Go Somewhere, Anywhere

May 21, 2014

tumblr_n5m3a1KkbV1s6ugjwo1_500When I was younger I actually had no desire to travel, and by younger I refer to only a few years ago.  I’d been to different places in the states like D.C. and Philadelphia but the idea of abroad travel never seemed desirable, Where would I go? And for what? Well after two of my sisters moved overseas I had many reasons to travel.

After Undergraduate school at Medgar Evers in Brooklyn, NY I decided to take a year off. Many people advise against this because so many students end up never returning to school, for someone like me who wants to be a psychologist, that was never an option. I understood the concern but my parents were supportive, that year off ended up being one of the greatest years of my life. For the first time, I travelled. Since my sister’s husband still had business in the states, they had only recently moved, I spent an extended period of time in Abu Dhabi, then Qatar with my eldest sister and finally Jordan.

I have always struggled with wearing a headscarf. It makes you stand out amidst your non- Muslim peers. But their in Abu Dhabi I saw the beauty of the headscarf and I felt comfortable dressing like a Muslim. This may come as a surprise, since I have always been Muslim, but its different to be Muslim and in a Muslim majority country. You’re a stranger and yet you feel at home. In the shopping malls the Adthan (Muslim call to prayer) is called and there’s a Masjid for you to go and pray. In the states when I go shopping I have to keep my eyes on the clock so I’m home in time to pray, or I have to pray in public or I have to travel to the nearest Masjid. There in Abu Dhabi, I didn’t have to worry, I wasn’t a stranger, my religion was the way of life of the entire country.

There’s so much I want to say about my travels but I will leave it for other posts. You think in traveling, that your going to a strange place. There will be strangers, with strange customs but really you never know where you will find your home and who you will find kinship with. And yet there is so much to learn from the differences as well. So go somewhere, anywhere, once a year is a good start. And don’t say you don’t have the money! Put a little aside each month and promise yourself that you will go somewhere on this vast earth and discover new things, you might even discover a bit of yourself.

2 Comments

  • Zaakir Abdus-Salaam

    Great read Nuriddeen! Traveling is indeed essential for growth, especially when it is “not” done purely for the sake of escaping. When I went to Africa a few years ago, there were no fancy hotel rooms, swimming pools, or maids to clean up behind me. I stayed with the people, deep inside the village, miles away from the nearest city. It was beautiful. I learned so much about the people, their culture, food, customs etc. Allah says in the Qur’an, “travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation”, so for the believer, traveling is a mandate. I remember there was a tree I had never seen before in the middle of the desert. I could tell from its width and height that it was close to 100 years old. One of the local people described its properties and spiritual characteristics, and how it was taboo to cut it for any reason. I can close my eyes right now and see that tree like it is in front of me. The people called that tree, “the tree of life”, but it’s commonly known as the baobab tree. Just one of the many beautiful experiences I wouldn’t of experienced if I stayed in a cushy resort, or neglected to travel at all. So you are right, we should all travel, anywhere, as much as we are able to, its essential. Thanks for helping me, through your words, to reflect Nuriddeen.

    Masalaam,

    Zaakir

    • Nuriddeen Knight

      What a great experience! Thanks for sharing 😉

All rights reserved © Fig & Olive 2015 · Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie