Let Mr.Z take you on a ride with #DreamTicket

Mr.Z  a.k.a. Zeeshan Arif Siddiqui talk to Wings & Strokes about his recent travels and experiences. Traveling teaches you a lot, not just about the world but also you may find aspects to your personality that you were unaware of. Traveling is the best way to find yourself. Zeeshan in his earlier promise to enlighten you all about #dreamticket is finally putting it all down into words. He has been very busy lately with exams but the wait was definitely worth it. Read on to know more about it 🙂

3-1

W&S: Tell us about #DreamTicket and how did that happen?

Mr.Z: #DreamTicket is a Dream-Come-True. It is basically a collective ticket(s) to a few (just a few) amazing, adventurous, beautiful and worth-visiting destinations that God has created for us to explore. It is not very often that you get to explore so many places, all at once, best thing is knowing that your trip is sponsored.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank #OriflamePakistan, my side business for cosmetics, through which I had earned enough to spend on this trip, which is why I am always looking for so many young energetic prospects, to brief them about how they can also earn using simple methods and techniques, without any investment.

Thanks to my boss (at work – ZonG) too for having faith in me and my work and allowing me to experience this wonnnnnnderful trip! J

It could have been just the places visited, food eaten and photos taken kinda trip, had it not been planned as I did. Thanks to #Google for I could plan every second in every city in every country visited.

W&S: Tell us about places you visited

Mr.Z: The itinerary included 6 countries – Netherlands (also called Holland), Portugal, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and France.

Specifically speaking about the cities everywhere, in Netherlands I got to visit Amsterdam, Utrecht, s-Hertoghenbosch and Boxtel. In Portugal it was just Lisbon (also called Lisboa). In Spain it was Barcelona, Lloret de Mar, Palafolls and Blanes. In Italy I got a chance to visit Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice, Milan and Como Lago. Only Zurich in Switzerland and Paris in France.

W&S: What was the most fascinating thing about your journey?

Mr.Z: The most fascinating thing was meeting myself. I had never traveled and visited a lot of places alone before. From thinking of what to do, to actually making the bookings, arrangements and finally experiencing them all was enchanting. I had never thought I could do most of these things.

If I would have to pick one most fascinating thing out of all that I did, it would be Scuba Diving (Deep Sea Diving) near Lloret de Mar beach in Spain. Experiencing the navy blue water, with schools of fish passing you by, touching and literally rubbing the sand at the extreme base of ‘THE’ Mediterranean Sea was a one of a kind experience. The corals, the sea weeds, the cold water and the sight of the giant sea was AMMMMMAZING. What surprises me the most is that it did not make me nervous even for a single second, which makes me believe now to the fullest that I do NOT have Water Phobia Alhamdolillah! J

W&S: Best place according to you and why?

Mr.Z: I would rate #DisneyLandParis in France as the best place during my trip. I believe that growing up in the 90’s, we #The90sBabies, have well absorbed all the Walt Disney characters in our blood. Not only that the rides were amazing, the souvenir shops every few steps away, the costumes, the Disney characters that you get to meet and take a photo with, the photos in the adventurous rides, the food shops, the Disney Parade and last but not the least the Fireworks and Laser Show at day end, these are known to be a signature of #DisneyLand – all were soooo exciting that you would easily get goose bumps and tears in your eyes for having been blessed to experience this in your lifetime.

W&S: Best cuisine you had and where?

Mr.Z: Didn’t get time to try different cuisines as I hardly ever try new food anywhere I go. Plus on this trip, food was not on my priority list and hence I had planned intentionally not to waste much on food (which wasn’t possible since I’m a foodie) J

But so far as what I remember the best I had was in Milan, right next to the hotel where I stayed. It was desi food, made by Muslims from India. They specially made Parathas for me, which were not on their menu and I had those with White Chanay J. I would love to visit them again if ever I get a chance.

W&S: Any life changing experiences during your trip?

Mr.Z: This is a tough question but I would still think of something. I feel nauseous whenever I am travelling (even on the plain roads) lol. But after this trip one thinks of investing in traveling and exploring the world. Alhamdolillah – all thanks to Allah for a beautiful house that we have, which makes me focus on saving for my next endeavors.

Insha Allah I am hopeful that I would win trips soon from the company I am working for and I would love to plan each tiny detail for them again and spend my savings there. This is one life changing experience, as I had never planned of exploring this beautiful wide world earlier.

W&S: Advice on how to make the most of a trip for aspiring travelers and how to plan it?

Mr.Z: I would say traveling to beautiful places to relax from the busy routines that we have, “DOES NOT” mean that we have to waste time sleeping there. Every minute in every city in every country should be planned and strictly followed. I believe that is the best how one can make the most of a trip.

For cheap flights bookings, there are a lot of websites. My personal favorite has been www.skyscanner.net. I had also explored a lot of websites to check the accommodation bookings and expenses. In this regard I liked www.booking.com the most. For the activities and places to visit in any part of the world I searched Google and also apps like #Triposo and #TripAdvisor. Not only that they would tell you the amazing places to see, things to do, things not to do, language, temperature, currency, even the electricity voltage by default and the socket shapes in those countries.

Thanks to Google for easy online bookings for the theme parks, activities, museums, etc. which saves us a LOTTTTT of time for not standing in the long queues anywhere we go.

I made a file and captioned it #DreamTicket and filled it with all my tickets, booking passes, hotel bookings, flights tickets, boarding passes, museum tickets, theme park tickets, water sports activities tickets, trains tickets, buss tickets, etc. This gives you a feeling that you are well-prepared and also lets you know about the spare time slots you have for the things to do, that you actually get to know once you are there.

W&S: Which place do you think is vastly overrated?

Mr.Z: I believe #Switzerland was vastly overrated. I happened to visit #Zurich. It was beautiful, people were nice and polite, roads were clean, buildings were great BUT I could not find natural beauty there as we had always thought about since our childhood listening to the word SWITZERLAND. Perhaps that’s because such places do not exist in the main cities but in the suburbs and I did not get time to visit the suburbs.

After all you make an image of every place that you visit, before you visit it. So Switzerland was totally not what I expected it to be like, but still it was a visit of a lifetime – an experience of a kind. J

W&S: Most memorable moment during your journey?

Mr.Z: Most memorable moments were a few – hard to define just one. I made some new friends. There is someone I met in Amsterdam, who was an English teacher in Ireland, but was basically from Brazil and we became very good friends.

I happened to meet a professional song writer and singer in Lisbon, Portugal, who was visiting there from NYC. It was a great time exchanging ideas with him too.

I never knew I could do Scuba Diving easily. But my instructor in Lloret de Mar was one amazing person that I’ll always remember.

Made a new Muslim friend in Barcelona, who was visiting from Paris but was basically from Morocco – that I happened to meet again in Paris. Isn’t it amazing? Making a new friend and getting to meet the same person twice – both in different countries – during the same trip???

I also happened to meet a caricature artist in Florence, Italy and it was fun getting a caricature made in just 20 minutes.

Happened to meet and befriend another artist in Zurich, Switzerland who made a charcoal portrait of me – that too for free. The person ranks among the Top 100 Artists of Europe and is constantly exhibiting his creations in one or the other museums or galleries in Europe every now and then.

W&S: Traveling teaches you to….?

Mr.Z: I believe travelling teaches you a lot of things, if you think about it

Being thankful for the AMAZING food that we get every day at our home.

Being amazed at the beautiful creations of Allah that we get to explore while travelling.

Getting to know different cultures, people, their nature, their food, weather, their history, their historical places and monuments, etc.

Also it teaches us to compromise on certain things. Since we being from Pakistan are definitely not treated very nice at some parts of the world, hence, allowing us to feel great once we come back to our homeland as a First Class Citizen.

You can find Zeeshan on: –

Instagram:            https://www.instagram.com/zeeshsiddiqui/

Facebook:              https://www.facebook.com/zeeshan.arif.siddiqui

Snapchat:              ZeeshSiddiqui

Thank you very much!

Meet Mr.Z!

With the cool November breeze setting in, we decided to introduce you to someone who is warm and giving to set the mood and embrace the changing weather. He is a workaholic, a businessman, a radio jockey, a traveller, a thinker, an artist, a devoted father, a loving partner and what not! Its not easy to put an ordinary person with extra-ordinary qualites into words. Those of you who are familiar with the hashtag dreamticket know who we are talking about. He is a man of many talents…Ladies and gentlemen, meet Mr.Zeeshan Arif.

Mr.Zeeshan took time out of his busy schedule to tell us about himself, his passion for life, and will be talking to us about #dreamticket in weeks to follow.

W&S: Tell us about yourself

Mr.Z:  Hi, I am Zeeshan Arif Siddiqui. I am 31, working for IT Department in a multinational telecom company in Islamabad. Gemini, hence hyper and energetic, a good multi-tasker. Recently completed my MBA Executive, doing CA, have a side business for hand-painted clothing, have another side business for target based marketing and selling for natural cosmetics from a Swedish multinational company, married with two kids, into sketching, oil painting, fabric painting, charcoals, soft pastels, playing keyboard, learning violin, swimming, horse riding – hyper, friendly, energetic, talkative and experimental. 

W&S: Where is home?

Mr.Z:  Home is in Islamabad, Pakistan – Home is where parents are. 

W&S: If you were to pick one moment that describes your entire past life, what would that be?

Mr.Z: One moment – perhaps when Allah blessed us with my beautiful little princess that we call PRINCESS GLOLO aka Aisha Zeeshan Siddiqui. That was December 4, 2014. Although she was our second born (after a son) but I have no clue how come my eyes were all welled up at that very moment when I held her up in my arms for the very first time. A treasure, a blessing – ALHAMDOLILLAH. Felt like I got rich all of a sudden. DAUGHTERS ARE LOVE!!!

W&S: Tell us about your childhood

Mr.Z: Being from an Army background, got posted to various cities of Pakistan – been to almost all the provinces. Studying in Army schools made me friendly and making friends with people quickly became easy, made me confident, and an attention seeker too. 

Used to be all over the stage in the school at allll occasions. Was not mischievous at all, friendly to new comers in the class, apple of my teachers’ eyes and never argued with parents either. Was born after 2 sisters so used to play with them, their games. Was friends with all classmates. . Used to play in the street with alllll the kids in the street in the afternoon, was good at studies too. Made my parents proud ALHAMDOLILLAH. Used to sing at school, and act and play and encouraged everybody else around me to do the same.

A young, energetic, hyper childhood that I absolutely treasure!

W&S: What kind of a student were you? What kind of grades did your parents always expect from you?

Mr.Z: Parents were always strict when it came to grades. But specifically talking about my mom, she has worked really hard on all 4 of us. I used to be among the top 3 if not first (which occurred a very few times). I never studied for a bright future,  but to please my mom since she worked really hard on us.

W&S: Most memorable childhood memory?

Mr.Z: When our younger brother was born – who is 7 years younger than me – and while on our way back from school when the batman (helper) told us we now have a brother. Spontaneously at that very instant I entered into a bet with him worth Rs. 100 that he is joking. J

We did not have the concept that there can be another addition to my siblings. We always thought  that it would just be 3 of us forever. So when we returned home, my Grandma broke the news, and ended up paying him Rs. 100/- since he won the bet. lol

W&S: You are known amongst your friends as?

Mr.Z: “You make things sound so simple” is one comment I generally get. ALHAMDOLILLAH. Sometimes people think I can find a way to make difficult things easy for them. Sometimes they think I can help them solve their problems (be it related to married life, job, studies, office politics or generally the lost faith in prayers)
Some people think I have a lot of links and a big social circle so I can help them with anything they want as I would be able to find a suitable person from my facebook friends who can be of assistance to them.

W&S: You are sentimental about?

Mr.Z: LOVE. I don’t know since when did I establish this but I want everybody around to love me, which is why I am ready to do anything for others. Help them, serve them, at times kill my ego too, but I want everybody to love me.

W&S: As a child, you grew up wanting to be?

Mr.Z: A commercial pilot (which is not very much common) but I don’t even know when I did my F.Sc and why I didn’t even apply for it. After I completed F.Sc I wanted to join NCA but somehow my parents didn’t let me. And it would be pertinent to mention here that while I was in grade 12 I scored All Pakistan 1st Position in Sketching and All Pakistan 2nd Position in Calligraphy, conducted by the Federal Board. But still I was unable to convince them that artists can earn a good lifestyle too.  

W&S: Favorite cuisine?

Mr.Z: Im a fast food lover and I “CLAIM” to be the “BIGGEST KFC FAN IN PAKISTAN”.

unnamed-6

W&S: Qualities you look for in people?

Mr.Z: An amazing sense of humour – and that’s it. I don’t need education, I don’t need class, style, job, age or anything else. (I don’t even enjoy comedy movies since I feel they are unable to make me laugh). So people with a very smart sense of humour are the ones I pick the most. If a person cannot make me smile he is most definitely not staying for a very long time around me.

W&S: Would you call yourself an introvert or extrovert?

Mr.Z: I talk a lot so people would perhaps judge me as an extrovert. But I don’t generally tell people how I feel about things. I keep my stuff to my imaginary world and I enjoy details in my imagination.

W&S: What do you do in your free time?

Mr.Z: I talk! 

W&S: Favorite vacation spot?

Mr.Z: There is no one spot that I can call my favourite. Perhaps it depends on the company. Murree for now since many years as I love wandering on the main Mall Road. For food I love Lahore. Recently got a chance to visit a bit of Europe, loved Amsterdam.

unnamed-18

W&S: How would you describe your signature look and what is it about your style that sets you apart?

Mr.Z: People keep telling me that they don’t even recognize me in my different photos. They think perhaps its different people who don’t even look alike. But since recent years facial hair is my signature look and a thick beard and thick moustaches perhaps set me apart.

W&S: Your favorite song of all time?

Mr.Z: Aa bhi ja from the Bollywood movie Surr has been my favourite since many years both with regards to the melody and the lyrics. Touched me back then, touch me to date too.

W&S: What did you grow up listening to?

Mr.Z: Jennifer Lopez, Diana Ross, Junoon, Vital Signs, Awaz, Fringe Benefits, Heptones, Whitney Houston, Enrique Iglesias, ABBA, Ace of Base and a bit of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

W&S: Your favorite movie of all time?

Mr.Z: If Only (a sweet romantic movie) – A must must must see.

unnamed-13unnamed-12unnamed-17

W&S:How long have you had your beard and would you be willing to shave it off for a million dollars?

Mr.Z: The beard is with me for about 3 years now and definitely I would shave it off for even half a million. Lol People tell me I look younger when I have a clean shaven face.

W&S: What’s your take on selfies?

Mr.Z: People who don’t take selfies are the ones who do not easily accept change. I believe we have to move on in life with time, accepting changes and enjoying every bit of it as it happens. Things change, people change and even times change. One should be able to stay HAPPY “INTENTIONALLY” and I believe this is a way to go about it. I am a selfie freak – probably take at least one daily. 

unnamed-9

W&S:What do you think is vastly overrated?

Mr.Z: Switzerland – lol. People might not believe me but trust me it is. You’ll know it when you get there, since as far the sceneries, and beautiful landscapes are concerned its “THE SAME” as Pakistan, not better if not less. 

W&S: Most memorable moment during your journey?

Mr.Z: Most memorable would be the Lights and Fireworks show that starts at 8:30 pm every day at the main (pink) Sleeping Beauty Castle at DisneyLand Park Paris. The mesmerizing 20 minutes that brings your entire childhood in front of you, gives you Goosebumps, brings tears to your eyes with happiness and an extempore that I was uttering time and again for Allah blessed me this opportunity to save enough and goto this magical place and experience my childhood dream.

W&S: What is that one thing you wish you had designed?

Mr.Z: The beautiful and magnificent Tower of Pisa. 

W&S: How long have you been associated with Zong?

Mr.Z: Joined in April 2012, so it’s like 4 and a half years now.

W&S: Tell us about being a Radio jockey.

Mr. Z: Radio is something like I never actually planned on doing, despite being told a lot many times by a lot many people that I SHOULD since I love to talk a lot and since I am very fond of keeping my company into me whenever I am around, but honestly, had a phase in life when I was down and wanted to keep myself busy. That is when I started the hand painted clothing business, MBA Executive along with a full time job and my regular live morning shows at Power 99 FM before work. I used to go there from 7am to 9am and then to my regular workplace at 9am. Used to keep me extreeeeeemely busy and tired at the end of the day but perhaps that is the best remedy when someone is down. You don’t get to focus much on the office politics.

unnamed-1

 W&S: Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

Mr.ZI’m sooo blank when it comes to this question =/ I don’t want to think about it but if the current scenario remains the same or at least similar, I would be working in ZonG. And FM 101 too..would be having a 3rd kiddo insha Allah. Would be excelling a bit with Aesthetics (the side business for hand painted clothing) might have done another degree too by then, probably MS or something, I plan on completing my CA too and will be buying another car..insha Allah.

unnamed-19

Mr.Zeeshan will be talking to us in weeks to come about his passion for traveling, all the places he has visited and of course #dreamticket.

Like his pages on fb:

Tune into his radio show on FM 101 from 9am to 11am every Saturday and Sunday. Don’t forget to like his official page on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/RJZeeshanArifSiddiqui/

For super fun hand painted clothing : https://www.facebook.com/Aesthetics.isb/

For the ultimate online shopping experience visit his page: https://www.facebook.com/oriflamepakistann123/

Follow Zeeshan on Instagram: zeeshsiddiqui

Signing off

W&S