I stepped out of office at 9:00pm on Thursday night finally finishing everything that I had to for a new pitch next week that the team was going to do in my absence. I was impatient to get my holiday started. A fifteen minute drive home and I realized I barely had 2.5 hours to pack and shut down home for 3 weeks. Airport taxi was booked. A frantic call to my car wash guy ended with him promising he would water my plants which I was going to leave outside my entrance door. I wasn’t too sure if they would survive but I had my fingers crossed. A quick dinner, cleaned up the fridge, unplugged all electrical points, turned off the gas mains, a shower, some ironing and I was set to go! I was wearing my bright blue shoes. There is just something about these shoes, when I put them on, I feel free. Liberated. On holiday. They were of course a must on the flight. I couldn’t possibly rejuvenate myself without my blue shoes.
The taxi arrived sharp at 11:45pm and I was in the airport by 12:20am. After self-checking in my luggage & clearing immigration, I began what was going to be my longest walk ever to boarding gate C-19 in Terminal 3. A small voice in my head even wondered if with all the walking I had just done, perhaps I might have even reached a section of the old Terminal 1. Anyway, the long walk allowed me to window shop in all the airport duty free shops. Then a quick coffee to keep myself awake and suddenly things got amusing. I began to see shop names I had never noticed before. Two in particular struck my fancy – the Nestle Toll House & The SnoozeCube. I went upto the reception of The SnoozeCube & of course there was nobody there. Off snoozing had to be !! Nice job to get paid for! The Nestle Toll House turned out to be an inspiring little tea/coffee house.
My favorite part of being at an airport are the loud speaker announcements that play. They take me back to my childhood days when we used to travel by train across India during our summer vacations. As soon as we got to the Train Station Terminals we we would run inside to hear these announcements and know which platforms our trains were coming on. I also enjoy watching the seemingly unending flood of travelers. The way everyone dresses as if that was a clue to guessing where they might be headed. You could sit and write a story on each one of them. For the first time I noted the carpet under my feet looked like rolling sand dunes. Then of course, the Palm Tree replicas lining up the sides of the dune carpet that you could only have inside an airport like Dubai.
I boarded the flight at 2:40am and found myself a nice movie to settle down to. I can’t wait to get to Maldives and begin this new adventure with Atoll Volunteers. This is the first time I’ve pushed myself and decided that I didn’t want to do a regular tourist holiday and that I would do something to give back and have a holiday at the same time. Keep reading as I blog about my firsthand experience of a 3 week volunteering holiday in Naifaru on the Lhaviyani Atoll in Maldives.