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Travel Goals for 2018

Posted in family trip, lifestyle, personal, travel, vacation
on January 6, 2018

It’s quite ironic that even if there’s a VAT here in the UAE, I am still thinking of more travels to have this 2018 with my family.  2018 will be a year of new beginnings, new hopes, new chances, new plans, new goal-settings, and more memory-making, and definitely more travel.

I have been through a lot of painful stuff the past 2 years. I am more than happy to leave them in the past and focus on more important things that money can’t put a price tag, like spending more time with my family, learning new skills, be better in my blog posting, delve in my creativity, and definitely include more travels this year and onwards.

I know it will take a lot of money to be able to do all those travels but I believe in this quote and this year, it’s probably the one I am going to live by whether I have enough money or none. There are always opportunities to travel even locally.

(photo not mine, due credit to the owner/from

Happy Traveling folks!

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Our US Summer Vacation 2017

Posted in personal, US trip, USA, vacation
on September 5, 2017

I told myself that I will not travel during summer time because it is very difficult to deal with the heat especially if I am already coming from a very hot and humid country. Last year, we also spent a brief summer vacation in the US, and this time again, we decided to stay in Riverside at my aunt’s place for almost two weeks. And yes, I travelled again this summer.

I am not sure why harsh weather conditions follow us. If you are following my blog, you’ll know we were stuck in New York for few days during Hurricane Sandy, and this time around, there was a heat wave during the whole time we were in LA. There was also Hurricane Katrina but it was in Texas. US is so big that you don’t feel the adverse weather conditions in Texas if you are in California because it was just hot, hot, hot! However, hubby and I still had fun with our relatives and friends in California. It was like a mini-reunion of sorts of family and friends from Dubai who are now in the US.

The vacation as a whole is really fun. We got to treat our dear Aunt to Las Vegas. It isn’t the first time for us to visit Las Vegas so there was certainly not walking along The Strip at night due to the very hot weather. We just stayed in the hotel most of the time, drove to Hoover Dam, played at the casino, and relaxed in the room.

The entire vacation was really what I wanted except for the weather. It would have been the perfect get-away it if wasn’t for the heat wave. I hope, the next vacation will be this Thanksgiving. It will be nice to celebrate it with family and friends.

Until next vacation!


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The Importance of Checking Your GPS Setting

Posted in driving tips, road trip, travel tips, travel woes
on June 22, 2017

Hubby and I, along with my best buddy, went on a road trip from Virginia to New York City. What was supposed to be just 4-5 hours drive (with very few and short pit stops in between) turned into more than 7 hours drive through Pennsylvania! And yes, we had our GPS. It was working perfectly. Hubby charged it before leaving Virginia. Hubby even made sure the address of our destination is entered correctly. You might ask, how did it take around 7 hours to reach New York City? The answer is this, we did not double check the “filters” in the setting.


So, the GPS pointed us away from major interstates and tollgates as per the filter that we missed before leaving Tysons Corner in Virginia. We were supposed to take the public bus but decided to just drop the rental car top New York near Battery Park.

We were really puzzled to see the time to destination to read as 23:00 and that is 11 pm! So, we went to a small gasoline station and I asked the attendant inside how far we were to New York City. Well, let’s just say that the “deer-on-headlights” look assured us we were too far.

(I remember passing through these towns in Pennsylvania. We really took a circuitous route!)


We passed by back alleys, beautiful, undulating roads lined with trees. We even saw Amish people in their carriage! And that was a first for all of us. So, the 4-5 hours drive to NYC took us longer than usual. Good thing, I asked because we knew we were really getting lost. It was already 10:30 a.m and we were still inside Pennsylvania. I can’t remember the names of the towns anymore but I do remember passing through Hershey.


Finally, after traversing many back roads and finding out way back to the hi-way by 11:00 a.m., we were already heading to New Jersey on our way to New York City.


We reached the Holland Tunnel in New Jersey past past 1:00 p.m.  We were on the road for almost 8 hours! If we had taken the fastest route (and if we had checked the settings before leaving Tysons Corner), we could have been in NYC hours earlier.

(This is just an illustration. The ideal route that we should have set should look like this.)

Remember, if you are taking a road trip in the US or anywhere in the world, please always do the following to ensure you arrive on time.

  1. Put the correct address of your destination
  2. Ensure your GPS is well charged and plugged properly
  3. Ensure the GPS system is updated
  4. Check the preference before going on the road like click on the fastest route even if that means you had to pass through several toll gates


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