Two Muslim Travellers Share How HHWT Inspired Them To Travel


Have Halal Will Travel •  Oct 01, 2020

HHWT turns 5 today! Throughout our journey, one thing that has been keeping us going is the support we get from YOU, our community ? Your positive encouragements have been nothing short of amazing and the travel stories we get from the community also genuinely inspire us and fellow readers to go out and see the world! In this year's HHWT Birthday special, we asked you guys to share how HHWT has inspired you to travel. Since most of us are unable to travel abroad this year, it doesn't mean that we should stop dreaming about travelling! Here are two stories from our readers, their most memorable trips and where they hope to go after the pandemic.

Note: Some parts of the article may have been edited for length and clarity. 

Travel, Self and Healing - Laila

Tell us more about yourself and why you love travelling

Starting my first overseas trip to Thailand in 2013 changed my perspective of the world. In Thailand, I did volunteer activities by teaching in schools in rural areas in Phitsanulok. After that, I learnt many interesting things, especially those that changed my personality. I would not have learnt those lessons if I just stayed at home. Meeting people from other countries, getting to know their culture, learning the habits of the local people in the countries that I visited, trying local food, mixing around with the locals, and many more. After that, I decided to travel to other countries and try to discover new things from my trips. Through travelling, I realised that it was not only for self-pleasure but it also portrayed my identity as an Indonesian and also a Muslim to the outside world. There is a sense of responsibility to be able to introduce cultures and places in Indonesia to foreigners. One of which, is to explain that Bali is a province in Indonesia.

How did HHWT inspire you to travel?

Many countries which I have visited do not have a Muslim majority. So, it challenges me when I travel, such as finding a mosque and places for halal food. To find any information about the nearest mosque and halal restaurant, I usually search for any recommendations on the HHWT website. Then, I can easily arrange my itinerary without any worries. I have to thank HHWT for that.

P.S. Check out our mission, vision and how you can contribute in this article!

What's your most memorable travel experience?

Besides the experience of finding halal restaurants without disturbing my agenda, I have also experienced bad things while travelling. I’ve been in a motorcycle accident in another country and treated in the ICU without my family beside me. It challenged me to understand and know my limits. However, it didn't stop me from travelling and creating memories so I have to learn to be more careful when travelling. Having pleasant experiences is a must, but keeping yourself safe is also important!

P.S. Here are 8 life-changing stories from #HHWTTravellers that'll inspire you to travel!

What's your favourite destination?

“Surreal!” The first word I said when I set foot at Incheon Airport. As a fan of K-Pop, K-Drama and Korean Culture, South Korea become my dream travel destination. Why not? Admiring the stunning places in Korean dramas or through social media, South Korea has succeeded in spoiling its visitors. Shopping in Myeongdong, busking in Hongdae, taking photos at Namsan Tower or just relaxing around the Han River ? Oh, of course, as a K-Pop enthusiast, meeting an Idol is one of the top things on my bucket list when I visit South Korea. Struggling to go to the TV station in the early morning for a chance to spot my Idols at their company building with others was such a memorable moment for me.

Now that COVID-19 has impacted travel, what is your hope for the world?

Besides creating memories through travelling, another word that describes travel for me is healing; it's my kind of sweet escape after being busy at work. Now, the pandemic has prevented us to be able to visit our dream country but I believe all of this will end soon. Hopefully, we can make start travelling soon, taste the local food of other countries and learn about the culture of that country. There is a place that I want to visit the most - Mecca and Palestine are the places I wish to visit someday. Hopefully.

P.S. Find more of Laila's travel adventures on her Instagram @lailawr.

Arry Andryani

Tell us more about yourself and why you love travelling

My name is Arry Andryani. I'm going to be 30 next January. Yes, I'm on the edge of my amazing 20's. I'm a stay-at-home mom (of 2 baby girls) and used to be an elementary teacher.

Going for the annual homecoming a.k.a. Mudik since I was a kid has made me fall in love with going on a journey. The trip always gives me time to enjoy the scenery, admire the nature and people I meet. Today, travelling has always been my remedy to regain more strength and energy to encounter daily routines, either as a mom or as a teacher.

What's your favourite destination?

For the places I have ever been to, my favourite destination is my parents' hometown in Banyumas and Banjar. You know, the vibe of your grandparents' house in the countryside with lots of cool old stuff and of course, my grandma and grandpa there is a special feeling. And then there's Jogja (Yogyakarta), the city that has left a thousand memories (mostly beautiful) and keeps me coming back every year!

What's your most memorable travel experience?

However, it is not all the above that has become my most memorable travel experience; it's my very first solo trip to Singapore and it still feels surreal for me. To be honest, I used to wonder why people like to go to Singapore for a vacation because I thought it must have been boring to spend holidays in a 'city'.

But back then in 2017, inspired by a female traveller @claudiakunang, I planned my very first solo trip abroad. Why Singapore? Because it's recommended by lots of female (solo) travellers from various countries as the safest destination. Besides, since it was my first time going abroad for vacation, I chose a destination that is very close to Indonesia.

Carrying a single backpack and a small sling bag (and a mandatory selfie stick of course) I left to Singapore! Landing at the airport alone gave me butterflies in my stomach. (Wooohooo I can even still feel it!) And yes, it was the beginning of my most memorable travel experience ever. From getting lost when looking for my hostel to eating a giant kebab alone at the most romantic spot at Gardens by the Bay, to buying too many souvenirs like all tourists do, this trip was worth every penny I had spent. Spending 3 days and 2 nights in Singapore, I finally figured why people go to Singapore. It's an amazing place.

There, I met and even shared a room and stories with people from different parts of the world. I was wrong for thinking that SG is 'just' a 'city'. Instead, it is the hub of the world and I have learned a lot from that small country, from the amazing travellers I met there. Moreover, this trip made me regain lots of energy to go back to my routines again and the most important is that it made me believe that it's possible to travel to farther countries and so on. Also, I left a piece of my heart there in Singapore and it makes me want to revisit SG again and again without even feeling bored of it.

How did HHWT inspire you to travel?

Since I didn't know much about SG, I had to research beforehand and HHWT was one of my guidebooks to find out more about the destination. After I followed HHWT on Facebook, I downloaded the app and started to find recommended Muslim-friendly spots in SG, especially where to get halal food and prayer spots. Thanks to technology, I feel travelling is very possible!

Where would you like to go first when it's safe to travel again?

When it's safe to travel again, I really want to go back to SG with my family and show them about my great adventure there. I hope my daughters and my husband are strong enough to follow me on my exploration!

Now that COVID-19 has impacted travel, what is your hope for the world?

During this time, I hope nothing for the world but to be healed soon. I feel like we're disconnected. I know that we can still meet virtually, but I dream of the time when we can travel again and greet other travellers again, and see their smile again, without a mask on.

P.S. Find more of Laila's travel adventures on her Instagram @arryandriyani.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank YOU for always supporting HHWT! Thank you for sharing your stories with us and help us spread the message of peace through your travels ?

Want to share your tips and stories to help Muslims travel better? Check out this page, email us at [email protected] or send us a DM on Instagram.