“When I get toward the end of my life, I want to look back and see that I’ve lived not only the length of it, but the width of it as well…”
Looking at the amount of time and money spent on my travel each year, a lot of people, especially close friends asked me a typical, mocking question:
"Kau gi jalan round dunia ni tak simpan duit sikit untuk buat haji ke atau umrah ke? Kalau duit lebih tu sedekah le pada parents ke … adik beradik ke… anak-anak ke.. kekawan ke... bla bla bla… he he he…”
Hubby and I usually will just smile and ignore those remarks. Our parents, siblings and kids know us better to pass judgments...
When we started working in early 80s, we opened a deposit account with Tabung Haji. A small monthly salary deduction was a heavy burden to our pockets. Then, with our general degree our meager salary was barely sufficient to pay for house rental, car loan and utilities. Eating out on Saturday nights was a luxury treat for the kids…
Over the years with each yearly increment, we increased our deposits. Over 5 years our tabung haji deposits were enough for us to perform the Hajj. It didn’t take us long to decide. In 1991 we registered and in 1992 we were offered to join the muasasah group.
In May 1992, we severed all ties with our family and home and started our journey for the Hajj Pilgrimage. Leaving our small kids behind, my late youngest son, Mirza was 7 then. We performed the various duties of the pilgrim at all stages of the Hajj and completed the fifth and last of the Rukun Islam. Alhamdulillah… In front of the Ka’abah we prayed for Allah to endow us with wealth and health, for us to be able to visit the holy lands again.
In November 1994, we brought our 3 kids, my Mak and Abah and my MIL to perform the Umrah and after the Umrah we stopped over in Amman, Jordan for a 3-day ziarah.
In December 1996, joining a big group, together with our 3 kids we went to perform our Umrah again. This time we transited in Istanbul, Turkey for a 3-day ziarah.
In December 1998, together with the kids, my parents and MIL we went for ziarah in Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt. Over there we were accompanied by my nephew, Abu Dzar, who was then studying in Al-Azhar U and was our tour guide. We then flew to Madinah and later we entered Makkah on the first day of Ramadhan.
In November 2000, only the two of us went to perform the Umrah during the last week of Ramadhan. After the Umrah, when we reached KL, we had already completed 30 days of fasting and celebrated the Eid-Fitri. People in Malaysia were still fasting then.
In September 2002, together with another 2 couples we went to perform the Umrah. On the way back to KL our flight was stranded in Sana’a, Yemen and we were made to stay for 3 days before the next flight. The 6 of us enjoyed our stay so much. And all expenses were paid for!
In September 2004, we joined a group of a dozen people to perform the Umrah. After the Umrah the two of us transited in Dubai for a 4-day holiday. There, we met with my nephew, Nor Azhar, a Captain with the Etihad Airways.
In September 2006, Sara, my parents and MIL, my two sisters, Zai and Amah joined us for another Umrah trip. We transited at Dubai and spent three nights in my nephew’s place in Abu Dhabi.
In July 2008, we brought Sara, Iwan, Ella and my besan Normah for another Umrah trip and we transitted in Dubai and stayed a few nights in Abu Dhabi.
We have always planned to perform our Umrah every other year and Alhamdulillah, Allah has granted us our wishes. It’s time to go again so in December 2010, we registered to go for another Umrah trip but to our disappointment the Saudi stopped issuing the ziarah visas until early 2011.
So in April 2011 together with Sara and Fitri, we will be going for our Umrah trip via Amman, Jerusalem and Damascus.
My Overseas Travel: munmus.blogspot.com