We’ve all seen that look – the look on someone’s face as they recount a life-changing experience. The recollection sends chills down their spine, their eyes lose focus and it’s like they’re being transported back in time.
Tina Almond, Travel Agent with The Village Travel, has not only had that experience and that look, but brought the experience of Oman back to her day-to-day life in Brisbane.
Before you went what were your thoughts on Oman?
“As a child I saw something on television about Oman. It looked mysterious and I wanted to explore it,” she explained.
“My parents took me to the UK when I was eight and that is where my love of travel started. When the opportunity came to complete the online training I was thinking ‘oh my God’.
“I cried when I won a place on the trip.”
Tell us about the trip
“We went to Muscat, then on to Jebel Akhdhdar, Niswa, Wahiba Sands, Rass Al Jinz, Jabreen, Wadi Bani Khalid & Sur.”
Tell me your first OMG moment
“Driving out of Muscat in four-wheel drives through something like the Canadian Rockies but without the snow, but bigger and better. It was a real ‘look where I am’ moment, the vastness and the expanse. It’s almost an alone feeling, you realise how small you are and how incredible nature is.
“It’s just, Wow look at this, it is beautiful and I am here.
“It wasn’t like you were in Paris and seeing the Eiffel Tower and then that’s done and you go on doing other stuff.
“When you go to bed and you are thinking ‘oh my God, did I really see that, that was amazing, it can’t get better than this’ and every day there was something completely different with an equal impact as the day before. It just kept coming.”
What are your reflections on the people of Oman?
“Lovely, warm and welcoming. One of our guides took us to his family home and his wife cooked and we got to meet his children, it was beautiful. Just so open and so genuine.
“I’m still in touch with many of these people five years later. They are so passionate about their country.”
How did you view your world after you got back?
“When I got home my world was smaller yet bigger all at the same time. I often get a bit down when I get home from a trip like that, I feel like something is happening there right now, and I am missing out on it.
“I got home and I wanted to keep that feeling of being in Oman alive.”
How did you view yourself after you got back?
“Before I left I had started meditation and being able to meditate in the desert was just an incredible experience.”
(Tina breaks into giggles with mirth and joy as she recollects the lingering positive effects of her Omani experiences)
“That trip opened me up to a lot and I further explored my openness. I really want to be out and among nature. So when I got home we started going up to the mountains on the weekends, walking through the forests.
“I even stop the car and meditate on a rock near a creek on the way to work. So many of the sites in Oman are just natural beauty You feel very close to nature there and I was able to bring that back.”
Meditating on the way to work? How’s that for a great change?
“I know, I love it.”
Have you had a similar experience? Share it with us below.
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