍♀️

For all those waiting for me to reveal the identity of my secret lover, sorry to disappoint, no juicy info : it’s the Sun right before it sets…

Well it must be something really out of this world to be able to compete with my hombre

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Awan Egypt 2016

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Phnom Bakheng Siem Reap Cambodia 2003

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U Bien Bridge Amarapura Myanmar 2005

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South Africa 2009

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Madagascar 2009

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Bali Indonesia 2012

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Ibiza Balearic Islands Spain 2015

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Aswan Egypt 2016

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Hawai USA 2017

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Athens Greece 2018

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Lebanon 2018