Looking back, 5 months have passed. My dad, elder sis and I had the opportunity to visit the blessed cities of Makkah and Madinah in Saudi Arabia to perform our minor pilmigrage, also known as umrah. We registered for the trip in December 2013 (kiasu Singaporeans alert lol). We had to go for jabs, prepare some documents and also go for the umrah classes. I was very fortunate that I got to change my leave slots just so that I can go for umrah alhamdulillah. And quite unfortunately, there was quite a bad MERS outbreak in the first half of 2014 so the papers/news were announcing that the Saudi government will restrict the number of visitors/pilgrims entering the Kingdom and there was also a likelihood that those who were gonna perform the umrah will have to cancel their trip. We went with Halijah Travels and during one of the umrah classes, they were mentioning that our visas may not be approved by the Saudi Embassy and that we might not be able to go. We felt worried cos personally for me, I was looking forward to go there. But alhamdullilah, our visas were approved! It was only approved 2 days before we were scheduled to fly off. I remembered I was doing my night shift and I received a message from my lil sis saying that our visas were approved! My dad messaged me too. I really jumped for joy! Phew! Initially, we were scheduled to depart on Sunday but it was pushed to Monday. And also, we were initially supposed to fly with Singapore Airlines, which I’ve been really looking forward too cos I really wanna experience their supposedly excellent service as mentioned by lots of people. But in the end, we flew with Etihad airways. Not too bad, just that the seats were quite hard my back ached.
We spent 13 days in total for this umrah trip. I was excited and nervous for this trip as this is the first time I’m going for umrah. The flight was around 6 hours, from Singapore to Abu Dhabi International Airport. From there. we took another flight to Jeddah, King AbdulAziz Airport.