It’s been almost a year and I’m feeling antsy! September 22. That’s the day I last returned to the U.S. Feels like forever ago! And I, for one, am getting very itchy feet! I already had a trip planned for December, when I’m heading Europe for a couple of weeks. But I knew I couldn’t wait that long. That sense of wanderlust had been hitting me hard and I knew I’d be pulling my hair out if I had to wait another 4 months. So I started keeping an eye out for airfare deals. And then, I came across a great one…
New York City to Kuwait City for $540 on Emirates. Pretty good, right? But upon a closer reading of the fare rules, I realized that this was an even sweeter deal, as it allowed for a free stopover in each direction in either Dubai or Milan. So for a little over $600 with taxes and whatnot, I could visit Dubai, Kuwait and Italy in the same trip? Where do I sign?!?
I jumped at this deal, and so, I set off on planning another exciting adventure! This will be my third time in the Middle East in as many years. The way my flights worked out, I spend 5.5 days in Dubai, 10 hours in Kuwait and a 9 days in Milan. And what am I doing with that time? Well, I was kind of stuck…
Dubai wasn’t exactly high on my list of places to visit. Growing up in Las Vegas, the notion of visiting an “artificial” city wasn’t terribly appealing to me, not to mention the fact that Dubai has an abysmal human rights record. Though the more I read into the Arabian Peninsula, the more I wished that I actually had more time. If time and money were no object, I would have loved to have visited Socotra, an island off the coast of Yemen that is not only safe, but home to an enormous amount of species found nowhere else in the world. But getting there is tough and expensive and it’s a pretty difficult to navigate without a tour.
So instead I’m thinking about going to Oman. Not that I have much time, with only 5 days, so the plan is to spend a couple of days in Dubai before renting a car and heading to the Musandam Peninsula, an exclave of Oman that is separated from the rest of the country by the UAE. It’s only a couple of hours from Dubai and the scenery is supposed to be superb.
Kuwait is a place I would have loved to spend more time. I’m particularly interested in seeing some of the sites from when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait during the first Gulf War, but I don’t think I’ll have time for that. Instead I’ll treat myself to a quick tour of the city.
On my way to Milan, I actually spend a night in Dubai, getting in at 1:30am and leaving again at 9:00am. I think I’ll just chill out at the airport, as I suspect everything will be closed (even nightlife seems to shut down around 2:00am).
As for Milan? I decided pretty quickly that with that time I want to go to Rome. I’ve never been to Italy before and figured that would be a pretty good introduction, especially since I’m a huge history buff. I’ve booked myself a cheap flight from Milan to Rome that leaves, oh, about 2 hours from when my flight arrives from Dubai, which is a little close for comfort, though, fun fact, the airport in Milan will give you a free insurance policy that will pay for a new flight if your plane is delayed and you miss your connection. How cool is that?
When I’m ready to move on from Rome, I can take the train back to Milan, or, perhaps to elsewhere in Italy.
So there you have it! My latest travel plans! They kick off September 4, 2014! What do you think? Have you been to any of these places before? Anything I should know before I go?