Muslim Women

A Year in Travel: 2018 Travel Highlights

A Year in Travel: 2018 Travel Highlights. Pin Me!

A Year in Travel: 2018 Travel Highlights. Pin Me!

When life is busy and the days just roll into each other, it is hard to realise the milestones and the achievements that we have done. I had to sit with myself and scroll through my calendar to pin point when I traveled and what locations I actually managed to see. This whole year I kept feeling that I haven’t been travelling as much, but that sit down and look at the destinations made me realise that in fact I have been to five new countries with minimal prior planning and on a budget, which instantly lifted my spirit and reminded me of all my blessings.

If you are a reader of the monthly travel newsletter than you have already received my 2018 travel highlights, but I though it will also be good to have a more in depth blog post about the reasons behind my travels in 2018 and why they are much less than they were in 2017 .

March Travels - Lithuania

My travels in 2018 did not start till March this year because I travelled right up to the end of December the prior year, where I said goodbye to 2017 with a beautiful women only retreat in Morocco. So I wanted to be home in London to just start the year with some extra savings and to get work done before I jet off. For March, B and I travelled to Lithuania and although it was five days, it went by very quickly. I was very impressed with all the things the capital, Vilnius had to offer and would love to go again to explore the areas around it. I also enjoyed learning about the Islamic heritage of Lithuania. It was very cold in March too, which was nice! I like a little bit of winter destinations because they have their own charm.

Vilnius Three Day Itinerary (Muslim Friendly guide to Vilnius)

On the frozen Lake in Lithuania

You can also watch the two videos I made from the Lithuania trip:

April Travels

2017 summer, I went to Portugal for the first time and I absolutely loved it, so when I had the chance to work with a yoga and surfing retreat there I had to jump at the chance. I also couldn’t go all the way without exploring a few more cities since I am there and all! That turned into a ten day trip into the beautiful Algarve. The videos of that trip will make an appearance in 2019.

Ten Days Itinerary to the Algarve, South Portugal

Beaches and Cliffs in Algarve

May Travels

I have been waiting for the right time to go to Montenegro for about two years, so I get myself organised early in the year and found a very affordable tickets to go. It was a short trip of four days and I tried to make the most of every minute, but it was barely enough to see that little gem of a country.

Two Days in Kotor, Montenegro

One day itinerary in Podgorica, Montenegro

Hijab and Muslims in Montenegro

You can watch my two videos about my four days in Montenegro here as well.

June Travels

Ramadan, the holy month of Islamic fast, fell between May and June this year. The time of year changes based on the moon movement and other calculation. The summer fast is always a struggle and it’s too long to be fasted in the UK, so it’s my favourite time of the year to go be with my Saudi family. I was fed so much though. I am still trying to lose that weight that I gained then!

15 things to know about Ramadan in Saudi

After the Eid celebrations in Saudi, I got back to London and it was a busy summer in the city, struggling with the London heat, teaching art classes and doing some university work. I also don’t love travelling in July and August since it’s the school holidays and most destinations are over priced and over crowded.

Ramadan in Saudi

September Travels

The September trip didn’t take me very far, but it was a nice city break to Belfast in Northern Ireland. I have been living in England for eight years and I haven’t been to the closest places around me. I am slowly trying to change that and there was a reason I couldn’t resist, which was the power of video conference about video making and succeeding as a YouTuber. It was so inspiring and I really loved the nature around Belfast. It was a nice little break.

Weekend in Belfast (First Timer Guide to Belfast) - Halal Edition

September in Belfast

October Travels

This trip happened between the end of September and the very start of October when the weather was still nice in Europe. It was much colder than expected, but it was manageable. B and I went to Tallinn, Estonia and hopped to Helsinki, Finland for the day. It was another five day trip that went by way too fast! I liked the mix of styles in Tallinn that had a touch of Russia and a touch of the Nordic.

Botanical Gardens in Tallinn

You can watch the videos from Tallinn and Helsinki below as well:

November Travels

November was going to be a work month and to tempt myself to work I already set myself a reward trip to Cyprus in December, but life is never as we plan. Not mine anyway. My grandfather got really sick and I had to go back home to Saudi before he goes into a very critical surgery. Unfortunately his health got even worse and he passed away. So my November turned out to be a sad travel month. Living abroad means sudden travels in such cases. I am thankful I went earlier in the year back to Saudi, when he was well to spend more time with him. I didn’t have the heart after that to go Cyprus. He will be greatly miss. The pain of losing a loved one will never be fully gone, but he will be in my heart forever. May God bless his soul.

East Saudi - Cemetery

A note before you go, I know packaging my year like this with highlighting my travels make me sound like the happiest and luckiest person in the world, but you have to know that I am just like you with lots of downs and struggles as well. I am still very thankful and aware of my privilege. A lot of it was on an obtainable budget and most of the posts I have written tell you exactly how much I spent, so take a look at that and hopefully you will be able to travel much more in the new year!

More posts from the blog:

10 Muslim Female Travellers to Follow (Bloggers & Vloggers)

As I go on in my own travel blogging journey, I always like to look around to see who else is creating engaging travel content from the same bracket as me. I came up with ten Muslim women that either blog or vlog about their travels. It wasn't an easy task to put this list together. There are many Muslim women on social media, but the ones who are dedicated to the travel content can be counted on two hands! Here are my travel heroine and I hope you find this list useful! 

1- Rasha Yousif

Rasha is a Bahraini documentary photographer and travel blogger with a love for graceful and cultural experiences. She also just climbed Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. 

2- Fly with Haifa

Haifa is a force of positive energy in all the colours of the spectrum. Love her personality and how she likes to involve locals in her travel videos. Some of the places she has visited give me serious wanderlust. 

3- Passport and Plates

Sally is a travel blogger with a love for culture and food! Her posts make me either hungry or in awe of the places she has been. She is an expert when it comes to Egypt and Sudan, so make sure you visit her blog if you are planning a trip! 

4- Hijabi Globetrotter

Kareemah is an American language teacher who spent two years in Spain. I always pretend to read her Spanish captions! She has a fresh perspective that she shares on her blog and YouTube. 

5- Muslim Travel Girls

Elena is one of the first Muslim female travel bloggers. She is all about giving other Muslim women options to have hijab free holidays. 

6- Nada Al Nahdi

Nada is unstoppable and thirsty for adventures even with all the hurdles that embassies worldwide give her because of her Yemeni passport. She is persistent and she has been to many destinations around Africa, Asia and Europe. 

7- Hello 965 

Fatima is an adventurous soul and she has been to wonderful destinations in Asia, Africa and South America. Basically all the places that are on my list. Her presence is strongest on Instagram with three accounts: travel, hotels and food! She also has a blog and YouTube. 

8- The Travelling Turbanista

If you want gorgeous outfits with beautiful adventure then Sisi is the person for you. She is a flight attendant based in Dubai and I am in love with her fashion style and destinations that fit perfectly with her elegant and colourful style. 

9- Maroc Mama

Amanda has turned her life in Morocco into a successful blog. She shares the gorgeous patterns and delicious dishes of Morocco. She also travels in the US and Europe. She should be your first point of research if you are looking at anything related to Morocco. 

A post shared by Amanda Mouttaki (@marocmama) on

10- The Zeina Diary

Zeina is an Iraqi based in Jordan. Her dream is to travel and explore the world and she is doing it slowly as her Iraqi passport allow her! 

Bonus: Arabian Wanderess

Yours truly! I think you know by now that I am a vagabond and love to see the world. If I haven't to a country, then it's 100% on my list! Basically the world is my list and I can't wait to see it all. 

10 Muslim Female Travellers to Follow

If you would like to read more about Muslim women who travel, then make sure you checkout Muslimahs Who Travel instagram page. If you would like to join a community of like minded Muslim women who travel, join the private Facebook group 

Over to you: Who are your favourite muslim female travellers that you always follow for inspiration?

Muslim Women Retreat in Morocco (Hijab Free Holiday)

Muslim Women Retreat in Morocco (Hijab Free Holiday)

This post is a review of the wonderful Muslim women friendly Moroccan retreat I did with The Big Reconnect Sleepover along side ten things you can do on your Moroccan holiday. It was like going on a sleepover with a great group of other Muslim women. We got to unplug, enjoy a hijab free hotel, swim in the pool freely and get pampered with traditional Moroccan food. It was a trip to remember.

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Six Summer Hijabi Outfits for Traveling

Happy Summer days lovelies! 

I hope everyone is having a good summer full of adventures and days out. I find it hard to be outdoors during summer at times because I wear the headscarf & keep my body covered, which can be challenging when the temperature reaches 30 C & above. In May, I went to Fes, Morocco. It was only the start of summer there and the heat was bearable, but it was still HOT. I knew it would be hot before I even got there, so I packed accordingly. I was there for a week and had 20KG of luggage allowance, so I had the luxury of packing six outfits, one pair of walking shoes (from Clarks) & three jersey hijabs (I got them from Kuwait) . All very summery, cottony, airy & cooling. To add a little something to the outfits, I took four long chain necklaces with me and one bright orange nail polish (from the body shop). I think as far as modest/hijabi summer wear goes the outfits worked a treat. All the outfit details are under the images. Hope you can find these outfit ideas helpful.

Enjoy your hijabi holidays ladies :D 

Big thanks to the travel photographer & designer Piotr Fedorczyk for taking the first five awesome photos 

PS. I know my poses need some work. Will do better next time! :D

Dian Pelangi Meet & Greet

Happy Monday world! I am baaaack! :D

What I love about London is the events and the activities. I only got back two days ago and already managed to squeeze into two events *MashAllah* The first was my friend's market sale (Four Corners Interiors Ltd) and the other is the awesome meet and greet event with the fabulous Indonesian fashion designer, hijabi icon Dian Pelangi organised by the talented photographer Muna Ally and the creative fashion designer Zinah

Dian Pelangi   *MASHALLAH*

Dian Pelangi *MASHALLAH*

Dian Pelangi   *MASHALLAH*

Dian Pelangi *MASHALLAH*

Muna and Zinah *mashallah*

Muna and Zinah *mashallah*

The meeting took place in the lovely rustic, cozy Sable D'Or Café upstairs. It started off with a short and sweet speech from Dian Pelangi. I am not into video, but I thought this little clip is a great one. It's full of kindness and encouragement. 

Beautiful and Successful in Hijab Dian Pelangi in London 

I love all the hijab pointers in this video, which are a perfect extension of the World Hijab Day from last month. It is always good to get these positive notes on Hijab because when you live in a Western environment you get so much self doubt and pressure when wearing the hijab especially with the messed up media view on what beauty and freedom are. Listening to Dian speak about hijbais was very reassuring because hijabis can be beautiful, educated and successful. A piece of fabric on the head is no reason to stay behind. Hearing that filled my heart with much needed pride of my headscarf.   

Muslim Women Stories
Muslim Women Stories
Muslim Women Stories
Muslim Women Stories
Muslim Women Stories
Muslim Women Stories
Bubblegum Hijabi Story

The vibe of the meeting was great and very inspiring. Some of the ladies shared their stories, the happy and the sad. They were all heartwarming and touching. Hearing some of the struggles of others and how they raised above it was reassuring. I met so many gorgeous and lovely ladies who are all creative hijabis who weren't held by their headscarves. In fact, all of them were inspired by it and it made them achieve so much. 

Some yummy desserts 

Some yummy desserts 

A selfi was a must with the rainbow queen dian *Mashallah*

A selfi was a must with the rainbow queen dian *Mashallah*

GOODIE BAG from Zinah 

GOODIE BAG from Zinah 

All the beautiful ladies from the event *MashAllah*  Photo taken by Muna Ally 

All the beautiful ladies from the event *MashAllah* Photo taken by Muna Ally 

Our attempt to say "Salams From London" we got it right the third time tho! :D 

I am so thankful I was able to attend alhamdulilah! اللهم صل على محمد و آله :)