The excitement from the previous year still fresh in mind as I look at the prices for flights.
The excitement died right away as $1700 and higher flit across my screen.
I couldn’t believe it.
I paid practically an arm and a leg last year but it was the first time in 6 years since I had graced the warmth of my motherland. So I didn’t mind then.
Ghana 2016; the money was available, mum was more than willing to help and Dad although somewhat unavailable was ready to shell out some dough.
Ghana 2017; well… my job limited my hours, mum no longer had a full-time job, and Dad and I were not on speaking terms.
So now you understand the panic in my eyes as the prices on Delta Airlines made me reevaluate my entire trip.
October passes, so does November…then December rears its head.
I still very much want to go to Ghana! I needed to. Spending the holidays in the cold, cooped up in my room, watching trashy TV, eating trashier foods and gaining more weight than need be, was a no for me.
I had to find alternatives.
With my Student Universe account, I checked other airlines for cheaper prices. Royal Air Maroc, South African Airways, Tap Air Portugal… all decent prices but the reviews shied me away from purchasing. I mean, reviews are always mixed. You never know to trust either the 5-star or the 2-star rating. I kept the search going, called some friends and family to see which flights worked for them.
Then I stumbled on Emirates.
My new found airline love!
$1230, a pick of my seats for around $120, for a round trip to Ghana with a 12-hour stopover in Dubai, I was sold. I’ve been dying to see Dubai for years and this chance seemed perfect but the reluctance to purchase this ticket still lingered.
You have to understand receiving my luggage after a flight is a very big deal.
Whenever I’m returning to the motherland my luggage is full, occupying the weight limit and even more. I blame my mother. But to be fair, it’s the holiday season and you can’t just return to your family empty-handed.
A lot of the reviews I read, there was the repetitive “ I never received my luggage” or “Because of the connecting flights, my luggage never made it on time.”
I had a couple of days to decide or no Ghana for me.
After speaking to my cousin, Mish, and her encouragement to buy the ticket because she was going to Ghana as well and we couldn’t miss each other for another year, I bought the ticket – at the right time too before the prices were hiked up.
Thank you, Emirates for treating this first-time flyer on your airline so magnificently well.
At JFK, check-in went so smoothly, I actually had time to slowly model to TSA, get something to eat and wait for my flight.
At 8:45 pm, I was walking into the very flamboyant DXB – Dubai International airport. I knew from the huge waterfall by the escalators and the shiny high ceilings in the airport, the sights in the city would leave my mouth gaping in astonishment.
Forgetting the 9-hour time difference, I called my mum – too excited to even register her scolding me for it being 5:45 am in Connecticut.
My first encounter with a UAE native receptionist was very friendly. She helped me with my visa and hotel processing before I was directed to another area. This time, the receptionist barely even acknowledged me. I said hello with my chubby cheeked smile. She merely made a hand gesture to request for my travel documents then pushed them back to me as she looked away to call the next person.
For the sake of my holiday and being in a new country, I simply smiled and walked away.
I made it my hotel without incident. The airport only 10 minutes away from the hotel, made me more than happy. My flight to Ghana was at 5 am and I needed to be up early. And well, if I slept through my alarm, the knowledge that the airport was so close was reassuring.
I was in Dubai, a city of bright lights and magnificent architecture, I needed to see more than what was through my hotel window.
My Room View. Copthorne Airport Hotel
After checking in, I was told dinner was included but only free till midnight. Then a sweet little lady told me about Sun Tours.
Sun Tours provide 2-hour day and night Dubai city tours to foreigners and/or tourists who are in Dubai for the first time, get a closer look at the city.
The brilliance of this is, if you’re like me and are only Dubai for a couple of hours, you can simply use Dollars instead of exchanging to Dirhams.
10 pm. I knew needed to stretch myself, sleep on a proper bed after the 13-hour flight but “sleep is for the dead”, I told myself.
The 25 degree Celsius weather (77 Fahrenheit) was calling my name. I got my dinner, prepped my new Sony Alpha 5100 camera and then set off for the tour.
I Hope You Enjoy These Pictures and it makes you feel a little closer to this wonderful city!
Disclaimer: Some pictures may not have locations or facts about them so bear with me.
Before you go…
Here are some facts about Dubai:
- Location: Dubai is located in the United Arab Emirates, the south-east coast of the Persian Gulf
- Flag: 🇦🇪
- Capital: Although Dubai is the largest and most populous city in the UAE, it is not the capital of the UAE. Abu Dhabi is the Capital.
- Language: Arabic is the official language. English is the most spoken language due to tourism. Hindi, Urdu, Persian, Chinese is spoken – due to expatriates.
- Weather: Dubai has a tropical desert climate.
Stay Inspired and Push Boundaries