Why We Booked Our Flight Back to Dubai Too Soon

Socotra Island Photo Source: http://travelinnate.com/socotra-island/

Socotra Island
Photo Source: http://travelinnate.com/socotra-island/

Yemen. Maybe it was the last thing that came to my mind and even may be for you. But when dreams are planted in your mind and heart, no matter how long it is or you forgot about this, one day it will come back to you to remind you or worse to confront you.

Socotra Island. Some might say it is one of the last island on earth. Another planet. Weird trees. And worst? Never… ever… go there…

Chasing Dreams. Of the many failures I did, it seems that I am numb already or I am not thinking anymore. I don’t know how to perceive fear unless I am already on that situation.

The recent “planned” trip to Socotra Island was really tough for me. I mean, it was very easy to decide. I will go. I even discovered that it is OneStep4Ward’sย secret destination as he will complete his travel to 197 sovereign countries and Yemen will be his 195th. As a fan and follower, it just added excitement to go.

(I didn’t decide to go because of somebody’s dream. It is my dream same with other 80+ people mostly expats in UAE, Oman and world travelers. Isn’t it a wonderful dream to go camping and trekking for 3 nights and 4 days (Nov 30- Dec 3, 2016) to a place without a touch of modern world?)

But it doesn’t end there. I have to think of the budget. I have to consider the duty schedule.

Step by step. I begged to my colleagues to cover me for duty. I plead to my manager to let me go on annual leave. Settled. Thank you so much.

Money. It is the most expensive trip I’ve ever done. Credit card? Yes. (But it is not ideal, don’t follow this.) Thanks to friends who consoled me that it is only money. Important thing is I will be happy. Hope you have supportive friends like them.

I am all set. Paid to the organizer. Travel insurance secured. Entry Visa to Yemen received. Chartered planes arranged.

But sometimes chasing dreams isn’t a smooth road to follow. I can’t get Oman visa as my UAE residence visa is only valid for 5 months. We need to enter the Sultanate of Oman as another chartered plane will take off from Salalah Airport to Socotra Island.

I can do visa on arrival but the main problem is that Dubai immigration might not allow me to leave the country.

I went crazy for awhile. Really. I bothered lot of friends asking for help, I even had a visit to Oman Embassy in Abu Dhabi. The advises were divided. You can go. You can’t go. What hurts most is “it is a hopeless situation.” It was a dagger in a dreamer’s heart.

It was difficult to go to sleep. Thanks to that small pill.

I can’t just give up.

I’ll take the risk.

I still packed my things, set aside the chartered plane from Dubai. Booked my own ticket from Abu Dhabi to Muscat to Salalah, Oman

From 10 hours work, I went home. Had dinner. Took my things and left home at 2am to Abu Dhabi Airport.

Things went on smoothly. Boarding pass checked. Dropped my baggage at the counter. Passed through E-Gate and boarded the plane to Muscat.

I got my Oman Visa at Muscat Airport with no problem at all. Transferred plane and welcome to Salalah.

After all the mental stress, the atmosphere in Samharam Tourist Village where we will stay for one night is very relaxing to a tired mind and body.

I had a deep sleep for 2 hours and waited the group from Dubai.

Did we manage to visit Yemen?

Beyond chasing dreams are unexpected events. We need to be flexible and set aside disappointment.

After the buffet dinner, t-shirts were distributed. Breakfast was announced to be at 4am then we will fly to Socotra. Everybody is excited and ready. We retired to our own rooms.

2330H. I was trying to go to sleep when the phone rang. It was the organizer saying to have our breakfast at 8am and sorry for the delay.

Breakfast. Everybody was happy as we had enough sleep. What we don’t know was announced after.

We can’t fly to Socotra Island yet. We’ll wait for further announcement at 1200H.

At 1155H, lunch was announced. No assurance that we can fly to the island. No one was happy and it is acceptable. We only knew part of the problem. It is all about the civil aviation between two countries not allowing us to fly in spite of contracts and permits. The organizers still tried. Some were desperate of taking a boat to go to Socotra.

We let the time pass by, tried to entertain ourselves. Chatting. Swimming. Walking along the beach. Reading a book. ย Looked for a place to enjoy solitude. Some went back to sleep.

Afternoon came. Many are bored already. Some planned of going outside. Others went to bar. Those who stayed felt boredom also. They followed the guys who went for a drink passing through the seashore.

Over a drink, we shared our hopes to be able to reach the island. Shared stories, sharing cultures, talking in different accents and that was really a fun night and moment to let go of our frustrations in Salalah.

We head back to the hotel for dinner with still no assurance of what will happen next day. And went to sleep.

Another day came and we call it off. We’re heading back to Dubai earlier as planned. Socotra is still a dream. One day, the failures beyond chasing dreams will pass through.

We tried, I took risk and that is enough. I feel better to take the pain of failure rather than the pain of regrets. Everything comes with a reason and purpose. And only God knows.

Louiela Ann

A dream chaser… Louiela is an OFW based in UAE…
A small town girl from Kiamba, Sarangani Province…
A Nurse by profession who injected herself with much wanderlust.
You can find her easily online.


  • Gypsy soul says:

    You did your best. Hopefully one day you can visit Socotra Island. I always wanted to go to Yemen, but never heard about this island, these trees look so cool. Now it’s my dream to visit that island as well.

  • Elena says:

    Your story got me so hooked! I’m sorry that you couldn’t fly to visit the island, but I’m sure that one day your dream will come true!

    Elena | http://www.inspiredtoexplore.com

  • Raksha says:

    Aww I hope you visit the place someday. But you did what you could.

  • ahh, I hate and love this story. I kept wanting to read, “Here We Go!”
    Was it expensive due to the tour group you went with or is expensive overall on Socotra Island? I hope the reimburse you
    Now I am going to add Socotra Island to my Bucket List Project! I have never cared about Dubai but this place sounds right up my alley!

    • Louiela Ann Louiela Ann says:

      Hello Eric, how I wish to write like this… “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Socotra.” But not the perfect time yet.
      The worth all in all is 1,500 USD…
      Hope we’ll make it all to Socotra…

  • Gareth says:

    Unfortunately, that is just one of those realities of traveling, invariably you will stumble on somewhere you really want to go but, for whatever reason, you just can’t. All the way through your post I was expecting a surprise that allowed you to visit Socotra but fingers crossed that you will be able to do someday. Regardless however, a post I thoroughly enjoyed

  • LC says:

    Oh, that’s a heartbreaking experience, particularly as it took you so much to make the journey there in the first place. I hope a visit to Socotra figures firmly in your future.

  • Sindhu says:

    Hi Louiela, ” I feel better to take the pain of failure rather than the pain of regrets” there couldn’t be a better way of putting it. Its really sad to know you couldn’t make it. I hope your dream comes true real soon.

  • jessica says:

    You said that it was the most expensive trip you had ever done but you didn’t end up going. Did you get your money back?

  • mike says:

    Aw this sounds like a really rough travel experience. I hope that one day you’ll make it to Scotora Island. Good on you to make the most out of being stuck and sharing culture with fellow travelers

  • Julianna says:

    That’s such a shame that you couldn’t make it. But a gripping story and you tried your best.

  • Anthony Jury says:

    Chasing dreams and No regrets. Two mottos I live by and possibly every keen traveller too. Sometimes heartbreak does greet us however and we need to cope with our disappointment and soldier on. I hope you can chase your dream another time.

  • neha says:

    I wish you soon have a successful trip to Socotra Island. Very well said, dreams are not easy to chase. But then the harder it is , the greater the sense of achievement on realizing it

  • Colleen says:

    What a tough journey. But, I think you had an experience and tried which sometimes is all you can do. The more difficult to chase a dream the more you enjoy it ๐Ÿ™‚

  • You know better than anyone that it all happens for a reason so I’m sure when you actually make a trip to Scotora Island that it will be everything you hoped and dreamed!

  • Tracy Chong says:

    I just heard about his island from a friend exactly a week ago and now I read your post about this. To me it’s a dreamy place like in Avatar. ๐Ÿ™‚ Don’t give up, you are almost there, you will be there one day! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Elisa says:

    Socotra is also on my dreams list. I did not know sth like this could happen, once you have flight tickets and all the reservations. Will you try again?

    • Louiela Ann Louiela Ann says:

      Hi Elisa, good to hear that it is also in your dream list… The organizer will try to arrange one more trip, I guess.. or we’ll be entitled for a full refund..

  • maybe this is not the perfect time for you. one day you can go back

  • Indrani says:

    I thought it would be a happy ending… but you know this is intermission the best part is yet to come. ๐Ÿ™‚ All the best!

  • Everything has all the reasons why things didn’t adhere, why things are not happening. We might don’t assimilate it for now, but I know we will along the way. As a travelers, we all experience such, we just have to be positive and try again. You’ll go far and beyond places! Keep your journey ahead!

  • Christina says:

    Oh, how disappointing! I was really hoping it would all turn around for the best as I was reading your post. But at least you tried. And as I have heard many times, things happen for a reason. You will get there someday.

  • Andi says:

    This somehow breaks my heart. It is disappointing for me. And yeah, beyond chasing dreams, there still things that cannot be controlled. But you did your best. And I know, this is not the last opportunity. There will be another time that is going to be perfect for you.

  • Allison says:

    Glad you could make it happen despite the obstacles. It’s tough that you have to beg and plead to get annual leave! And don’t beat yourself up about the credit card ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I feel sas reading what happend. I’m sorry to know the news. But I loved what you said at the ending “I feel better to take the pain of failure rather than the pain of regrets.” This is so inspiring. One day you could visit that place and I will rake note of that island too. It looks so magical.

  • Vyjay says:

    The Socotra island looks really out of the world. It has a weird and sinister feel too plus an aura of mystery. Would love to get there someday, and I am sure you will too.

  • Louiela Ann we really feel so sorry for what happen we all wish you come here and enjoy the beauty of socotra, your story break my heart and deserved to be read. but i am sure one day your dream will come true and will come in the right time. you just wait the direct flight from Dubai to socotra more easy and more cheap for your budget, the flight just stopped after the war conflict started in Yemen and hope it will resume soon many visitors who want to come to the island waiting for this flight. hope one day will see you here on socotra
    island .
    sending you from socotra island with full regret for what happen to you all, hopefully you will chase your dream another time in the right moment.

  • jenny says:

    Tara na.. iakyat na ng bundok yan

  • Taiss says:

    wow that is pretty frustrating! But you put a lot of effort and some things are just beyond our control and we just have to accept it. Hope for a time when this will happen for you soon!

  • Janine Good says:

    That is too bad that you weren’t able to go! That would be so frustrating! But at least you tried, and you researched the possibility. Now at least should the opportunity arise again, you know the steps you need to take.

  • Sheena says:

    That’s the traveller’s life, sometimes things don’t always go to plan… I can feel your disappointment but I’m sure you gained some lessons from the experience. I wish you luck in visiting Socotra Island sometime soon my friend!

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