The World 🌍 🌎 Seen From …

Exploring the world 🌍 🌎from different perspectives, be it:

riding

1️⃣a donkey while in Tenerife, Canary Islands 🇮🇨 – July1985

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2️⃣an elephant in Chiang Mai, Thailand 🇹🇭 – November 2007

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3️⃣a camel in Norita campsite, Uzbekistan 🇺🇿 May 2008

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sitting in:

4️⃣a carriage in Fontainebleau, France 🇫🇷 1986

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5️⃣a rickshaw in Vietnam 🇻🇳 March 2001

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6️⃣an ox cart in Madagascar 🇲🇬 May 2009

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7️⃣diving underwater in the Maldives 🇲🇻 July 2012

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8️⃣climbing up mountains in Bhutan 🇧🇹 October 2016

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or

9️⃣rising higher up above in a hot air balloon in Luxor, Egypt 🇪🇬 December 2016

Are You a Massage Lover?

There are two different types of people: the massage lovers and the others. I belong to the first group and admit having tried almost every kind of massage one might have heard of…yes, wherever my wanderlust bug took me I thrived to indulge in my favorite pastime.

While the “Razzie award” belongs to the Inca massage in Agua Calientes, Peru (it triggered pain in my neck i.e. Brufen was my best friend for quite a few days 🤷🏻‍♀️), some of the best experiences were in :

-Siem Reap, Cambodia: advertised as “massage by blinds”, all the employees in this center were professionally trained visually impaired masseurs and masseuses.

-Sri Lanka : Ayurveda treatments; and the star of them all, the Shirodhara – oil dripping technique.

-Bali: yummy treat(ments) i.e. coffee scrubs, chocolate massages…

-Maldives: the outdoor picture perfect spectacular setting

-China: relieved me from a chronic back pain in only one session…like magic!

-Thailand: the 2-hour body massage felt like seconds 😳😲

-Madagascar: much needed pampering between hikes

-Costa Rica : excellent “surround sound system” reaching us from the surrounding raiforest🌳…chirping birds, cascading waterfall… live, no CD.

However, the one treatment that left me with the strongest impact was closer to home…Yes, here in Abu Dhabi where I enjoy an established yet dynamic routine.

Honestly, I went to the spa at the Emirates Palace out of curiosity…understandably, it’s the most luxurious spa I’ve ever been to. I suspected the tag price to be associated with the lavishness, the splendor of the surroundings.

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I found out it wasn’t exactly true: the treatment was above my expectations…pure bliss is a cliché! Words fail me…🤷🏻‍♀️I can’t describe the burst of emotions I never knew existed and caused my eyes to well with tears towards the end of the treatment, once I felt, inch by inch, a warm blanket descending on my back before being left there and covering me like a warm cocoon.

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Heroin! It’s like heroin! Yes, well suddenly this particular article came to my mind…I read it twelve years ago in a Glamour UK issue while visiting my daughter Sara in Beirut. It was the addiction journal of a young teenager who revealed that the first time she tried heroin it felt like she was being enveloped in a warm blanket. I still remember that I thought then and there why wouldn’t she simply envelope herself in a warm blanket instead of letting herself be sucked into the downhill spiral that could have cost her her life?! Strange how our memory works.

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Anyway, back outside sipping on my minted tea in the relaxing area, a smooth transition before exiting the enchanting “realms of the senses”, I inquired about the “heroin effect ” treatment.  They don’t have it on the menu, it was bespoke! They came up with it when I asked for a “brain teaser”, a relaxing and energizing treatment😯

Still under the spell, I left the premises with the feeling that the treatment I just experienced could really lead to a habit, a guilt free and harmless habit 😉

It’s a Wild Wild World

🇺🇸•🇰🇳•🇵🇷•🇭🇹•🇲🇽

// 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…