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  • Writer's pictureSaira Sufi


I love traveling. Well, I could do without the youngin behind me kicking my seat but in a way, it takes me back to telling Hadi and Zakaria to not kick their seats on flights. Dulles Airport, oh, how you bring back so many memories. I did fly into National Airport 20 years ago, leaving Kansas behind but it was Dulles that I flew out of for my honeymoon to Hawaii. It was a flight from Dulles that I realized Zakaria and I share the joys of motion sickness. It was Dulles that I ran through after learning from my father that Hadi was being transported from NIH to Children’s via helicopter after he returned from his T-Cell trip to Cincinnati. It is Dulles that I flew out of today to check out the West Coast as a single woman, I am a single mother but Zakaria isn’t with me. I am not going to lie, the weeks without him suck but I know it is important to take care of me too. It’s weird not having a child’s head on my lap or making sure I have air sickness bags ready. I will also say I am totally a rule follower (well, sometimes) but man, I can’t wait to get on a flight and not wear a mask. I am rocking a Star Wars one on this flight. I am trying to make up for lost time and this is my second trip in three weeks. Zakaria and I went to Mexico and it was incredible. Yes, the humidity made DC seem pleasant but watching Zakaria explore cenotes and learn about Mayan culture made it ok that I felt like l had been swimming without even stepping into a pool or the ocean. We first went to Riveria Maya in July of 2019. I wasn’t aware how different my life would be just one month later. It might have just been a party of two this time around and not four but dude, the breakfast buffet didn’t change and I believe it is essential to have churros available every morning. The trip reminded me of one of my first trips to Pakistan with my mother. One of my first memories was locating our red suitcase at the airport. Sure enough, Zakaria did the same for me as I almost took off with someone else’s luggage. Did I also mention I booked our hotel on the wrong coast? Nuevo Vallarta and Riveria Maya are not the same in case you were wondering. Alhumdullilah, it all worked out.

I know there will be some tears on this trip as Zakaria won’t get to enjoy a Voodoo donut…but that just means we will have to plan another trip. Horchata donut for me this time, Cap’n Crunch for him next.

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