I’m a Muslim woman in late 20s and interested in seeing the world beyond London.
Hi; I am Maria. I love travelling because it gives me a chance to see the horizons beyond south-end; a beach 30 mins from east London, the only place my family visits every summer as a family outing.
Not many Muslims, especially women go back-packing, or travelling off the beaten track and most go to places where relatives live – maybe saving money on accommodation, food and local transport ;). I’m interested in different cultures, languages and personalities and what better way to explore all this than choosing a continent, packing and going away. However it isn’t that easy when you are a home owner (even if it is a small flat; the joys of living in the expensive capital of England – London =). Some preparation is needed before that time of awesomeness, I will keep tabs of that in this blog now in order to help and inspire future Muslim travellers.
Going to different countries and meeting new people gives me a buzz, a break from the routine & mundane life – and via this blog I would like to get to know you guys, and show you some of what I am about, and about my travel encounters and adventures.
I wasn’t always interested in travelling as much, but got into it like a convert after marrying my husband. Before him, it was mostly a yearly or 2 yearly visit to the home country, once to Disneyland Paris with Grandparents, 3 or so visits to the theme parks and the regular sea-side visit every summer. We started with smaller adventures around the England first as a couple, sometimes my 2 brothers were with us; We tried Zap-cat, hover crafting, go-karting, indoor skydiving, sphereing etc. Our first official vacation was renting a car for 3 days and driving to Lake District for our 1st wedding anniversary.
I’ve had my share of interesting experiences including almost being robbed and separated from my husband, and being involved in multiple car accidents in a single trip while sitting in a stationary car in Lebanon. At one point, I was excited and anxious waiting for my visa to go to Jerusalem wondering if the Lebanese stamps in my passport will have cause any issues with the Israelis who are still technically at war with. A few weeks later, I was trekking through a jungle in South East Asia escaping Orangutans trying to poo over us from 30 feet high.
Trying to figure out the traffic signs in Jordan was interesting, and so was the realization at a Mosque in Oman where their prayer way was slightly different. Sometimes, it is nice to take a short flight to a nearby island (Jersey), whilst its equally fun to fly to a far away island (Koh Hai). Hubsey also enjoys getting published (tribune). At one point, I was slightly eerie about going in to a dark cave full of hundred of bats, and at another i was eager to have a Burmese boa on my shoulders that weighed more or less the same as I did.
So, What’s different?
The big question – what the difference between someone backpacking and a muslim backpacking?
Explore more natural beauty – forests, parks, seas, hills
See historical places
Meet new people especially if I look strange
Eat Halal or vegetarian
Go do pubs and establishments primarily serving alcohol.
Go to a dance party
Try any drugs
Visit areas where people expose too much skin
Countries which me and/or my husband has visited: