This singer needs no introduction. When she is not busy lighting up the stage with her electrifying performances, she makes us green with envy from all the travel photos she posts on her Instagram. Yuna has recently released her third American album called Chapters, and here she speaks to Have Halal Will Travel about the other thing she does when she’s not singing – travelling!
Can you share with us what are you working on currently? Do you have any projects or tours in the pipeline?
Currently, I’m working on promotion for my new album Chapters. It’s been a pretty amazing journey so far! I just finished touring the U.S. and this coming September will be my Europe tour. I’ll also be releasing a new Malay single this August for the Malaysian crowd with a surprise artist so do look out for all that!
Can you tell us where you went on your first travel outside of Malaysia? What do you remember about the destination or the trip?
I don’t remember my first trip outside of Malaysia because I was really young, but the most memorable trip was my student exchange program in Italy! At first, it was really difficult because they’re not well versed in English and even my exchange parents didn’t speak a word of it, from there I learned Italian! Despite the language barrier, I had a really good time there and it was a great experience.
What has been the most rewarding experience for you since the start of your travels?
Learning to cope with any difficulties faced when travelling as a Muslim woman, such as performing my prayers, searching for halal food and at times, travelling during the fasting month. This year will be 17 hours of fasting in LA. InsyaAllah, I will go through this month with ease!
If you have an unlimited travel budget for 24 hours, what would your itinerary look like?
First off, I would like to go to Santorini in Greece and see the sun rising by from Perissa Beach. Will probably explore the whole of Greece. To end my day, I would like to travel across Iceland! Would be great if I could camp out to see the Northern Lights! That would be a perfect day for me.
What are 3 of your favourite destinations, and why?
Greece, because of the history. Iceland, because it relates to all my favourite movies. Italy, as I can visit my Italian friends and go back to the places I used to go when I was younger.
What are some of the challenges (or worst experiences) you have faced while travelling and what did you learn from it?
The worst experience I’ve faced is when I was touring in the U.S. in 2015. Our instruments were stolen from the venue and we had a hard time searching for replacement instruments in such a short period of time. I definitely learned to look after my things carefully wherever I go and be aware of my surroundings.
Tell us an insider tip or two for people travelling to LA.
Remember to wear sunscreen! Even though the weather is cold the sun is still blazing and you need all the protection you need for your skin. Don’t worry about stocking up on your favourite Asian food as there are many stores that sell Asian food, including Milo!
Can you tell us your favourite halal food joint in LA?
It’s hard to pick as many of the shops in LA are vegan, but my favourite would have to be Singapore’s Banana Leaf at the Farmers Market nearby The Groove.
What are your travel tech must-haves?
My laptop, my phone and definitely my camera!
If you could give one piece of advice to people who want to travel more, what would it be?
Work hard to go to the places you want and don’t let anything small or petty stop you from travelling.
What’s your favourite travel photo?
This would have to be my favourite! This was at Istanbul at Cappadocia. Would definitely love to come back here.
Fill in the blanks: My hope for the world is…
… that we accept everyone for who they are and for everyone to pursue what they love!
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