In a world that often seems dominated by group travel and guided tours, Farihah Fuaad has emerged as a trailblazer, reshaping the landscape of travel for Muslim women. Hailing from Kuala Lumpur, Farihah is the driving force behind the Muslimah Solo Travelers community. Through her website "Muslim Solo Travel,"Farihah has opened doors for Muslim women to venture into solo travel, providing a platform that fosters the balance of faith, empowerment, and cultural exploration.
A Mindset Shift: Humility and Lifelong Learning
Farihah's journey into the world of solo travel was catalysed by a shift in mindset. She firmly believes in the power of humility and continuous learning. This mindset developed through her own personal experiences and the lessons imparted by her family. Growing up, Farihah's family shared a deep love for travel. However, it wasn't until the disruptive force of the COVID-19 pandemic that she realized the true value of this privilege. As a former travel journalist, Farihah was exposed to the transformative nature of travel. Yet, it was during her journeys with family that she first tasted the freedom of independent exploration. These were the "mini steps to travel solo," as she fondly recalls. She talks about how when her family heads to a certain destination, it would be a free and easy exploration where they could do whatever they want as long as they meet back at the timing agreed on at the meeting point!
From Journalism to Empowerment: Following Her Heart
Transitioning away from travel journalism was a conscious decision for Farihah, driven by the need to align her work with her beliefs. Although her career trajectory changed, her passion for travel remained steadfast. She began to collect travel magazines during her family trips and her mother's encouragement to contribute articles planted the seed of a childhood dream – to be a writer.
Rediscovering Purpose Amidst the Pandemic
The outbreak of the pandemic brought the world to a standstill and cast a spotlight on the fragility of what was once taken for granted. For Farihah, it was a moment of reckoning that rekindled her desire to explore the world on her own terms. Solo travel, for her, was a path of self-discovery, a means to protect her faith, and an avenue to empower a new generation of women.
Bridging the Gap: Muslimah Solo Travelers Community
As she embarked on her solo journeys, Farihah identified a gap in the travel industry that resonated deeply with her experiences. She observed a distinct contrast between the ways Muslim women and non-Muslim women approached travel. This disparity inspired her to create a solution – the Muslimah Solo Travelers community. Farihah's vision was clear: to provide resources, support, and a sense of belonging to Muslim women who aspired to travel independently.
Farihah turned this vision into reality two years ago and founded Muslim Solo Travel. The platform not only offers travel recommendations and insights but also serves as a community hub for like-minded women. Through aFacebook group with over 300 members, Muslim women can connect with one another, ask questions, and receive advice from locals. Farihah's initiative has fostered connections that transcend borders, allowing women from diverse backgrounds to share their experiences and forge new friendships.
Walking in Faith: Overcoming Challenges and Nurturing Tawakkal
Challenges have not been absent from Farihah's journey. As a Muslim woman entrepreneur in the travel industry, she faces the unique challenge of navigating her faith while pursuing her dreams. The concept of "tawakkal" – placing trust in God's plan – has been central to her approach. The transition from a conventional career to being her own boss was laden with moments of doubt and uncertainty. Yet, Farihah's resilience and unwavering faith have carried her through even the darkest times.
An Amanah to Allah: The Guiding Light
Farihah's story is a testament to the idea that pursuing one's passion can be both fulfilling and daunting. The courage to persist, even in the face of adversity, is what separates the ordinary from the extraordinary. As she reflects on her journey, Farihah views her work as an "amanah," a sacred trust bestowed upon her by a higher power. This perspective fuels her commitment to her cause, as she believes that greatness begets success naturally.
Empowering Through Exploration: Farihah's Enduring Legacy
In the world of Muslim solo travel, Farihah Fuaad stands as a beacon of inspiration. Her journey from a humble traveller to a community leader is a testament to the transformative power of passion, faith, and determination.
“At the end of the day, you have to be humble, and there's always something to learn,” She said
By bridging the gap between cultures, enabling independent exploration, and fostering connections, Farihah has not only carved a niche for herself but has also created a platform that empowers Muslim women to explore the world with confidence and pride.