You are a dream,
You look brand new,
As if the paint is still fresh,
As if the grass grew
green for the first time
Oman, I love you
Muscat, you are art.
The white hallways of the Sultan’s palace
lift up your heart,
lift up your mind.
A Khalil Gibran favourite, this poem by Eleonora Kokorina, a frequent traveller to the Sultanate, as she keeps coming back for the peace the country offers. She grew up in The Netherlands and lives in Apeldoorn town, travelling around the world through her job as a KLM flight attendant.
A passionate travel blogger, she has so far visited 55 countries in six continents having travelled 22 per cent of the globe so far.
She first landed in the Sultanate in 2017 and did not even know what a wadi was. Today, after 10 visits,
Wadi Shab is no familiar spot to
her like it was during its first introduction.
“I didn’t know what Oman looked like at all so when I experienced it, I was blown away by it’s natural beauty,” she recalls.
“I brought my friends and family on a visit to Oman. Wadi Al Arbeieen seems to be my favourite spot for its breathtaking waterfalls good enough for a picnic. I also loved the hot water Nakhl springs which provide relaxation. There are so many beautiful spots, and it is difficult to choose one,” explains Eleonora.
The best part of her visit was with Tatjana, her mom, sleeping in Al Houb, an abandoned mountain village in Jabal Al Akhdhar. “Though this may sound scary but on the contrary, she felt like a sanctuary of peace. The village lies hidden in a mountain valley, only to be seen from the highest top of 3,000 metres in Jabal Shams,” she mentions.
“I always come back for the feeling of peace and serenity during each holiday. Oman for me is the gem of the Middle East. Its natural beauty keeps calling me back, to discover more of the hidden wadis, swim in clear water beaches and camping in the high mountains. Most people do not know about Oman as a holiday destination yet, and many times you find yourself alone in these places of nature,” she admits.
Her work as a flight attendant in KLM enables her to travel extensively. She had visited the Sultanate four times as part of her profession. Earlier, she stayed in Muscat between 72 and 48 hours. She however prefers the longer lay-over than the 24-hour stay.
“Through travel we learn what books cannot teach. I have always been interested in different cultures, philosophies and habits. Travel opens up our minds, vision of life when we connect with the world and this is my favourite aspect about travel. In school, I would dream about working in foreign countries and I choose to study tourism management, which became my gateway to the world,” she says. To pursue her dreams, she created a website to share her best tips and tricks about travel and personal development.
“It is an easy way to share my experiences with my colleagues, fellow travellers and my friends. A platform for me to use my creativity and share my experiences. I recently uploaded a blog about spending one night in an abandoned village in the mountains.”
Her family was also completely blown away by Oman’s charm and natural beauty.
Tatjana who accompanied Eleonora during her recent trip admires the beautiful mountains, painted in different colours, the emerald clean waters of the wadi and the tall palm trees that carry sweet dates in abundance.
“I admire that modern civilisation exists in bigger cities but traditional life has remained in interior villages, among farms and even in remote places there is electricity and clean water. I am astonished by the infrastructural development and children receiving education even high up in the mountain villages. It was heartwarming to notice the transport vans drive the children back to their homes after school,” she says.
“I like books that provide me with wisdom or spirituality mainly on religion and philosophy. Those that illuminate an understanding and insight into oneself.”
Sochi-born Eleonora feels the Sultanate is an oasis for peace and yearns to live in this country later. During her free time she enjoys following ballet classes,
writing poetry or reading self-development books and meeting friends and family.
Their trip was organised by Majid al Mrshoudi from Escapade along with his adventurous guides Mazin al Abri, Mohammed al Mamari and Mohanna al Khatri.