Who's Coming to Argentina in March?!

Price Reduction! $1000 for double occupancy and $1200 for single!

Dates: March 22 to March 28, 2020

If these dates do not work , then please contact me and I will see what I can do.

Announcing a one of a kind mix of yoga and city life. Some Yin and Yang! In Argentina’s capital of Buenos Aires. My love affair with Argentina started in 2015 when I came to take a Spanish immersion course.

I taught my first yoga class on that trip to a group of theater students attending the University of Buenos Aires. I realized very quickly that yoga would become an integral part of my life in Buenos Aires.

I now spend 4 months out of the year in Buenos Aires and teach yoga to locals and expats. I am excited to say that I had my first retreat in Buenos Aires in August 2019. I can’t wait for you to join the next one!

I provide low costs to provide access to all. But quality will not be compromised. The yoga lessons you will receive are well thought out. Having a 500 hour YogaWorks certification and 6 years teaching experience, you will be taken care of and receive the type of yoga you need.

Buenos Aires is rich with history. Just a walk through San Telmo will reveal the antique stores selling wares of the early European settlers and the cobbled stoned streets with tango dancing on a random corner. Soccer is religion here so a tour of the Boca will reveal the history of Diego Maradona as well as other celebrities. The Recoleta cemetery is more a citadel and you will wonder in awe at the lavish lifestyles of the dead and famousπŸ˜‰.

The architecture of this amazing city blows my mind every time I visit. French colonial and Italian influences abound.

So will you not join me on this magical week in Argentina? Maybe you too will be smitten and be lucky to want to come back. Argentina’s salt flats and deserts in the North and glaciers and mountains in the South all await. And let’s not forget Iguazu Falls, ten times larger than Niagara.

Your Cost :

$1000 (double occupancy)

Inclusions:

  • 3 hours of yoga everyday
  • Tour of San Telmo
  • Tour of Recoleta Cemetery
  • Tour of La Boca
  • Tango Show and Lesson
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast daily
  • Farewell dinner on the last night
  • Pick up and drop off from airport

OPTIONS FOR NON-YOGIS AS WELL!

SINGLE ROOM AVAILABLE FOR $200 SINGLE SUPPLEMENT

Email: nabeel@travelswithnabeel.com to book!

Buenos Aires awaits you! Start 2020 right!

Yoga and Culture Buenos Aires

Price Reduction! $1000 for double occupancy and $1200 for single!

Dates: March 22 to March 28, 2020

If these dates do not work , then please contact me and I will see what I can do.

Announcing a one of a kind mix of yoga and city life. Some Yin and Yang! In Argentina’s capital of Buenos Aires. My love affair with Argentina started in 2015 when I came to take a Spanish immersion course.

I taught my first yoga class on that trip to a group of theater students attending the University of Buenos Aires. I realized very quickly that yoga would become an integral part of my life in Buenos Aires.

I now spend 4 months out of the year in Buenos Aires and teach yoga to locals and expats. I am excited to say that I had my first retreat in Buenos Aires in August 2019. I can’t wait for you to join the next one!

I provide low costs to provide access to all. But quality will not be compromised. The yoga lessons you will receive are well thought out. Having a 500 hour YogaWorks certification and 6 years teaching experience, you will be taken care of and receive the type of yoga you need.

Buenos Aires is rich with history. Just a walk through San Telmo will reveal the antique stores selling wares of the early European settlers and the cobbled stoned streets with tango dancing on a random corner. Soccer is religion here so a tour of the Boca will reveal the history of Diego Maradona as well as other celebrities. The Recoleta cemetery is more a citadel and you will wonder in awe at the lavish lifestyles of the dead and famousπŸ˜‰.

The architecture of this amazing city blows my mind every time I visit. French colonial and Italian influences abound.

So will you not join me on this magical week in Argentina? Maybe you too will be smitten and be lucky to want to come back. Argentina’s salt flats and deserts in the North and glaciers and mountains in the South all await. And let’s not forget Iguazu Falls, ten times larger than Niagara.

Your Cost :

$1000 (double occupancy)

Inclusions:

  • 3 hours of yoga everyday
  • Tour of San Telmo
  • Tour of Recoleta Cemetery
  • Tour of La Boca
  • Tango Show and Lesson
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast daily
  • Farewell dinner on the last night
  • Pick up and drop off from airport

OPTIONS FOR NON-YOGIS AS WELL!

SINGLE ROOM AVAILABLE FOR $200 SINGLE SUPPLEMENT

Email: nabeel@travelswithnabeel.com to book!

Buenos Aires awaits you! Start 2020 right!

Bali Yoga Retreat Part 3

Day 6, January 20th, 2020

Today we were joined in the morning by Abbie and Rowan, our new friends from Bristol. Also joining in was Ishita who I had met at the airport. Joyce was the remaining yoga retreat student and it was nice to have additional students, making it a full and fun class. Although Rosa, Lorenzo and Augusto are irreplaceable. Miss you guys πŸ’—.

After our morning yoga session Rowan, Abbie and I headed to Legian Beach for my first ever surfing lesson. I have a healthy fear of the ocean. It’s a big ocean out there and there’s all kinds of creatures in it. I am slowly getting more and more comfortable in the water. If it weren’t for Rowan’s ravings about the surf school UP2YOU surfing, I might never have tried it before!

Once I donned on that wetsuit (shirt only) and got my board, I was feeling psyched. And we were a small group – our instructor and KT from Canada.

I got the hang of it towards the end of our 2 hour session and was getting into it. Getting onto the board every time was a lot of hardwork! But I was addicted! Will definitely try surfing again ☺️.

Nailed it!

After hanging out at Legian Beach for a bit, we had lunch at the Amadea Resort next to our villa in Seminyak, and I took a few laps in the pool.

Amadea Resort, Seminyak, Bali

And it was soon time for yoga class number 9. But this one was special. We were all going on a field trip to Niti Mandala Park in Denpasar where about 70 students gather for a community yoga session. I wanted my student Joyce to experience the local yoga scene and she was totally game! And Rowen joined us as Abbie rested up in the villa.

Bajra Sandhi Monument, Denpasar, Bali

Doing yoga with the backdrop of the Bajra Sandhi Monument was an awesome experience for my students and I. And so was the yoga in Balinese. We would not understand but were able to decipher the poses pretty easily. Doing yoga in this fabulous park as the sun set was truly incredible. And some friendly locals stopped in to say hello at the end of class.

This was my last night in Bali. We went back to Char Char and had a fabulous dinner there. The surfing had wiped me out, so I lay down for a bit and after some work, eventually went to bed.

Day 7, January 21st, 2020

Today was our last day in Bali. It was our last yoga class – class number 10 and this time I taught a Yin Yang class.

After a few swims in the pool I went for a little souvenir shopping. And once done with that I was ready to go to the airport. Joyce and I had our flights a the same time at 16:30, so we were picked up by Dewa, our driver at 13:00. Joyce returned home to the San Francisco Bay Area and I caught my flight to New Zealand.😊

Bali exceeded my expectations in all ways possible ways. I will be returning for sure. In the meantime follow me to Buenos Aires where I will be having my second Urban Yoga Retreat. Email me at nabeel@travelswithnabeel.com for more info.

Until next time …

Nabeel Atique

January 22nd, 2020

Auckland, New Zeland

Bali Yoga Retreat Part 2

Day 4, January 18th, 2020

Today we started the day with 8 am yoga. Again the students did a fabulous job. After that the students had a free day to explore Seminyak. I used this time to catch up on my writing and get some laps in the pool. All in all a very productive day.

And in the afternoon we were joined by Rowan and Abbie. I had met them on plane ride in from Kuala Lumpur. They had flown all the way in from Bristol, United Kingdom! And they were at the start of a one year journey across the globe. How exciting.

With Abbie and Rowan from Bristol, UK

The evening class was class number 5 for the students, so we ramped it up a bit and I was surprised how everyone rocked Crow Pose, Bakasana! Well done students!

Rowan, Abbie and I watched a gorgeous sunset.

Sunset, Seminyak Beach

And after dinner at Warung Mina, we had few drinks at Char Char a superb restaurant with a bar in the form of a stadium gallery just overlooking the street. A great way to top off the night πŸ˜€.

Day 5, January 19th, 2020

We once again started the morning with yoga at 8:00 am. Today Rosa, Lorenzo and Augosto were leaving for Los Angeles, so it was their last day of yoga. In the morning we balanced again in Ardha Chandrasana. They all did a fabulous job and remembered the little cues they had been picking up all week.

The students spent most of the day at the zoo. I hit the pool at the Amadea Resort next door to do laps and some underwater yoga. Yes, it can be done, but breath work takes on a whole other meaning underwater! πŸ˜‚

Warrior 2 underwater!

I also got a chance to do some yoga at the beach close to sunset. Teaching yoga requires me to focus on just that – teaching. So it was nice to do my own practice for a change.

In the afternoon, before their flight I gave the trio a full Yin Yoga class. Yin Yoga can be quite challenging at first, holding the poses for longer and trying to find stillness. It helps access that connective tissue in the body that is sometimes “stuck” and causes limited flexibility, shortness and injury. They all did a great job and the meditative aspect of Yin got them relaxed and ready for their long flight home.

I bid adieu to Rosa, Lorenzo and Augosto after a nice meal at Jas Villas, a nice hotel next door. I know I’ll see you again and thanks for all the memories!

Bali Yoga Retreat Part I

Day 1, January 15th, 2020

I got into Bali around 11:45 am. Full of excitement. I was going to meet my team of 4 students in a few hours. Joyce would be the first to arrive at 3:30pm and then Rosa, Augosto and Lorenzo would be next at 5:30pm.

What do I do for 3 hours? Go to the beach of course! The beach closest to the airport in the town of Denpasar is Kuta Beach. It’s known for being a bit busy and crowded, but I didn’t think it was too bad. I took a taxi there and jumped straight into the water. It was warm! I was loving it.

Kuta Beach, Bali

After a short swim, I went back to the airport and Joyce arrived on time via Taipei. She is one of my regular students in the San Francisco Bay Area and this is her second yoga retreat with me – the first one being in Buenos Aires last August. So great to have her back again!

After a late lunch at the airport we received Rosa, her boyfriend Augosto and her brother Lorenzo. They flew in from Los Angeles via the other ocean, the Atlantic with a stop in Doha, Qatar. Their flight was also on time!

Nabeel, Augosto, Rosa, Joyce and Lorenzo

And our driver Dewa was waiting for us with a sign. The five of us cosily fit into his Toyota SUV and were headed to Seminyak, where the more quieter and peaceful beaches awaited us.

Upon arrival, Edith the owner of our villa greeted me with two kisses on either cheek. She’s French you see. Edith showed us around our villa. My jaw dropped. It was the perfect home for our one week yoga retreat in Bali. The pool was blue and inviting, with a little stone frog water fountain. Spaces for yoga abounded, inside and out, and the grass was so well kept, it almost seemed like astroturf! And the rooms were massively big with indoor and outdoor showers. We were in a Balinese jungle environment, an 8 minute walk to the beach so as expected, we had frogs, geckos and other beautiful critters around. Oh and 3 neighborhood cats passed through that evening.

The retreat had sold out and as Joyce signed up late – I made special accommodations for her at the neighboring Amadea Resort just 2 minutes away. In the evening some of us checked out their restaurant Bistro Batu Kali that night and then crashed!

Bistro Batu Kali, Seminyak

The four of my students collectively had circled the entire globe to get here (Pacific and Atlantic directions both). How cool!

Day 2, January 16th

Today I gave our students a little extra time to sleep in and recover from their long journeys to paradise. But I was up early and scouted out the beach in Seminyak. It was the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. The sky was blue with a few puffy clouds, but the beach was covered in a silver glow that reflected the sky perfectly. I made a few new friends and I hurried back to make sure the students were being fed properly by our housekeeper Ayu.

After breakfast we walked down to the beach. And after a few swims we decided our first yoga lesson should be at the beach! It was a fantastic experience and the students did an awesome job. We had to move once or twice as rogue waves kept us on our toes (literally πŸ˜‰).

First Yoga Class

After yoga and lounging around the beach we came back to the villa and had a delightful afternoon, swimming in the pool. Augosto and I practiced synchronized diving. Yup, no Greg Louganis πŸ˜‚. But it was super fun. We listened to 80s music and just lounged around in a slumber all afternoon. The rest I had been searching for all year. Magical.

At 5 pm we hit the mat again for yoga class number 2. The students did a great job once again.

Then we went to Ku De Ta, a beachside resort to watch a spectacular sunset followed by a very nice dinner.

Sunset, Seminyak, Bali

We were all pretty tired by then and some were a little jet-lagged so we just came back and crashed again! But the next day we would start our regular routine of 8 am yoga. All in all a full 2nd day ☺️.

Day 3, January 17th, 2020

I again went for an early walk to the beach to stretch my legs and then had yoga again at 8 am. The students were enthusiastic. We worked on balance today and the peak pose was Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon). We also did Vrksasana (Tree). The students enjoyed that.

After breakfast we hit the road with out trusted driver Dewa. He first took us to the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. Wow. What a spectacular place with monkeys everywhere. Most were very well behaved and they were cute and just playing around. But every now and then, one would try to open the zipper of someone’s backpack!

The sculptures and the temples in the Monkey Forest were just as intriguing for me! What an amazing display of art. Bali is primarily Hindu, with Muslim, Christian and other minorities. Indonesia is mainly Muslim as a whole, so Bali is quite different.

I quite enjoyed and appreciated the intricate stone carvings depicting characters from the Ramayana and figures representing Hindu deities. It’s always nice to appreciate a culture and religion different from one’s own. Such a learning opportunity.

After the Monkey Forest, Dewa our driver took us to the Rice Terraces. They were beautiful but a bit crowded. We had a short stop there and the highlight was Rosa who soared in a red dress on a swing. You could tell she was loving life, soaring high!

And the next stop was lunch with a view of Mount Batur. It was an amazing set up with us sitting at the edge of an overlook looking straight at Mount Batur with Lake Batur right there as well. It was slightly unnerving at first since I had just escaped being trapped in in the Philippines due to the erupting Mount Taal volcano. It was a similar set up, complete with the lake I was supposed to cross to climb to the crater of Mount Taal. But nature had other plans. Lucky to be safe. Dodged another one (read Tsunami 2004).

Mount Batur, Ubud, Bali

The lunch buffet at the rest stop was amazing. Good mix of vegetarian dishes as well as meat. We did a little bit of yoga with Mount Batur in the distance. A good distraction from volcanic eruptions!

We are Warriors, Mount Batur, Bali

Next stop was the Waterfall. We just made it in time to spend about 45 minutes in waterfall. We got there at 6 pm and they close at sunset at 6:45 pm. Only Augosto and I jumped in the water and thoroughly enjoyed cooling off and the splash of the water falling and hitting the whirlpool.

We soon hit the road and were back in Seminyak in about an hour and a half. Day 3 in Bali was amazing! Plenty of yoga and a tour around Ubud. The highlights were all the sites! Sacred Monkey Forest, Rice Terraces, Mount Batur and the Waterfall.

Let’s see what the second half of our retreat brings! So far Bali is five stars! Students are happy. That makes me happy β˜ΊοΈπŸ’—.

Buenos Aires Yoga Retreat

Come join me in my second yoga retreat in Argentina. This will be my 10th trip to Argentina and my 8th time teaching yoga there. But this retreat will prove to be a special one as I once again visit this land where there are deserts and salt flats in the north and glaciers in the south.

The Cost is $1600 and includes:

  1. 6 nights accommodation in a French Baroque style bed and breakfast in the quiet part of Palermo, Buenos Aires’ more trendy neighborhood.
  2. Tour of La Boca, where the early immigrants arrived and where Diego Maradona among many more got their start. Tour of the famous Recoleta Cemetery where Evita and many more dignitaries lie in rest. And finally a tour of the Market of San Telmo, a more bohemian part of town.
  3. Three hours of yoga everyday
  4. Airport pick up and drop off
  5. Tango Lesson with Buenos Aires’ finest dancers
  6. Farewell dinner! Both meat lovers and vegetarian options available.

Non-yogi companions get the reduced rate of $1400.

Rate of $1600 is for single occupancy. Double occupancy rate is $1300 per person.

Yoga-ing around the world. Clock-wise from upper left: Paros, Greece; London; Paris and Angkor Wat, Cambodia featured here .

Please email : nabeel@travelswithnabeel.com for further information or to book.

See you in Buenos Aires in 2020!

Bali Retreat-1 Spot Left!

January 15 to 21, 2020

Almost full! One shared spot remains (double occupancy). Don’t let you your dream yoga retreat slip away! Contact to book this last remaining spot ASAP.

Come join me for an unforgettable experience in the ocean paradise of Seminyak, a more secluded and idyllic part of Bali. Avoid the crowds as we do 3 hours of yoga daily, at our amazing villa just minutes away from the beach. Upon request we can take our mats and towels and do yoga at the beach as the waves lull us into a relaxing Savasana at the end. After we get our sweat on – we can even take a dip in the water.

$990 per person for 6 nights

(Rate is double occupancy. Single occupancy $1290)

Inclusions: healthy breakfast, 6 nights accomodation in a private villa, airport pick up and drop off. Three hours of yoga everyday.

Optional activities and excursions can be arranged.

Sampling of prior events by Nabeel: Yogamatique Buenos Aires, Ushuaia Argentina, San Andres Colombia, Drake Passage Antarctica, Angkor Wat Cambodia

Don’t wait to book. Limited spots available! Beginners and all levels accommodated. Non-yogi companions will have other activities available. US citizens and citizens of many countries do not require a visa.

Luxury villa with pool with room access and lounge chairs and large living areas and bar area for evening drinks and socializing.

How to Book?

Receive booking instructions by emailing using the email below:

Email: nabeel@travelswithnabeel.com

More info can also be found at:

Website: www.travelswithnabeel.com

Instagram: @yogawithnabeel

See you in 2020 for an adventure of a lifetime!

Yoga Retreat

The Tea Gardens of Bangladesh

Colors of Bangladesh (credit: Nabeel Atique)

Dates: December 28th, 2019 to January 3rd, 2020 (6 nights lodging)

Amtali Nature Reserve – your home in Srimangal! (credit: Amtali Nature Resort)

Cost: $1500 per person (double occupancy) (no single supplement)

Inclusions:

Lodging at Amtali Nature Resort, Srimangal (6 nights)

2 hours of Yoga everyday (for accompanying non-yogis $150 off the rate)

All meals

Transport from Dhaka to Srimangal (180 km)

Hiking at Lowachara National Park

Hiking and boat ride at Madhobpur Lake

Tea Garden Tour and Tea Tasting (including 7 layered tea)

Visit a local waterfall and indigenous village

CONTACT: nabeel@travelswithnabeel.com to book or for more information

Nabeel Atique has been doing yoga since 1997. He is a 500 hour ERYT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher). Both his 200 hour and 300 hour trainings have been through YogaWorks. He is also trained to teach Yin Yoga. He has taught yoga in the United States, Colombia, Argentina, Bangladesh and Antarctica. He teaches with special emphasis on injury prevention and rejuvenation. His classes are fun and his expertise ranges from Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Flow to a more grounded Yin Yoga practice. He also teaches Gentle and Beginner Yoga.

Local Music and Tea Gardens (credit: Amtali Nature Resort)

Nabeel speaks 6 languages. He was born in Bangladesh and is fluent in Bengali. He has been living in the San Francisco Bay Area for the last several years. This yoga retreat will be led 100% by him and will not be outsourced. Come discover the magic of yoga and the magic of Bangladesh with Nabeel.

Clockwise from top: Greece, Vatican, Cambodia and Argentina

About Amtali Nature Resort: Amtali is located just on the outskirts of Srimangal in the Sylhet district of Bangladesh. It is in a Tea Plantation and also in a forested region inhabited by plenty of local wildlife.

Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh is a short 2 hour flight from Bangkok. Other convenient connections can be made via Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and London.

United States citizens and citizens of several countries can get a visa on arrival taking any tedious paperwork out of the way.

Clockwise from top: France, Antarctica, Patagonia, Drake Passage, Bangladesh

You can book this exclusive trip by contacting us through the “Contact” tab at the top or by emailing nabeel@travelswithnabeel.com

The Sweet Beginning – Paros, Greece

First Hike, Paros

I am in Greece. Specifically I am on a Greek Island called Paros. At this moment in time I am the envy of many! I do consider myself very fortunate to be here. I really did not do much research regarding the place. Reason being, I am here for a 300 hour yoga teacher training. So my main priority is the training. It’s nice that it’s here on a Greek isle. But I also chose this particular training because it is led by David Kim. David is an incredible yoga teacher. I took a one week Yin Yoga course with him two years ago in Santa Monica. I drove all the way down from Fremont, in Northern California to do this. And boy was I pleased. Yogaworks where David teaches is a company that holds true to a gold standard. I have yet to find a Yogaworks teacher I really dislike. In fact I know that if I step into a random Yogaworks class I will learn a lot, benefit from the class and somehow feel better than when I walked in.

David Kim’s Yin Yoga TT Graduates in 2017, Santa Monica

Things look great, don’t they? Well, I have news for you. For every story, there is a back story.

I attempted to take the 300 hour training in Los Angeles while I was still living in Santa Clarita in 2014. About 2 weeks into the training I was struck with a debilitating back injury. I had to withdraw from the training. These trainings are 6 months long and I wouldn’t last a week more, let alone the duration of the training. It was quite depressing. However, there is always a silver lining if you look for it. That winter, the winter of 2014 I had hit rock bottom. My back had not improved after 7 months of physical therapy and my dentist had pulled out a wisdom tooth (unnecessarily) and left me with dry socket. The pain was unbearable. I had an open wound that would not clot inside my mouth – in my jaw.

Tranquility in Paros

These dark days in December made me stop, pause and analyze my life. I had to halt everything. And that gave me clarity. I thought “I have to move back to the SF Bay Area”. I longed to be back in Yosemite, Tuolumne Meadows, Lake Tahoe. I missed the variety of foods to be had and the languages one hears just crossing the street. Northern California and Southern California are worlds apart. I am grateful for my time in Southern California. It gave me my first full time faculty position at Antelope Valley College and I was introduced to the wonderful world of road biking in the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys and I formed some incredible friendships – gifts I would not trade for anything. But it was definitely time to go home – home for me in the United States was Nor Cal – where I felt it from the heart. I got a job at fabulous Ohlone College and I am please to say that I just received tenure there this May.

Beach at OkreBlue Resort, Paros

So back to the topic of the 300 hour training. In 2017 I went down to Santa Monica and did that Yin training with David Kim. I also took a few yoga classes at Yogaworks and I met Mia Togo for the first time in one of her classes on Main Street, Santa Monica. Wow. I loved her style and her playfulness. I asked her if there was a way for me to do the 300 hour training with her, while still in Nor Cal, even though she was down in LA. We explored options and unfortunately it seemed too complicated to split up the modules. Alas it was not meant to be.

Fast forward to 2019 … I am on a leave from work to deal with consequences of my mother’s passing two years ago. Managing property half way across the world and the emotional toll was just too much. Well, as luck would have it David Kim, along with Anna Zorzou is offering the 300 hour teacher training (in intensive format) during the month of October in Paros, Greece. And guess who is a guest lecturer? Yup. Mia Togo! If ever the stars were aligned! Dreams do come true.

Greece is geographically on the way to Bangladesh. After this 300 hour training I will head to Bangladesh to take care of the final affairs of my mother’s estate.

Boat Pose πŸ™‚

There is no real moral of a story here.

But if there is anything to take away from it – never give up hope. Good things do happen. It may not seem that way many times, but the struggle to hold on is worth it. Reach out to your friends, family, loved ones. And share your thoughts. You will find the right people to get you through…and then like magic when you least expect dreams do materialize…

Today I start day one of my 300 hour teacher training.

With love and gratitude.

Nabeel

Paros, Greece

5th, October, 2019

Yoga, Friends and Solace in Rome

I lived in Rome from 1980 to 1984. Those were the golden years of my childhood. My first crush. My first real bicycle, Italian at that. My first time playing soccer for the school team. Learning Italian for the first time. I can go on and on …

Vatican City

Piazza Navona

My father was sent to Rome by Bangladesh Airlines to open the first offices of the airline. He single-handedly navigated this new land without speaking a word of Italian and successfully brought the first flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines home to Rome. I am amazed at what my father achieved in his short life of 49 years. Wow. I am sure I have impacted many people with my positions – as an engineer in Silicon Valley, as a math professor at a community college and as a yoga teacher. But the uniqueness and complexities of what my dad was able to achieve blows my mind to this day. I only knew him for 18 years. He passed away a few months before my 19th birthday. But those 18 years were worth a lifetime.

There is a little place where, tucked away, I keep these memories of my father. Now, I have added new memories to this special place, for my mother has passed as well. We are supposed to be tough in this world. Endure things. Act a certain way. Show no signs of weakness. But truth be told, it’s all nonsense. Live your life, feel what you feel. Acknowledge it and share it with people you love. Be real.

The loss of my mother was devastating. She was both a father and mother for the last 30 years. She was the ultimate sacrificer. She didn’t get remarried for the sake of her children. She did not want to make us feel an ounce less loved. Looking back I wish she would have gotten remarried. But you know what? She had to be happy making her decisions, the way she wanted. Ever since my nieces were born my mother was in heaven. She loved those two girls like nothing else. Uncle Nabeel would have to compete for her love. Not really. She had that amazing capacity of loving everyone. Although that never stopped me from teasing her that she loved her grandchildren the most! πŸ™‚

I hadn’t been to Rome in 35 years. I was going to Rome. This was all very sudden. I am taking some time off to heal after my mom’s passing and headed to Bangladesh soon to deal with logistics of property management as well – half way around the world. This feat has taken its toll and worn me down. But now I had this great opportunity to stop in Rome and to take a walk down that special road – memory lane – and relive my golden years with my parents and sister.

Marco & I

It’s not that easy as it sounds though. I was a bit nervous about the emotions that would surface? How would I feel? Would I feel any better? Or may be worse?

They were not necessarily ALL good, the things that happened in Rome. I crashed a car when I was 12. Yes I was 12. It’s a long story – but in short the Hassan family came to visit the Atique family. The adults decided to go to Lake Bracciano using our car. Mr. Hassan decided to leave the keys to their car with his 16 year old Ehsan (bad move number 1). What did Ehsan do with those keys? He decided to let 12 year old Nabeel drive their Toyota Corolla (bad move number 2). And like most 12 year olds who don’t know how to drive – I crashed it!

Luckily we were OK and there was no bodily harm. The car was totaled. I crashed it into a pillar a few hundred meters down the road. I was wrought with fear – my whole 12 year old world crashing down on me. As luck would have it, I managed to crash it on the one property in the neighborhood that was run-down and the owners very Godfather-ish. We didn’t get any horse’s heads under our beds, but they tried to extort money out of my dad (unreasonable amounts). Funnily enough the house is still there and it is still the most run-down house along the road. I guess crime doesn’t pay after all πŸ™‚

Fast forward to September 29th, 2019. I had just spent an amazing September 28th in Rome with Marco, my bro from Argentina who is half Italian. We had just met 9 months ago in Buenos Aires. He is childhood friends with Leo one of my other brothers in Buenos Aires. I would do anything for these kids – they are like my family. And Marco did EVERYTHING for me.

He was at the Termini Train Station to receive me.

Pizza Time!

We had real Italian pizza right away and I had the fullest day on the 28th. In a nutshell, I saw the Vatican, St. Peter’s, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, Trevi fountain and more…

Reciting at the Vatican

But in the evening is where Marco shone bright. Marco took me to dinner at Ditta Trinchetti – the Pasta was killing me with every bite. I tried his lamb dish and was like WHY??? I wanted it all πŸ™‚ The pana cotta was to die for.

Panna cotta anyone?