The crowded airports, the many unknown faces, cold early mornings just to see the sun rising up behind the sleeping airplanes, the many lights of the cities like fireflies that prepare your landing in the evening… sadly, but successfully replaced with #HomeIsolation and #Hope. And #AfterCovidDreamBuilding.
This is that time of the year when I was traveling to visit my parents in Abu Dhabi. The strong smell of Oud and Bakhoor that tickled my nose while I was rushing out of the airport into the pleasant heat mixed with a bit of humidity follows me even when I half close my eyes.
And that’s barely one of the things that I want to experience again and again: the boring one hour and a half from Dubai to the place I used to call my second home, just on the shores of the Persian Gulf; the Family Beach on the Corniche Road in its windy days when I couldn’t even properly read a book, my secret spots in the city where I’ve enthusiastically digesting the culture of the Arab world… such as the lovely and always surprising Warehouse 421. I miss all these. I miss my parents. 4000 km away.
But while Coronavirus haunts the world outside spreading sadness, I realized it is not a bad time for any of us to turn inside and deeply search for the anything that yesterday seemed lost.
These last two months of self isolation…
…made me want more, do more, start new projects that could change something. I started holding online 3D modeling classes for children in Tinkercad and Rhinoceros. I’ve had my own digital design and manufacturing studio for 6 years now and always wanted to take children into this wonderful adventure. Give them all the technological fun that I discovered so late. Before Covid I had rented a studio big enough to allow 3D printing and 3D modeling group classes. But, for now, it stays closed. And I got this wonderful opportunity with a local school to teach online. Besides teaching, I also opened my own Etsy store with cute birthday & anniversary greeting cards so I can put a smile on people’s faces all around this beautiful, so mysterious planet. And I did not forget to engrave on wood my passion for traveling. It reminded me I can be useful in so many ways.
…made me look at myself in the mirror and ask: “When did I lose you among so many things? When did I forget the way you smile, the way your skin looks like, when did I forget about all the beauty you used to hold inside? When did I forget how happy you were just to get in that plane and just fly, just dream? When did you forget to cry for the people you left behind so many times, so far, on foreign lands? The moment I let work and daily life problems crowd into my life and other people grow inside me their own fears and impatient worries. A society in a horrifying rush that now is forced to lay down. It reminded me I can be peaceful and forgiving and strong. Not strong in defending myself. But strong enough to be my old self and take care of my heart, mind and body.
…and made me think about all the people I met while traveling. The lively evenings we’ve always spent at the City Golf Club in Abu Dhabi, the thrilling rides of the Dubai Wild Wadi, the hand in hand walks we’ve had on a freezing cold day on Madison Avenue, just in time for a sparkling NY Christmas, the funny life tales sharing on the streets of Belgrade with the Serbian friend that you’ve never thought you’d ever have the luck to meet and that tasty pljeskavica you’ve shared, the rising pirate boat in Luna Park while watching the Marmara Sea from Tekirdag, the dreams we might have made while looking above Cairo and the whole world from “Nasser’s Pineapple”.
Made me think about all the people I lost or I miss because of huge distances. Made me think about the people close to me. The people that I fail to appreciate enough for the beauty of just having them in my life. The people that forgot me or I forgot, the people who left or I had to leave behind so many times. So many flights that now rest in the airports and inside my thoughts. It reminded me how much I love writing.
Wherever you are, do not forget. Be brave. This is a time to be reborn. A time to share kindness, a time to do the things you thought you could, but never had time to. It is a break for the Earth, a break for our soul. A time to travel inside. Let the airplanes and cars and trains do their beauty sleep. We will be back on the road, in no time, you will see. but rarely we will have again the same opportunity to discover and rediscover ourselves and our dear ones.
Spread dreams! And later we will spread our wings. Again.