Travel

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by Lenna

I would like to write a Muslim travel blog for a living. A female, Muslim version of Anthony Bourdain.

But alas, I freelance in digital marketing instead. I don’t travel much or work these days, and leisure travel is a luxury.

So I never though it would be possible for me.Β I used to dream of traveling all around the world.

But like many Americans, I didn’t even have a passport. The only foreign countries I’d visited were Canada and Mexico.

I had the kind of job years ago that was very “hurry up and wait.” During the waiting part, a coworker and I used to dream of places we’d go if we ever had the opportunity to travel.

Both of us really wanted to go to Spain and Turkey. We wanted to tour historic Andalusia and see Istanbul. At the time it didn’t seem possible because of time and money constraints.

When my life took a turn for the worse, my priorities changed and I decided I was going to travel.

On a roll…

So I got my passport, and in 2014Β  took that trip to Spain and Turkey.

I’ve been traveling ever since and have been to over 20 countries spanning five continents. I like to preserve the memories of my trips in my blog posts, though it’s hard to find the time.

Below is a list of some of the places I’ve been. Though it’s not comprehensive, these are the places I know I’d like to cover.

I’ve traveled quite extensively in the US for both work and leisure but the areas I’ve included are my favorites.

My first job right out of college was based in Chicago and I still had family in Queens and the Bronx in New York City. So I was bouncing between these two cities in the prime of my life, having a great time and really enjoying everything.

It’s that time when the future seems so promising and you are really feeling your independence for the first time.

Places I love…

Because of those happy memories, Chicago and New York remain my favorite cities.

Apart from those two US cities, I’ve included a few more but I prefer to write about international travel. It’s just so much fun to get out and see the world!

One of the few places I’m willing to go over and over again is Dublin, Ireland. The people are so friend there and it just has a certain charm.

My mother’s family came from Ireland and my father’s from Scotland so maybe it’s just in my blood to love that region.

My next favorite place so far is Istanbul, Turkey. The people there are also exceptionally happy and friends, and it’s the first Muslim-majority country where I ever set foot.

Wanderlust…

I officially launched a travel series called Wanderlust with this post last summer. It’s been slow going, but I have done a post here and there.

This year I expect to have more free time, so maybe I can pick up the pace, insha’Allah. But in any case, below is a wish list of the posts I’d love to write, with few linked to posts I’ve actually written…

Travel Destinations

North America

Mount Rushmore National MonumentI’ve been all over the US and to a few places in Canada and Mexico.

Between work and Leisure travel I’ve been lots of places in the US. Many more than are listed but these are the ones I’m most interested in covering as part of my travel series.

It’s pretty sad that so far all I have is a post about Los Vegas which really wasn’t even meant to be a travel piece! Let’s hope I can fill this in a bit over the coming year, insha’Allah. πŸ™‚

United States of America

  • Chicago, IL
  • Denver, CO
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Louisville, KY
  • Nashville, TN
  • New Orleans, LA
  • New York, NY
  • Orlando, FL
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Toronto, Canada

Mexico

  • Mexico City
  • Isla Mujeres
  • Cancun

Europe

Love birds in ParisI’ve traveled a lot in Europe and part of the reason is that it’s easy. There are tons of flights at reasonable prices.

Once you’rein a major European city, you can take budget flights to more exotic places.

I can’t believe I have yet to write about Spain!Β  It was he first country I ever visited outside of North America, and it was simply wonderful! πŸ™‚

Spain

  • Madrid
  • Cordoba
  • Granada
  • Seville
  • Cadiz
  • Malaga
  • Barcelona

Istanbul, Turkey

Italy

  • Milan
  • Venice
  • Florence
  • Salerno
  • Rome

Paris, France

Vienna, Austria

Bratislava, Slovakia

Budapest, Hungary

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Croatia

  • Zagreb
  • Dubrovnik

Bosnia & Herzegovina

  • Medugorje
  • Mostar
  • Capljina

Montenegro

  • Kotor
  • Budva

Ireland

  • Dublin
  • Howth
  • Dalkey and Killiney

Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)

Malta

  • Valetta
  • Floriana
  • Marsaxlokk
  • Qrendi

Nordics

Oslo, Norway

Sweden

  • Goteborg
  • Malmo
  • Stockholm

Copenhagen, Denmark

Helsinki, Finland

Tallinn, Estonia

South America

Pedro, Lastra, PeruSouth America always seemed like such an exotic destination and it was really fun to visit. But it was really just like Western Europe.

Buenos Aries is lovely but a bit down on its luck. Santiago is a rising star and far more upbeat.

Plus the Chilean people are so warm, romantic, and kind, we nicknamed Santiago “The City of Love.” πŸ™‚

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Colonia, Uruguay

Santiago, Chile

Asia

Asian architectureTechnically the first time I set foot in Asia was when I visited the Eastern portion of Istanbul. Turkey straddles two continents.

Japan had never been on my list but when a friend invited me, I said yes and I’m so glad I did! Japan is an amazing country.

I still miss the sakura cake we got every morning at Starbucks. πŸ™‚

Japan

  • Tokyo
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka

Africa

Africa GiraffeI really wish I had more countries on this list, but so far I’ve only made it to Tunisia.Β  I was soooo excited to set foot on the African continent and I’m not even sure why.

Maybe because I never imagined myself making it toΒ  Africa. Or maybe because I think of it as the birthplace of humanity.

Whatever the reason I feel so blessed to have gotten to touch the soil and see a couple of cities in Tunisia.

I’ve stayed in a lot of hotels all over the world, and none were more inviting and beautiful than the one in Tunis. πŸ™‚

Tunisia

  • Sidi Bou Said
  • Tunis

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I’ll keep updating this list as I write travel posts and perhaps explore new destinations, insha’Allah. Please stop by and see what’s next. πŸ™‚