On 13th December 2018, I conducted a travel workshop for IGNITE, where the participants were asked to write about their favourite travel memory.
These are their stories.
Phuket, Thailand / by Shaira Hareez
Wanderlust is a perpetual feel for me and certainly a remarkable antidote to stress.
As I reminisce my travel experiences around this beautiful world crammed with bits of heaven, a vivid and indelible travel memory comes to mind- a day when absolute reality proved to be better than a paradisiacal dream!
It was a serene summer escape with my family to Phuket, a mountainous and magnificent island.
We stayed at the Movenpick Resort and Spa, located close to Karon beach, where we’d relish a beauteous vista of the beach, the sea breeze against our skin and the crashing sound of waves whilst indulging in a hearty breakfast every morning.
Our way of exploring the island started off by getting in the sea. I was completely enamored of the picturesque vistas as we traversed from one place to another via a canoe.
Kayaking from one little island to another in the breathtakingly glorious island of Phuket was an exhilarating experience and as we reached the famous James Bond 007 island, I was absolutely spellbound.
We got in the water, leaned against the rocks and lounged under the effulgent sun with our straw hats on. The island was an enthralling little paradise.
Phuket is an entrancing mini heaven that left me leaving happier than ever!
Barcelona, Spain / by Nurin Raja
In the summer of May 2013, my family and I embarked on a family trip to Barcelona, Spain for the holidays.
I’d been taking compulsory beginner Spanish lessons in school at the time, and I had figured I could get by with the locals if need be.
In the back of my mind, I had felt excited to do so, but still questioned if I would ever use my Spanish and just opt to communicate in English the entire trip.
Spoiler alert: I ended up having to use my Spanish anyway.
When we first arrived in Barcelona, we got on the Metro to get to our accommodation.
The train ride was quite lengthy, and we were all extremely exhausted lugging around our suitcases.
While on the train, my dad realised his wallet was missing. He insisted that the last time he felt and saw his wallet was when he searched for his pockets at the previous stop.
To this day, we suspect that he must have been pickpocketed, which happens to be a very common thing during the summer holidays with an overwhelming number of tourists.
Panicked, sweaty and blue, myself, my parents and my siblings stepped off the train at the next stop.
My parents decided to report the incident to the local police.
As we stepped off the train, an elderly couple followed behind us. An old, frail lady tapped me on the shoulder and posed: “Hola, ¿qué pasa?”
I introduced myself in Spanish, and that was the extent of it. Beyond that introductory conversation, we used broken English and almost grandeur-like hand gestures to indicate the conundrum that we were in, and wanted help.
The elderly couple took obvious pity on us—having no money in that moment, big family, lost in a big, unfamiliar city and all—and graciously offered their help.
With their direction, we navigated through the streets of the city of Barcelona to find the local police station to lodge a theft report.
At times, the old lady and I would make conversation, with broken basic Spanish on my end, broken basic simple English on hers.
I could see in her eyes that she genuinely cared. The lady and her husband knew that there was nothing much they could do, yet they offered their help to my family anyway.
After we lodged the police report, I thanked the couple profusely.
In the grand scheme of things, they did not do much for us to fix our problem itself, but their kindness and sincerity towards us, bettered our situation.
And while this experience may not necessarily been my favorite, I still remember the couple to this day.
Osaka, Japan / By Shizen Wong
On our first day in Japan, my family and I were making the best out of our time to explore the city of Osaka. We had just landed not long ago, but it would be wrong to not make every second here worth it.
We were at a mall when we said our ‘wows’ to the population in Osaka. There were people everywhere!
In the evening, we decided to visit the Umeda Sky Building, where we could go up to its top floor and have a birds-eye view of the city.
But before we could get there, we got lost.
The saying that the Japanese are extremely polite and helpful is very true, because the first guy we came about asking for directions offered to walk us to the building despite having somewhere else to go.
We said our arigato when he brought us right to the entrance of the building, and saw him rush away, disappearing among the crowd.
Seeing that a person could be so helpful was so refreshing it was an experience on its own.
It was as inspiring as the landscape from the top of the Umeda Sky Building, which I must say, is mighty amazing.
Compiled by Ashvin Singh Tiwana