Should you save blowout travel experiences for special occasions?
Should you save blowout travel experiences for special occasions? Ursula Winzel and Dr Reem El Mutwalli go head to head
“Growing up in post-Apartheid South Africa, the economy was weak. As a young girl, I remember my parents fiercely saving to be able to afford flying to Germany to visit my father’s side of the family. Our South African rand was much weaker than the Deutsche mark, which meant that holidays were limited to large European family trips every two to three years. Today I consider myself privileged to run a stable business in Dubai, which means I’m fortunate to travel often – and I don’t think any travel experience, blowout or otherwise, should be put off. Why wait? That honeymoon or anniversary, or whatever else it is you’re waiting for, may prove to be elusive – life has a way of throwing unexpected curve balls – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t indulge in a muchanticipated holiday. At my office I encourage staff to take frequent breaks to check off bucket-list destinations around the globe, as opposed to a single lengthy annual trip. Professional life in this day and age can be all-consuming and intense, and when the team takes regular breaks to achieve their travel dreams they also enjoy a healthy work/life balance. Immersing yourself in exotic destinations also means that, culturally, you are constantly being exposed to new things. After exploring, you’ve enriched not only yourself but can come back and share trends and insights with those around you. Case in point: one of our directors recently went to Indonesia and returned with tales of interesting dining concepts and new food discoveries, which inspired the whole agency.” “Travelling the world is one of the greatest gifts. Understanding and experiencing different countries and cultures is educational, enriching and rewarding – even more so when you finally reach that long-dreamt-about destination that’s been calling to you from your bucket list. While it’s tempting to make your wildest travel dreams a reality on a whim (that expedition cruise to Antarctica, a privateisland stay in Polynesia), I think they’re best saved for special occasions, a milestone that you want to mark with something equally memorable and unique – that way each experience will enhance the other. That doesn’t mean you need to fill annual holidays in between with middling excursions – here in the GCC we’ve got enough to make our home a special-occasion destination in itself. The diversity of the landscape and marine world is wonderful — visiting Fujairah’s mountains and the Gulf of Oman are beautiful contrasts to the region’s desertscape. The UAE is increasingly culturally rich, and excitingly so. A trip to Abu Dhabi to visit the Louvre replaces a journey once solely reserved for Paris. The art scene in Dubai’s Al Serkal Avenue is energetic, and the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood is fast becoming a heritage hub. In Sharjah, its Rain Room is the most recent example of an Instagrammable phenomenon. What’s more, we have Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa in our sights most days, and let’s be honest, these are just two of the reasons that make Dubai a special-occasion destination in its own right.”
YES Dr Reem El Mutwalli ARTS AND CULTURE EXPERT, AUTHOROF SULTANI, TRADITIONS RENEWED
NOUrsula Winzel FOUNDER & CEO,BALCONY8