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 😉

Home Away From Home”

Among the many advantages we get to enjoy living in Abu Dhabi, this quiet, peaceful and laidback capital, is it’s proximity to Dubai. The energy, vibe and joie de vivre you feel in this cosmopolitan city remind me of Beirut my beloved hometown where going out for dinner means having a good meal but also see and be seen…Throughout the years, the experience evolved from the odd weekends with the family or the few weekday trips with the girls to more frequent and longer stays..

View from The Marina Residence – The Palm

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Sunset from The Marina Residence – The Palm

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The Palm

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The Palm

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The Palm

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Sunset from The Loft – Downtown Dubai

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View from The Loft – Downtown Dubai

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Burj Khalifa

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Dubai Mall

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Mall of the Emirates

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It Felt Differently Today

For anyone living in the UAE 🇦🇪, it’s a familiar sight, especially in areas like Al Ain. However, it felt different today…

Having stepped out of the car to take a close up, I noticed his tied feet in the tight space and my mind started pondering : this is the bedouin’s best friend, his oldest way of transport, and he is now being carried away on a modern mode of transport…The symbolism in this situation wasn’t old versus new only… The look 👀 in his eyes could be that of a post-retirement workaholic pragmatically trying to stay aloof after acquiring “senior citizenship status” 🤷🏻‍♀️…

Yes, somehow it felt differently today…

Tattoos and Macademias

🇺🇸•🇰🇳•🇵🇷•🇭🇹•🇲🇽

// Part 6 of 7 //

Last year, I had such a great time in Hawaï that I considered getting a tattoo;not exactly a Hawaiian design (too macho👨🏻💪),just a tiny one on my inner arm to commemorate this extraordinary trip on my skin…

My wish astonished my husband:

-I have a needle phobia… I dread the medical test I undergo every other year before the renewal of my UAE residency 🙈

– I was against my son getting one when he was a teenager (his wife is happy about that now😊☺️).

PS: I left Hawaï with an ephemeral “ piece of Hawaï”: I brought as many macadamia nuts as the expiry dates on the packaging allowed, and whenever I felt nostalgic I helped myself to some… their distinctive flavor – the way they’re roasted – was enough to make me feel I was back there…eventually they ran out after a few months…I knew I had a temporary“souvenir “ and enjoyed it while it lasted 🤷‍♀️

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