I lead a double life. I have a life in Dubai in which I have a home, a dog, a garden, and everything else that makes life the way most people know it. Then, I have the life on the road where Home is a hotel room, lunch and dinner are mostly club sandwiches in front of TV, moving around means smelly taxis, a night out consists of a beer and conversation and most of my time is spent wearing a suit and tie.
I have exactly 6 places in the world that I call home. My house in Dubai, The Intercontinental Vendome in Lebanon, The Four Seasons in Riyadh, The Marriot in Athens, The Meridien in Paris and the recently added Grand Hyatt in Cairo. Each of these places offers something unique to me. Be it a memory, a particular meal that I crave from time to time, a comfy bed or simply outstanding service that makes me want to go back and back again.
Yesterday I was trying to come up with the list of countries I have been to in my life. I stopped at 53 despite knowing that I probably missed a few. The world is a big place but after a while you get the feeling that you have seen what there is to see and your interest moves away from seeing to sharing. These days, seeing the smile on the face of someone who is discovering a place for the first time is, by far, the most pleasurable thing about traveling for me.
There are still a few places that I would like to see before I die. Not many, but there are a few. Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is on top of that list. Recently the person I’d like to share this place with told me that she had no interest what so ever in going there. So, Rio is out. The second on the list is Costa Rica. Considering that this is a place with Beaches, Sangria, sun and is where my cousin lives, I am quite confident that I will be able to convince her to go. The third place is Luxor in Egypt. Yes, yes, I have never been to Luxor. I would like to see it before I die and/or before it is destroyed by pollution, the Nile, tourists, or Egypt.
Sometimes, I just crave the comfort of home. I miss the familiar shower, the comfortable toilet seat, the fridge having my favorite kind of beer, the right pillow, the AC at the right temperature, my dog on the bed next to me, my favorite channels on TV, my couch, my set of fork and knives…. The little things that make home what it really should be: Comfortable and familiar