So, I’m excited to do a blog piece as a guest on Funtravel Kenya because first, it is nominated among the best Kenyan travel blogs for the BAKE Awards. And second, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone. Here is the thing, I’m a lover. I write about love and its beauty(Working Progress). What can I say, just like my name, I believe in fairytales. Today however, I’m writing about my travel escapades. This should be fun. So, here is a tale of #theluhyasindubai. YES!!! Luhyas in Dubai
I remember coming home from school one weekend, tired as usual. Mum was not around, but as I walked into the house I found dad seated on his usual seat. Normally I would walk in and say Hi, then walk off into my room until meal time or probably the next day. We don’t have much to talk about. On this day though, he was chatty and asked me if I have a nice small bag to pack clothes in. I thought he wanted the bag for himself so I went to my room, went through my things and found a gym bag. I took to him. He then tells me to pack a few clothes for the weekend and leave out my towel and slippers. I was confused because first, he never tells me what to pack or not to pack and second, where were we going to that did not need slippers or towels? But knowing Kenyan parents,with no questions asked I complied and did as told.
Mum arrived and she was given the same information later that night. She hadn’t planned to come around(she works out of town) and therefore it also took her by surprise. Same scenario with my eldest brother and my younger brother(who was in high school at the time) and was actually brought home for this ‘safari’ as our brothers and sisters from the other side call it. I questioned mum about it but she only guessed that we might be going to Zanzibar since we had talked of visiting the place. I was excited. In the morning, we were all awake by 4 am. Who wakes you up that early? I hate mornings. I know most of you can relate. A few biting, bags ready and on the road we went. Our caretaker drove us through Mombasa road and on the way, my brothers and I, seated at the back, kept on going back and forth betting on where our destination was.
I was caught by surprise as the car took the turn to the airport and for a minute, I sat back to take in the beauty that was surrounding me. I don’t know if I’m the only one but when you get to the airport it’s like you are in a different city. The serene environment, the bright lights, make it all magical. Clearly lighting is everything. So we drove through the security checkpoints and finally alighted at the entrance, and in my head all I could imagine was myself in one of the beautiful beaches in Zanzi, well, I hope they are, because guess what? I haven’t been there yet. Dad checked in and since curiosity killed the cat, mum went ahead and forcefully took one of the passports, and her expression was to die for. Yes D.U.B.A.I. Personally I knew Dubai was for the rich and famous, simply because I watched an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians and Kim was in Dubai making an appearance. As my uncles back in the vilage would say, “Kho Obulamu nishi?”. That translates to “But what is life?”.
We used RwandAir, through Mombasa, to Kigali where we had a 6 hour layover and then later on to Dubai. I’ll save you the details of how we boarded the plane, took selfies, and of course ate. We didn’t even have a proper camera nor did we have any money. And the fact that it was a surprise trip didn’t help our situation. My mum being the kenyan she is asked me to take photos of clouds just to prove that we were on air. Exciting right? I know! The luhya in me felt like calling everyone in my contact list that day.
We got to Dubai International airport and since I personally did not even know that planes have washrooms, we had to use the washrooms. To my defense, I had never been interested to know how a plane’s interior is. Alas! This is where drama started. I had never seen a bathroom that automatically flashes itself after you’re done and taps that automatically open when you place your hands under them. I almost fled. Dad apparently who was the only one who had been to Dubai before, had already gone to the immigration desk to check us out of the airport, thinking we were right behind him. In short we were lost. He did find us though. We bought train tickets that would last our stay there as we toured the city. This was also my first time boarding an electric train, you should have seen my face, I was smiling all the way.
We checked into our hotel, freshened up, had breakfast and left for the streets. First we took a boat ride, in a floating restaurant. Imagine dining in the sea, amazing right? I think we visited every single mall in town that we could think of or see in the map. Yes that is what excitement does to you. The most intriguing part for me was visiting Dubai City of Gold. I mean a whole street, take an example of Tom Mboya Street, with all the outlets full of nothing but gold. The dancing waters of Dubai was also an amazing place to visit. Imagine water dancing to Rihanna’s ‘work’? Okay, that song wasn’t out yet but you get the point. The aquarium, the largest in the world, was amazing too. I literally took photos in front of all the designer stores around… Fendi, Gucci, Luis Vuitton, Victoria Secret. I didn’t have money to go in and I needed evidence anyway. My brothers were definitely excited about the cars. Dubai has amazing cars, talk about Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, Aston Martin. Those are the big names I know of.
We then visited Dubai mall, the biggest mall in the world, and we got lost! Yes we dared ourselves to walk through it all, despite the fact that no one has ever finished the whole mall in a day. Thank God for the Mall’s blue print or is it map? We looked for the nearest exit and we never thought of going back in there. The fun part of all this was the train rides we took till the end of the station and back. Simply because we were curious enough to want to know how far it goes. Furthermore we were on vacation. Wait, did I tell you perfumes are sold in almost 20 litre sort of bottles? And not your ‘pale chini ukitumia Accra road’ perfumes, designer perfumes. I was shocked!
Anyway, my last night was the best of them all. At the mall, the dancing waters were ‘dancing’ to Celine Dion’s Prayer, while the lights were flickering on and off on Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world). They were all in sync. It was magical, I would live in that moment forever. Of course that delayed us and we had to rush to catch the last train to the airport. The flight back wasn’t a hustle, no stopovers.
It was an amazing trip and an awesome experience. I honestly can’t wait to go back home, I mean back to Dubai. Haha!
Read about other travel stories, experiences and advice from all our guest contributors HERE. Kindly add a comment below, and if you would like to guest contribute or know of someone who would love to…comment with your email address(or contact us) and we will get back to you. HAVE AN AWESOME WEEK!!!