Starting to travel the world might not be the easiest thing to do and not everyone can get the courage to just up and leave. Building courage and confidence to travel is a real issue. Although, I was living independently abroad for years, I was still worried about travelling by myself even though that I was already "travelling by myself!" Somehow staying in one location, London, where I figured out everything became comfortable. I wanted to break out of that comfort zone especially as I felt that life was passing me by! So in 2014, I decided to go on a workshop abroad (details on that below!). The workshop was set up by a group from London. I have previously done a workshop with them locally, so I felt that an international workshop will be ok. It was only five days in Granada, Spain. The organisers said they will give me a list of recommendations, so I went for it! After proving to myself that I can do it alone, travelling became much more frequent to the point that I decided to become a travel blogger because many people started asking me about my trip and everything else.
Also, going on a study tip or a Muslim specific retreat will make your partner or parents sleep easier at night. My mother used to be really worried when I travelled. She still does, but going with a group eased her fear a little. If your parents or partner are not sure about you travelling alone, I would recommend starting with one of these!
In this post I want to suggest FIVE Muslim friendly workshops, retreats and group travel run by Muslims for Muslims. If you need any more information please contact the organisers directly. I don't organise any of these retreats.
One. Art of Islamic Pattern Workshops Abroad
Let me start with the three I went on. The Art of Islamic pattern is the group I mentioned in the introduction. I went with them to Granada, Fez and Istanbul. They are truly wonderful and the workshops include constructing and painting Islamic geometry and visiting the major sights. The group is usually 20-25 people (90-95% females) and because all have a few common interest, the vibe is always fabulous. I made really good friends from these trips. My only time alone was going from my house to the airport and sleeping. It didn't even feel like I was on that trip solo. I managed to connect with a few on Instagram before I went as well. If you are into art and travel then this is made for you!
Read about the study trips I took with AOIP:
Two. The Big Reconnect Retreat (Female-only retreat)
The Big Reconnect Retreat is run by one of my online friends, Brooke Benoit. It is a women-only retreat specifically for Muslim women to rejuvenate one's self and relax. You can even bring your daughter if you like!
"Imagine a week away in the company of great sisters from around the globe in a private lakeside Riad with an indoor heated pool."
I loved my time with them when I went for their winter Morocco retreat. You can read all about it on here: Muslim Women Retreat in Morocco (Hijab Free Holiday)
They have two main retreats a year, the Moroccan one and another to London, UK. Check their website for dates and detailed information.
The three suggestions below seem really good, but I haven't tried them myself. They all look good and run by people I have only met and spoke to online. They are 100% legit though!
Three. Burgundy Roots Retreat
I have only met Wafa Judas on instagram. She organises and plans the Burgundy Roots Retreats (It used to be called Sip of Love Retreats). She has retreats in Morocco, Jamaica and a few other destinations. The Jamaica Dreaming trip looks really good and she has a good itinerary with healthy food, yoga practice and beautiful scenery. This retreat focuses on exploring the local community of Jamaica and supporting the businesses there. It very ethical and sustainable. It seems like she offers two trips a year to Jamaica, but it's best to contact her directly for specific dates.
Four. Rahhalah Adventure travel company
Rahhalah is an adventure travel company based in Dubai and Kuwait. I only know about them because popular Arab vloggers have been on their trips and spoke about them. They have monthly adventures (up to eight months in advance). All the trips and prices are mentioned. I only interacted with them on email once, but their options seem good! You can also search by destinations. It's a Muslim company, so they should be aware of all the Islamic needs. It's usually a mixed group from what I have seen on their social media photos.
Five. Qaflh Group
This is run by Rasha Yousif, a Bahraini photographer and a blogger on Not Just A Photo. We keep trying to meet up, but our travel schedules are so different! She started a female group travel platform called Qaflh. One of her previous trips was to India with a group of females that looked great! I am not sure how often her trips are, but might be worth contacting her to see what she has planned.
By the way, this is NOT a sponsored post. I just thought these are beautiful options that you should be aware of!