Travel Junkie Diary of

Bader Allawati

Sunday, March 16, 2014
Bader AllawatiLike0

Bader Allawati, a communications executive at Enhance Oman, a communications manager at Freezing Omanis. The Freezing Omanis initiative was an environmental expedition to Antarctica, where he was picked by 2041 along with 20 others worldwide to represent Oman and since, decided to brand his expedition.

“Being from a desert country, the strange concept of ‘Freezing Omanis’ began where I trained inside a -30 degree industrial freezer to prepare myself for Antarctica…

In the freezer, I broke 2 world records…coldest tweet up, and the most amount of bloggers in a freezer (tweeting and blogging about environmental awareness issues)”

We are pleased to have him here on Travel Junkie Diary and here is a video we love watching!

Here is his Diary

Destination Antarctica

A friend of mine had told me about this expedition and I thought it was very unlikely that I would get picked to go, so I applied anyways, 2 days later I was informed that I was to be a part of the team of 20.

Stayed in  We slept out in the snow! No tents, just built snow banks to keep our sleeping bags from the snow while looking out to the stars.

Month  March

In your suitcase  

25 KG of warm cloths!

6 layers (thermals, quick dry layer, fleece, jacket, outer shell, scarf)

2 cameras

Ski poles, heat packs, extra gloves

A snowflake capture kit

A snowflake pin  (I have been nicknamed snowflake because iv brought back preserved snowflakes)


–        Wake up 5am, put on 6 layers of cloths and eat breakfast (mass amounts of protein), get on the zodiacs by 6:15

–        Get on to the continent (if we hadn’t camped out) trek, do a workshop / lessons on the ice after we had gotten to the point we needed to get to, trek back or to the next point

–        Get on the ship, have lunch, go to a lecture or two, get back into the zodiac and on the continent or on a zodiac cruise

–        Get back to the ship or camp site, have another lecture, work on our environmental campaigns and then if we have time socialize… 12 we may have time to sleep if we decide…of course with the milky way just there we wont sleep…..

–        Repeat for the next 10 days and watch sleep deprivation in its funniest forms

We went to different spots around the Antarctic peninsula and we met many influential people like the VP of Shell international, Robert Swan (first man in history to walk south and north poles)

Shopped at If there’s a hidden shop in the Antarctic I would want know about it!

Dined in Lots of steak on ship, and pre-packed food provided by the ship.

Tips I cant begin to explain it! The place is the most beautiful place on earth…Once you get use to the cold, you’ll enjoy it much better, get low aperture lenses for night time photography and wide angel lenses for landscape, be very careful as a small injury there can be a big deal so follow safety instructions and learn knots, ropes and first aid.

Above all, drop your camera every once in a while and stay quiet…..the most amazing experience you will ever have

Mode of Travel Emirates to Buenos Aires, LAN to Ushuaia, check both local carriers because one of them has a lower carry allowance which can mean you will spend a lot on excess baggage.

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  • How much time do you spend planning for a trip? I still can’t get over the beautiful sunsets I’ve been lucky to experience on the island. I’ve also written two blog posts on guides to Menorca and what to watch out for prior booking. 
I do usually spend a lot of time on research for my trips, months in advance and, for this specific trip, it was a little challenging finding a place to stay that matched what I was exactly looking for. 
The search engine that worked well for me was @wegoarabia - as for flights, I didn’t have too many options from Barcelona but it worked out well. I mixed it between hotel stay and private villa stay for my 10 nights. Booked a car and took it really easy at the end!
  • I’m aware that I posted this photo before, but... there are no rules here... the Arctic has quickly become my comfort zone. 
Our business and being an entrepreneur in today’s world on @travelwithtjd was featured in an incredible article on @entmagazineme (link in bio to read the full story) written by the incredible @thisisaby on how I started @tjdhospitality , my goals, my passion and dedication to what I truly believed in... and nothing stood in my way... It continues beautifully on the chapter how @dennisstever and I created our mini series to launch @travelwithtjd and the future... and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. 
One day it will just click. You realize what's important and what isn't, you learn to care less about what other people think of you and care more about what you think of yourself. You realize how far you have come and remember thinking that things were in such a mess they'd never recover.. and then you smile. You smile because you are truest proud of yourself and the person you have fought to become. 
Never forget who has helped you in the past or who kept believing in you when you stopped. 💫
  • I’m not into small talk... so show me your soul. Let’s our minds connect, let’s us just be who we really are and say how it is... or, just say nothing at all.
  • A small town in Menorca, a 30 minute drive into this beautiful town. Long sandy beaches and little houses built around the sides of the bay overlooking the sea. I had to stop the car every minute and step out and appreciate the empty beaches and how incredibly happy I was deciding to visit this beautiful island despite taking a long time on my research! 
Thank you to @hertz.uae for always making it so easy to rent a car and for adding my skywards miles while booking with you 😊
  • One of the most beautiful beach strip in Menorca. I definitely love quiet beaches, and here tends to be crowded and popular, but it was still so comfortable and an exciting vibe to it.
  • There is a legend of Cova d’en Xoroi, a story of a pirate name Xoroi, who abandoned his ship, discovered this cave and found refuge here. 
Xoroi then abducted a woman from the village, fell in love and married her and had kids. 
One day, in winter, the island was covered with unexpected snow, and armed men found footprints into the cave and found the women with her 3 sons. 
Xoroi was surrounded and powerless and jumped into the water from the cliff, and his eldest son followed him and his wife returned to the village. 
What happened after that is a mystery...
  • What are your road trips tips!? For me, I always love keeping strawberries and blueberries & a playlist that has to include Ben Howard.
It’s been a crazy 2 weeks on the road, first in Finland with over 16 hours road trips and now in Menorca doing the same on a much smaller scale, exploring the island in our family van that we rented from @hertz.uae And earn Skywards Miles 😊
What are your smooth road trip tips?
  • Cala Galdana is definitely one of my favorite beaches. They told me that this tiny island of Menorca has more beaches that Ibiza and Mallorca put together. 
Do you have a favorite beach in Spain?
  • I’ve left Finland a week ago, flew directly to Spain from there and landed in this beautiful island of Menorca. The neighboring island of Mallorca and Ibiza. Decided to stay couple of days in @meliacalagaldana to get these views and visit the beaches to the south and then moved further North of the island into a private villa for the rest of my trip. Have you been to Menorca before?
  • Someone asked me if I find myself changing when I’m away in Scandinavia. The thought lingered... and I couldn’t put it in words properly. 
This has quickly become my comfort zone... Most of the times, my mind always control things and I always plan EVERYTHING ahead of time... it’s the organized side of me... but here, I feel my heart is upside down, and it leads the way, giving my mind a rest... almost like Shirshasana.
My passion for the unknown and peace takes reign and I start my story all over again, choosing which to keep and to let go of those that don’t serve me anymore. 
The stories of who I am is told through what I remind myself on how far I’ve come and that... it’s always ok not to have everything figured out. So...for now, here is what makes me happy and gives me answers. And so, here is where I’ll always come back to. 💫 #travelwithtjd
  • Would you sleep here?
Imagine this: Witnessing the midnight sun, where the sun never truly sets, from here. 
Waking up with the sound of birds, wind and the lake and nothing else. We’ve made the best summer experience on @travelwithtjd in our TJD Finland Summer Series and it’s available now to book!
  • We drove 6.5 hours North West of Helsinki into the coast. Right on the edge of the UNESCO world heritage area, in the land of the rising rocks. 
Facing me, is Sweden, 1 hour away by boat, the area here is mostly influenced by the Swedish. 
The summers in Finland is so different... another new meaning to magic and I’m so in love with the landscape.
We experienced delicious arctic cuisine and island hopping. Add it to your bucket list and travel with us on @travelwithtjd for summer days in Finland and watch the midnight sun right from your glass igloo. 
Photo by @dennisstever