This past Friday morning I was in my room with my host sister when my host aunt came in quickly and told me to get dressed to go. With no idea where we were going, I first put on an abaya before being sent up to change by my host uncle, who informed me that if I wore it out I would regret it and melt.
The whole family piled into the car and, after dropping off the maid at the City Center, we drove seemingly at random with a few stops at gas stations to buy snack food. After an hour or so we stopped in a more remote town, where we walked to a hot spring that was set up to feed a system of baths (you can see a picture of it on my Photos page). It's super pretty, and after testing the water with my hands I discovered it was boiling hot.
After we all explored a bit around the area we got back in the car and drove again, this time coming to a stop just outside of Al Hazm castle. Al Hazm is one of the most famous castles in Oman, and it's easy to see why. The views from the top are incredible, and the whole building is beautifully preserved. I had particular fun running around the top and taking pictures, as well as exploring a rather hidden portion of the castle (my host siblings and I found a passage under a flight of stairs and followed it, using my cell phone flashlight to show the way as the lights were broken).
Before I came to this country I was as tightly wound as a coiled spring... Deadlines and planning ahead were my forte, and spontaneity was not something I was comfortable with. Now... Well, I'm certainly getting better about relaxing - when I first arrived the thought of a random road trip would have terrified me, and this last one turned one of the most fun things I've done in a while.
I'm glad I'm learning to relax, because I think that's a big part of Omani culture. Those of you who know me, of course, are probably scoffing at my statements about letting go of my planning urges. But I swear, it's happening. Slowly maybe, but often that's how change happens.
Sometimes all we have to do is let go, and enjoy the ride.
🎶Let It Go - Idina Menzel🎶
Hi! My name is Karla Cox. This blog is a compilation of notes, thoughts, and photos from my travels around the world.