As part of our "remote meeting" process, we have time and space for members to share their experiences in the current travel climate.  New Rotary member Shalla Shaharyar provided the following summary of her recent trip home to Pakistan.

We'd love to publish others, please send them in.



When I boarded the airplane to Pakistan, I did not know that this would be my shortest trip home, yet the most reflective. I had planned to stay three weeks in Pakistan, however due to Covid-19 declared as a global pandemic in the middle of my trip, I was compelled to return early. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed my short visit. 

Due to the gradual economic-social shutdown in Pakistan, I eventually became homebound, and unexpectedly with much more time on my hands, as socializing and shopping came to a quick halt.

Shalla & (my mother) Shahida - Waiting for breakfast in the beautiful morning sun!

In hindsight, this extra time was a blessing as I got more time to connect with my two beautiful nieces, which further strengthened my familial relationships, and also provided me the opportunity to learn more about my extended family through stories shared by my mother, the best story teller I know!

My nieces. Eliza and Shiza

Sitting at home also came with extended exceptional hospitality, and I indulged, unrestrained, in savoury curries, grilled skewered meats, fresh organic fruits, special naans, biryanis and much much more!! Not a bad deal after all.  Early spring had just taken hold of Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, when I arrived. It was breathtaking and invigorating to hear the cheering birds, see the budding flowers and trees and the vibrant hues in the backdrop of Margalla hills, a mountainous range that is part of the Himalayan foothills. March is definitely a beautiful month to visit Islamabad.

One of the more adventurous parts of my trip was driving a manual in the chaotic bustling traffic of Islamabad, not once, but thrice and live to tell about it! There is no doubt that driving a stick is fun and thrilling as it requires constant mental vigilance, but I was also glad to know that its a skill that is never lost! 

It was a short trip but one that I will always cherish. I am very thankful for the trip, and also to return safely to Canada, my second home! Now I look forward to spring taking a hold in Medicine Hat…..Shalla