Salam and hey there, welcome to my travel and expat blog
Firstly let me introduce myself to you all and give you a little glimpse into who I am. I think its important that if you choose to follow me on this journey we shouldn’t be strangers, so my world is your world.
My name is Anika and Im a British born Pakistani Muslim. My childhood was pretty normal. I navigated both the worlds I was part of, Muslim Pakistani and British with ease. I grew up in an Islamically and politically minded house hold, where as 3 sister we were always encouraged to be strong, follow our dreams and speak our minds. I went on to study Media and cultural studies in London and ended up living there for the next 15 years. My journey led me to working in the not for profit sector on many different social adhension projects including:
Lone parent projects.
Welfare to work.
For most of my life I did not have many opportunities to travel. During my early years travel was limited to visiting family back in Pakistan. In my 20s I didn’t put my priority on travel. It always seemed that there was something else to do instead or somewhere else to spend my money. It wasn’t until I turned 30 that I realised that there had been something missing from my life and that I had put importance on the wrong things. I knew that I had to be the one to change things. Thats when I tentatively started to explore the world around me.
Sometime we really do not know what we are missing until we experience it. Once I started to travel I realised how much experiencing other cultures and exploring new destinations meant to me. After a few years I started to contemplate the idea of teaching English abroad. I loved the idea of living somewhere different and exploring a new destination but at the same time it was also a daunting idea to move my whole life. It wasn’t until I was in my mid 30s in 2012 that I decided to change my life and study for a Celta which would enable me to teach abroad. I tentatively left the UK for Istanbul Turkey and I’ve been here ever since. Theres never a dull moment in Istanbul. They call it chaos I call it home.
Having been fortunate and somewhat privlidged to have the freedom to make certain choices in life. To be able to travel and live in other countries made me question why I didn’t see many other faces like mine in the travel blogging world. I know there are many women who look like me out there exploring this planet but why is it that they are not promoted or pushed to the fore front. There is a distinct lack of voices of women of colour in general but more specifically Muslim WOC.
As a 40 + Muslim WOC I started this blog because I felt that the only way to change the narrative is to re write it yourself. If we feel ignored or under represented then we need to make our presence felt. If we want to inspire and encourage others we must lead the way and if we want to discuss and exchange we need to open up the dialogue.
I’m hoping that my stories will fill you with laughter, make you think and analyse what you know and see, that they help you understand and support more diverse voices and above all I hope that I play a small part of bringing out the desire in any of my readers to break out of their comfort zone, to travel, to try new things and to over come their fears.
I hope that this blog brings you tales of my traveling adventures, my expat experiences and splash of gender and colour politics.
I’m not writing this blog with the aim of targeting just Muslim women or WOC. I’m hoping what we will talk about here opens up the dialogue between us all on how it is to be a WOC traveling or living the ex pat life. Only with better dialogue and understanding can we create allies in each other. As women we need to understand and support each other on our paths.