August 2018 Recap

August was such a busy month. I did not even blog and had no time to edit photos or anything like that. I took a break from blogging and focused more on work but also lots of things happened in August. I decided to enrol in an institute to study during my free time but my classes will start mid Oct. Tim and I visited Abu Dhabi and travelled during the Eid Holiday with my best friend Mimi to Bangkok. So here is a recap of what happened in the month of August.

Destinations we’ve visited

  • Al Ain
  • Thailand

Highlights of the month

  • Visited Al Ain and stayed at Telal Resort
  • Travelled to Thailand during the Eid Break
  • Had Lasik Surgery

What have we watched?

Series:

  • Dark Tourist
  • A series of Unfortunate Events
  • Disenchantment

Movies:

CRAZY RICH ASIANS

What I read?

The Travels of Ibn Battuta (still reading)

What have I blogged about in August?

NOTHING LOL

So here is what happened during the month of August. Lasik Surgery went well, THANK GOD. We travelled to Bangkok and DAMN that place is amazing for shopping. I bought a lot of clothes and I fell in love with a store called Sugar and Cream that sells vintage outfits. ME GUSTA. We also stayed at Telal Resort for the weekend which is in the middle of the desert. We personally love it, it was voted as one of the best luxury resorts in the CONTINENT. So, we’ve got plans for September and hopefully I will get back to blogging ASAP since I have Spain and Thailand to blog about.

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July 2018 Recap

July was all about work and nothing else. With the current market, businesses focus more on budget and cutting cost. A risk we decided to take that I will no longer work due to commute and other matters. Tim and I drove around Abu Dhabi and discovered new areas and few coffee shops which I will write about later.

I’m currently focusing on writing and finishing off the pending trips. Hopefully I will be on track once I’m at home. I still have to write about our Spain trip and things to do in Abu Dhabi and places to visit in the UAE.

So here is a short recap about month of July

Destinations we’ve visited

Tim and I have been going back and forth between Abu Dhabi and Dubai on weekends. We had our friend Maha’s birthday and also Tori’s farewell party. So basically just Dubai and Abu Dhabi. I did a quick a day trip by myself to Sharjah to have lunch with my dad and brothers.

Highlights of the month

  • Breakfast with Tori’s friends and family as a farewell meal. She is moving to Canada and starting a new adventure.
  • Celebrated Maha’s Birthday in Reem Al Bawadi.

What have we watched?

Series:

  • Breaking Bad – Season 4 & 5 (I declare it is one of my favourite series)
  • Dark Tourist – Season 1 (still watching)

Movies:

  • Ant Man and the Wasp – I had low expectation but honestly Marvel will never disappoint you.

What I read? 

I don’t read as much as before. My commute everyday is 1 hour and 30 min each way which takes 3 hours of my day. I arrive home at 7ish PM, finish house chorus make sure dinner is set and ready and I just fall asleep.

The only time I read is when I’m waiting. So in July I’ve been back and forth at the doctors and banks so whenever I take a number and wait I just try to finish ‘The Travels of Ibn Battuta”.

I’m almost done with the book and I have other books which I’m dying to read.

What have I blogged about in June?

Looks like nothing exciting is happening lately. It is also weird that 3 months have passed and we haven’t travelled anywhere yet. We do have travel plans and hopefully all goes according to plan. For the mean time, I will be blogging about Spain and about Life in the UAE. I’m also looking forward to the Warner Bros. Studio in Abu Dhabi.

 

I choose travelling with my partner than by myself BUT there’s a catch…

Hi Everyone

This blog is to talk about couple travelling. I previously wrote a blog about Female Solo Traveller, recommending all women to travel solo at least once in the lifetime. Now that I’m married, this blog is about why I prefer travelling with my partner rather than myself however do carry on because it’s not the right travel for everyone.

As mentioned previously, I was a solo traveller till I met my husband abroad. So people asked me ‘So Nissreen, do you prefer travelling alone or with my husband’

That’s a really good question, here’s the thing; when I met my husband in Singapore, we got along from the moment we said hello.  We realised we had a lot in common and have some similar interest. After going our separate ways, we agreed meeting every month at a new destination.

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Now travelling shows you a lot about a person and yourself. You will go through a lot of obstacles such as transportation, navigation, languages, local market rip offs and other challenging situations. Tim and I passed it all and before being a couple, we were friends and really good friends. It felt like we knew each other before. So I’d say I prefer travelling with my partner than being alone.

My opinion on this would be neutral and here is why. When I was single, I never wanted to travel with anyone because I knew we wouldn’t get a long. I have friends who I trusted and wanted to travel with but unfortunately circumstances didn’t allow us to travel together. My close friends are the ones that I can face all challenges with. Travelling with them is the best and you wouldn’t want to be alone. You get along because you have the same core values but share some similar interest and that’s how it’s like being with your significant other.

I know for a fact that I would have hated travelling if I’ve done it with particular people. I’d leave and prefer to be alone. There is nothing wrong with them, it’s just that we are completely different.

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I support travelling alone 100% however if you find that special bond with someone then it’s lovely to share moments with them and create memories. So if you are in a miserable relationship, I do not recommend you travelling with your partner but travel by yourself to enjoy and appreciate things. To make yourself happy and content. Appreciate the moments and live life.

When Tim and I were still dating, he travelled for 10 days to Japan by himself. He contacted me every minute by sending me pictures, calling me and updating me about his trip and what he ate and what he tried. When we met the next month, he said he would never ever travel alone and just wants to travel with me. And ever since he only travels alone if it is work related.

So do not travel with someone who doesn’t make you feel fulfilled; whether it is a friend or a partner. So travel alone to do what you love but if you ever find that person who completes you and shares the happy and sad moments with you then travelling as a couple would be the best travel experience EVER.

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WE NEED TO CHANGE OUR TRAVEL STYLE

I’ve been travelling since the age of 1. My first trip was to the Philippines; however, my mum and I had a stopover in Brunei which makes it the first country I’ve ever visited. As a child, my travel was limited and it was only between Lebanon and Philippines. Since being born and raised in Dubai, my parents did not want me to forget my roots.

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My first diverse route was to Syria where I visited historical places. Syria was only a 2 hour drive from where we stayed in Lebanon. Then in 2010 I’ve travelled to a new destination outside my comfort zone and that’s where I caught the travel bug. That destination was India, later I couldn’t stop travelling; I visited Oman, Brunei again, Spain, Germany and Malaysia. So from family travels, I diverted to visiting new destinations outside my culture to witness the other countries touristic attractions.

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Years later in 2014, I booked a last minute ticket to Singapore and ended up meeting my husband. Our trip included fun activities such as visiting Singapore Zoo and Universal Studios. In my blog ‘How We Met’ (https://belliontravels.com/2016/06/17/singapore/) , I’ve mentioned that we met every month in a new country to sustain our long distance relationship. Since they were short trips, we became travellers who squeezed a lot of touristic attractions and fun activities in a short period of time.

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Once we got married, our travel habit has changed. Since we both have full time jobs and have limited annual leave, we decided to visit as many places as we can and the trip ends up to be rapido rapido rapido……

After taking 2 weeks off of work, we managed to visit Japan, Philippines, Macau and Hong Kong. I was beyond content and especially that Japan affected me a lot. I thought I took really awesome pictures for the blog and social media accounts until 5 of my friends who visited Japan a week after me took similar pictures and that’s when I realised that Tim and I need to change our travel style.

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When I was having lunch with Tim and my brother ‘Mohammad’, I was telling them that something was missing in my travels. I want something different and unique. At this stage, I’ve decided to travel to new places and learn as much as I can until I find the right style. Where myself and others can benefit from.

So for now and hopefully not for long, we will be the kind of travellers who cram as much knowledge as we can but someday we will find what I’m searching for.

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Our 14 days Travel Itinerary

Tim and I took 14 days off of work; actually to be precis, we took 10 working days off to finalise personal errands in the Philippines and then continue our holiday to other destinations.

So our itinerary of 14 days covered, Philippines, Japan, Hong Kong and Macau. I guess being a full-time employee to a huge organisation restricts our travels because of the limited days off.

In UAE, we are entitled for 22 working days off but being an expatriate, our holidays include visiting families abroad which means travelling to the same destination quite often. We don’t mind it at all because we really do miss them. So our current travel mission is to cover as much places as we can in a short period of time.

Here is how our itinerary looked like (not detailed)

Day 1: Landed late night in Philippines

Day 2: Makati, Philippines

Day 3:

  • Bonifacio Global City, Philippines
  • Rockwell
  • Travelled to Japan

Day 4: Landed in Narita Airport and took a bullet train to Kyoto

Day 5: Kyoto

Day 6: Nara & Kyoto

Day 7: Kyoto and took a bullet train to Tokyo

Day 8: Tokyo

Day 9:

  • Tokyo
  • Travelled to Philippines

Day 10:

  • Landed in Philippines and spent 5 hours at a nearby hotel
  • Travelled to Hong Kong
  • Explored Kowloon Island

Day 11: Macau & Hong Kong Island

Day 12: Lantau Island – travelled to Philippines

Day 13: Eastwood, Green Hills, Pasig, Marikina and Antipolo.

Day 14: We woke up an hour before check out and had breakfast in Pasig and headed straight to the airport.

Day 15: BACK TO THE OFFICE

PHEW!!! Typing the itinerary was as tiring as the trip but worth it. LOL. I really want to dedicate time to write about it because we’ve learned a lot and observed a lot and I’m dying to share everything with you.

Unlike most of my other posts, I want to put a lot more effort into writing about our experiences and stories, particularly Japan. I’ve visited 20+ countries and Tim has been to 30+ countries and by far our favourite country is Japan and I can’t think of any other place that can beat it. It was Tim’s third visit and that says a lot and I can’t wait to go back.

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Under the Sea – Dubai Aquariums

Tim and I have seen the best two aquariums in Dubai. The first one we visited is located in Dubai Mall which is one of the top 5 biggest aquariums in the world and is located in the biggest mall in the world. The place is called ‘Dubai Aquarium and Under Water Zoo’.

http://www.thedubaiaquarium.com/en/Default.aspx

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The second aquarium is called’The Lost Chambers’ and is located in the Atlantis. It’s one of the best resorts on the Palm Island. I PERSONALLY LOVE THAT PLACE. The aquarium has really awesome interiors and you’ll feel like you are in a Sci-Fi movie. The resort also has an amazing water park and offers an experience of a lifetime, swimming with dolphins which I will blog about separately.

https://www.atlantisthepalm.com/marine-water-park/lost-chambers-aquarium

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I highly recommend you visit both, there are activities such as diving with sharks, feeding fish and many many more…

There are other aquariums located in the UAE however those are the best ones so don’t miss it if you visit Dubai.

 

 

 

 

Pending Blogs

15 pending blogs to post. I’ve got my last blog of the Philippines which will be about El Nido and Island Hopping. In addition, I’ve got pending blogs from our second trip to the UK and our adventurous trip in NYC and Tim’s 28th Birthday. 

Besides the blogging about travel, we’ve got blogs pending about our trips around UAE. Please bare with us its all coming soon … we just packed our bags to head to Ras al Khaimah tomorrow, we will be staying at COVE where I can sit and edit pictures to able to post some blogs.

BLOG SOON 

xx