Why would Muslims celebrate Christmas? Are Muslims Allowed to Celebrate Christmas? What would a Muslim Christmas be?Read More
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.
You can also watch the two videos I made from the Lithuania trip:
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.
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.
You can watch my two videos about my four days in Montenegro here as well.
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!
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.
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.
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.
You can watch the videos from Tallinn and Helsinki below as well:
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.
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:
Why are Muslim Travellers Different?
the more I travelled around the world, I realised that the Muslim traveller is different and this post will tell you why:
Destination can be an issue
Halal Food while travelling
Alcohol Free Activities
Prayer times and locations
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.
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.
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!
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.
Elena is one of the first Muslim female travel bloggers. She is all about giving other Muslim women options to have hijab free holidays.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.Read More
Sometimes it’s scary to take that first step to travel on your own and a great way to start is by travelling as part of a retreat or an art trip. I have five Muslim friendly suggestions to get you started on travellingRead More
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
Credit: 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
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.
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.
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.
I am so thankful I was able to attend alhamdulilah! اللهم صل على محمد و آله :)