Anyone who knows me knows I am selfless. I have a bad habit of always putting everyone before me. I also love hard and want acceptance from EVERYBODY. I always relied on everyone else to do something.
I never felt comfortable going to the mall alone or the movies, so imagine me wanting to take a vacation ALONE. HA! What a joke right? What a joke indeed. Fast-forward to May 13th, 2014, I was on a plane to South Korea, ALONE. I embarked on a new journey of self-love and discovery. I embarked on a ME journey. Not you. Not they. ME, Semeerah Abdulqadir. MOI.
I can’t sit here and tell you that it was all beautiful as Beyonce, but it was definitely EMPOWERING. There is something about self- reliance that can change your life. I knew as soon as I stepped on that plane I was never going to be the same. I spent 2 years in Korea and in that time I met the most amazing people. I fell in love. I got my heart broken. I became more spiritual. I became a better version of me.
I became too comfortable again. Why? Because I became reliant on the people I met and got distracted. Somehow, I got lost in translation. I was lost in translation. We had great times and I will cherish them all forever, but I had to get back on track to MY JOURNEY. I started slowly, but I started to do things alone. Can you believe it? I started walking in the evenings after work. ALONE, YES, ALONE. I started to go to other towns, ALONE. YES! ALONE! I then GRADUATED to actually planning on taking my FIRST vacation, well you guessed it. YUP, ALONE.
One of my Korean best friends went to Bali in May 2015 and I was supposed to go with her, but it was the summer I went back home to visit my familia. She went alone and that gave me the courage and motivation to really think about traveling alone, too.
I booked my Bali trip in April. I also booked my other trip to Myanmar in April. I cheated a little in Myanmar. You want to know why? HA! I had my friend and his family waiting for me with open arms (blog post on that trip soon). I have learned a lot from traveling and living abroad. I have grown so much and I have learned so much about myself. I now know what I want and don’t want. I will share with you 10 valuable lessons I learned as a single Muslim woman living and traveling abroad. How beautiful does that sound? Solo traveler. You ready? Drum roll please?
1. You discover how great your communication and social skills are. They are SHARP baby girl, they are SHARP.
Tanah Lot Temple, May 2016
2. You get to listen to your OWN VOICE.
3. You learn that the media is not the most RELIABLE SOURCE, NOT AT ALL. You realize that it is better to be your own SOURCE.
The picture on the left was an old man selling drinks at the Elephant Cave.
I met papa on the right at Sandat Bali. He gave me the best reflexology treatment, ever.
4. Self-love is the best love.
5. You can be yourself. No critics.
6. Life is what you make it
Tirta Empul, Bali, 2016
7. You are not a loner.
Traveling alone makes you realize that being alone is not so bad after all.
Society has embedded in us that we must travel in packs, but sweetheart sometimes it is better to travel solo.
I had a lot of people wanting to take pictures with me. It was exciting as I was use to it from Korea, but it really got overwhelming towards the end my trip. I am on a lot of people’s phones all over Asia, lol.
These kids ran up to me to take a picture with me. They also were selling postcards and I bought some. This was one of my favourite moments during my Bali trip.
Traveling alone, allows you to become a local celebrity. You realize how important and valuable you are.
You discover your hidden strengths and a new found freedom of LOVE FOR YOUR OWN SPACE.
South Korea, Hangang Park and River, 2014
BONUS: You get the travel bug. You realize that all you want to do is continue to travel alone. Traveling is addictive, but traveling alone makes it even more addictive. You discover how peaceful it is too be in your own company. You discover how loved you are by strangers, more than those close to you. You realize that sometimes, just sometimes it is just better not to deal with people. After all what beats peace and serenity?