I think I’ve already mentioned in this blog several times that I haven’t traveled outside of the Philippines. I have had quite a number of travel experiences, but only locally – visiting the beautiful beaches of my home country.
Well, surprise readers. Not anymore. 😉
March of this year, I was given the privilege and the opportunity by the company that I work for that I be sent to the US of A for a month of training and conferences.
No less than the United States of America! My first out of the country and it’s a total of 23 hours on the plane and in the land flowing with milk and honey! Who would’ve known?!
So, for my maiden post about this trip, let me talk about flying with the best airline in the world, Emirates.
Our flight going to the US was about the same time hurricane Stella hit New York and other northeastern territories of country. We got stranded in Dubai for about 24 hours because JFK has been closed due to two feet of snow. It was an emergency situation that I wasn’t prepared for. Like I said, I don’t have any prior experiences traveling abroad and the thought of staying in Dubai International Airport for one full day is not very pleasing to me, no matter how beautiful it is. Yes, Dubai International Airport arguably, is the most beautiful airport I have ever seen (not that I’ve been to alot) . It’s huge and you can easily get lost in it.
Thankfully, Emirates took care of us in this whole ordeal. They made sure that we had the proper accommodation for the overnight stay and that we were fed appropriately. My colleague and I have been given double rooms separately, and the meals that covered our entire stay we’re all on buffet setup! I didn’t feel inconvenienced at all. It was like I was given an extra day to enjoy another country on my way to the United States. As a bonus, we have been granted a 96-hour transit Visa and so we were able to utilize that to go around the open city and enjoy some of Dubai’s world class attractions. We were able to go see Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa, along with some Muslim temples, as well as take a glimpse Atlantis The Palm Jumeirah. All in all, it was an awesome experience. Personally, I don’t think I would be spending a lot of money just to see Dubai again; but being there one time, and enjoying what it has to offer I think is enough.
Additionally, my sidetrip to Dubai has also been an eye-opener for me. I used to have feelings of fear whenever I think about Muslim countries and being around Muslim people. These people are actually very nice! The person who drove us to see some of Dubai’s attractions is a Pakistani immigrant in Dubai who works as a driver and as a hotel staff. He was very easy to talk to, very kind, very patient and it inspired me that he’s so much like some of us Filipino OFWs – he works in a different country so he can provide for his family.
We are afterall, more alike than what we think.
So, thank you Emirates for such a fun-filled experience flying with you! I had the time of my life being in a Super Jumbo A380 plane, with drinks overflowing and the fantastic food that I was served. ICE was also very entertaining! I got to watch a lot of movies, catch up on some shows and the in-flight view was absolutely amazing! If given the chance that I would be able to go back to the US or maybe even just travel anywhere outside of the Philippines and I have the necessary funds to choose whichever airline I would want to fly with, I would choose Emirates in a heartbeat.
Oh and I would also like to note that I have extreme paranoia everytime I fly, but with Emirates I didn’t feel anything at all. I simply enjoyed the 9-hour flight to Dubai from Manila and I absolutely was thrilled on my long-haul, 13-hour flight to JFK.