An Introduction to the Bloggess

About Me

 

Hello, I'm Nadirah - in Arabic, the word means "rare, unique, peerless."

While peerless doesn't sound so complimentary, I like the meaning of my name because I think it suits me. Granted, we are all unique in our own ways in this world, but I like that my name elevates the uniqueness to the next level. /narcissistic rant over

I'm an engineer who happens to love travelling, so I always like to make jokes that I'm a travelling engineer or an engineering traveller (funnily enough, these jokes always tend to fall flat). I love my 9-to-5 job even though it has its ups and downs, and I like feeling like I'm contributing something to this world and also my fellow countrymen.

I haven't been blogging for quite a while ever since I started working - I haven't had the time to be frank. The only time when I did blogged at my now-inactive LJ was when I wanted to update on my latest travels.

I love travelling. I was bitten by a wanderlust bug earlier on, when my parents decided to pursue their Master's degree simultaneously and landed the whole family in Troy, Albany, New York.

Me (in the middle) with my parents in Boston
We stayed there for a year and a half, and I vaguely remember the places we've been to (Boston, NYC, Florida, Troy, Niagara Falls, and so many other places). I was 15/16 years old at the time, and honestly I don't think I fully appreciated our stay and many travels there, being a rebellious teenager at the time (ha. No seriously I'm not joking. Like 50% of my pictures would be me making a sour face at the camera because I was being a cranky teenager. Argh how I regret those times. Don't repeat the same mistake, kids).

So long story short, that was when my eyes were opened to the wonders of the world.

Several years later, when I finally started earning my own money, I started my wanderlust years.

Viewpoint at Lombok

Why Do I Keep a Travelogue?

As a Muslim traveller, I view some countries differently - I might not be as well-received in certain countries, for instance, or I might see a more not-so-favourable side of people compared to the non-Muslims. You see different sides of people and places when you're travelling as a practicing Muslim. (One case in point: we had to find a prayer space for our daily prayers and had to borrow our guesthouse's public space before we had to move on to the airport. She was bewildered, possibly scared, and subsequently grew angry as she was worried we're scaring her other guests. I think in this instance, both of us had a culture shock.)

We also have to take part in the travel more (i.e. be more involved), as not everyone will be speaking English, and I remember fondly partaking in many language exchanges which can be described as a combination of broken Japanese and charades at some point. In being more active in my travels, I hope to shatter most people's preconceived notion of a "Muslim" - God knows I'm not perfect, but I can try my best. Personally this helped me grew more as a traveller and as a person, and learning about different cultures as well as societal expectations and acceptance certainly opened my eyes a bit more than it would've had I just stayed in Malaysia.

I also liked to read back on my past travels because sometimes I forget about little incidents (which might have seemed significant at the time but is now pushed back to the recesses of my mind), all the happiness at being at a certain place for the first time, and all my little thoughts that I had at the time. It's a glimpse of the past, the me-that-was - it also shows how my thoughts might have changed and evolved from then. I have had my prejudice and preconceived notions of certain countries and certain people changed when I travel a lot more, and it's easier to see how that change came about when I document my travels. This travelogue is something I will treasure until the day I die.

So, I just wanted to document my travelogue here, and perhaps some people might find my travel itinerary in certain countries helpful as a Muslim traveller, and might benefit from it :)

Fuji Shibazakura Festival, May 2014

My Travelling Style

I'm an introvert. I value the peacefulness of travelling alone and the freedom that comes with it.

I also love travelling with groups of friends - I know, it's almost a paradox. Travelling with others lets me share my memories with them, which is why it's one of my favourite things to do with friends and family.

I like company, but I'm more comfortable with people I know - in a lot of ways, however, travelling solo have broken down the introvert barriers a bit more since I make friends a lot easier now and only felt slight discomfort at starting conversations with strangers.

To sum it up: I don't really have a travelling style. I'll take my travels however it comes to me, and will make ends meet to travel. I will scrimp on hotels if I have to if it means I can stay in a foreign country fora little longer.

Sadly, I do have a 9-to-5 job, so I can't always just book a flight ticket at a moment's notice - so I plan my travels quite obsessively on a macro & micro scale; trust me, I have Excel files of our train schedules all mapped out and printed out when my friends and I were in Japan - when I'm alone, I'm more flexible with my timing as I do what I want, Thor!

If there's somehow a way to turn my passion for travelling into my 9-to-5 job, who knows, I think I will take the leap.

For now, I'm happy serving my country as an engineer and contributing to the public infrastructure.

Cycling in Shirakawago

What Camera Do I Use?

I use my beautiful brown Samsung NEX300 and borrow my dad's GoPro Hero 4 Silver to supplement my travel gears :P I swear I'll buy one for my own eventually, dad!

Why do I write in English even though I'm Malay?

BECAUSE I DO WHAT I WANT, THOR. 

Work With Me? Or Let's Just Have Coffee :)

I'm always happy to chat and meet up with fellow wanderlust travellers, so if you feel like collaborating or just meeting up for coffee while talking about our travels, hit me up at Instagram (@msnaddie) or Gmail!

For the record, I love flat whites :)

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