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Hajar Ali  Founder of Urbane Nomads, first woman to cross the Empty Quarter, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

http://www.urbanenomads.com/

Sundays in 🇸🇬

Now I know what revolution smells like. #ArabSpring #RevolutionAsCommodity

A warm fire, a hearty dinner and a good(?) book. Anyone knows how to get those eyes moving? #movingphoto

The plant nerd in me tries to identify plants I encounter by their scientific names. This time I only managed 'some kind of lycopodium', a species that, as I excitedly told my dining partner, I had in my vertical garden collection. #urbanjungle #cafehoppingsg

First breakfast. Buenos Aires. #sustenance

My vertical garden. The current mix : medinilla magnifica , medinilla asteronoides, pitcher plant, spider plant, firecracker plant, lipstick plant, Boston fern, thyme, stevia, dill, chives, two types of mint, pink quill plant, two types of lycopodium. Any recommendations on an orchid to add to the collection? #plantinventory #urbanjungle #urbanjunglebloggers #planthoarder

In Punta del Este, at the place that I'd always intended to visit. This is two days after I abandoned a polo tournament that I was meant to play in. It was to celebrate Urbane Nomads' 10th anniversary and would have been a fitting and poetic narrative given that it was my trip to Argentina 10 years ago that gave me the idea and impetus to start the company. It didn't work out as planned. Everything that could have gone wrong, did, and I knew that to stay on would have made me even more desperately unhappy than I already was at the time. It was at the lobby of the Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, as I solicited the opinions of those who mattered to me, that I realised that we do too many things to fit a narrative that we'd concocted in our heads. That when faced with a situation where you're called on to do 'the right thing' by people who have, sometimes repeatedly, shown that they do not care about you, that the right reaction is to just walk away. On the way back to the airport I had a conversation with the taxi driver in my pidgin Spanish telling him that I had just 'escaped' a polo tournament to come to Punta. The ridiculousness of it all cracked him up. It was days after I walked out of the entire event, the initial triumphant and liberated joy of having 'escaped' a situation that made me desperately unhappy followed by a few surreal days of a 'What did I just do,' haze. I came to Punta to recollect, gather myself and recharge. Off-season Punta apparently allows you just that. If I'm pressed for a New Year's resolution, it would be to take greater care of myself as well as appreciating the ones in my close circle. The fallout from this trip meant that others who'd heard a version of events would ask, sometimes feigning concern for curiosity. Your friends have your back and very little else matters- probably my greatest takeaway during the time I took to make a decision in the hotel lobby and wait for a cab to get me back, and then out, of the Argentinian countryside. #escape #travel #belatednewyearspost #belatednewyearresolution #newyearresolution

Escape from Buenos Aires. Hopped over to Punta del Este, the St Tropez of Latin America. Because it was off-season though, I had the resort pretty much to myself. No partying, no noise, just much needed quiet. #puntadeleste #fasanolaspiedras #luxurytravel #latinamerica

This is where I spend my mornings now. 2017 saw the transformation of my roof terraces from concrete wasteland (thanks to a concrete wash gone wrong), to two roof gardens. The back terrace now has three #dendrobium orchids, 1 of which is taller than me, a bird's nest fern, 2 varieties of peacock ferns, 4 staghorn ferns, Spanish moss, a water lily pond, a purple passionfruit vine and a blue pea creeper, 2 tall #alpiniapurpurata and a vertical garden with a crazy assortment of spider plants: Boston ferns, firecracker plants, thyme, mint and a 💄 plant. The front terrace is no longer a spartan work-in-progress hosting a daybed, a Laotian raindrum, Thai wooden panels, a Moroccan outdoor light, two tall mussaenda, a bromeliad which served as my beginner plant, a medinilla magnifica and a calathea roseopicta. On my balcony sits a lotus, a flowering sage, catnip to keep my 🐱 happy and high, medinilla myrianta and flowering sage. In my living room a licuala palm, a pink quill and an assortment of air plants. In the planter boxes of the rooms- purple fountain grass and a fish pond with Thalia geniculata. Quite the transformation over the last few months and a long way from the sole neglected palm tree on the roof terrace. #planthoarder #planthaul #plantsofinstagram #russeliaequisetiformis #aeschynanthus

Reunited with Loki #lokithebengal

As part of undoing the Obama legacy, Trump has recently legalised the import of elephant trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe. The decision has been put on hold following protest from animal rights groups ( #smallmercies ) The argument of hunting being used as an aide to conservation efforts was something that I have been personally partial to. Except that elephants are endangered species and no amount of money from sport hunting is going to repair the damage to the conservation efforts of this species. In a country like Zimbabwe, especially with the current political instability, the legalisation of hunting is bound to be abused and I don't see how hunting elephants could (even if legal and regulated) , yield positive effects on conservation efforts. This photo was taken in Botswana where Khama has stood firm in its hunting ban. #notopoaching #elephantconservation #savetheelephants 🐘

Crypt in the basement of San Demetrius. #thessaloniki #throwback

When the guide's talking and you wander off for a photo. 🎥: @sandhya_kartha

View of the port.

Throwback. #imissmycat

So I decided to go gray. Trying out the new camera. Background edited out because in reality I was sitting next to the #longkang. Hair by @takuyaxtakuya #grayhair

#Throwback to Chamonix

I've not used up my quota of cat photos, have I? #bengalcat #lokithebengal

Because I've reached an age where I get to ramble. Here we go- English, Malay, French, Spanish and Turkish.
38. Pour les chinois, c’est considéré comme la bonne fortune, ce qui signifie une « vie prospère » et certainement une qui a été bonne. C’est aussi très proche du grand 4-0, où je réévalue si j’ai assez accompli pendant ma vie. Mais le concept même de l’accomplissement - Késako? Je ne me suis jamais vraiment interrogé sur le sujet.

Ha sido una loca revuelta para adquirir los idiomas que he estado queriendo aprender, tratando de arreglar mi esquí para poder cumplir mis sueños de esquiar sobre nieve fresca, virgen y profunda. Sentarme a escribir memorias y encontrar las formas por las cuales los viajes (específicamente los viajes de lujo) pueden contribuir y tener un mayor impacto en la sociedad. Viajar, es una profesión que llego a mi casi por casualidad, me ha dado nuevos conocimientos, oportunidades y perspectivas de todo el mundo. Es mi tiempo para explorar las formas en que pueda aportar algo a la sociedad, más allá del limitado alcance de la realización personal.
Urbane Nomads, önümüzdeki yıl 10 yaşına giriyor. Bu yılın beraberinde getireceklerini sabırsızlıkla bekliyorum. Gittiğim yerleri ve gördüğüm şeyleri düşünürken, bunların gerçek olduğuna hala inanamıyorum. Biraz dinlenmeye ihtiyacım var. En azından son birkaç ay boyunca, hayatımda iyi yönde değişiklikler yapmalıyım. Kişisel açıdan, en sonunda 17 yıl boyunca gittiğim kuaförümü değiştirdim, hayatımı düzene soktum, dairemi yeniledim, güzel çarşaflar aldım bu da benim ‘yetişkin olma’ şeklim.
Antara plan saya untuk bulan-bulan akan datang- merealisasikan projek Kickstarter pertama, polo di Argentina dan untuk menghabiskan buku yang sedang ditulis.

There's magic to be found in libraries

When the sun shines too brightly in your face use light filters. #throwback to Putrajaya to support the Singapore team at the SEA games

No- not the smooth underhand shot. Check out Urbane Nomads' logo in the background.To mark 10 years of Urbane Nomads, am looking at putting together a team for a mixed tournament in Buenos Aires end of the year. Looking for two more players. Players with a handicap of -2 and above open to converting their handicap to an Argentinian 0 are welcome. Will cover tournament fees. 📷 of @shaharuddined by @shaikreismann #polo #buenosaires

Throwback to Ramadhan in China. In front of Shanghai's oldest mosque. #shanghai #shanghaimosque

Çay ister misiniz? Another Ramadhan project completed. Have just finished writing a book, a memoir with Rashomon-esque elements, and can now resurface for air. Anatomy of the failed flatlay: matchbox from Yabani Beirut(best looking sushi bar I have ever seen), tea glass, jeweled stand and candelabra from the souks of Marrakech, paint dip pots from Bhutan, poem on wall by Hafez. #yabanibeirut #newbookalert #newbook #memoir

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