Western girl in the eastern world. How to survive and explore on your own?
Western girl in the eastern world.
How to survive and explore on your own?
I am a lover of solo travelling.
Sometimes people ask me – what’s your point with Muslims?
You definitely have to do with the eastern world.
Why are you so hooked on Arabic countries? Seriously, going to Iraq/Tajikistan/Kazakhstan alone?
So, what I want to do is to share my “survival guide” and break some stereotypes based on my experiences.
1. Being a girl who is travelling to a Muslim world alone is not that dangerous
2.Know the clothing and behaviour rules
Modest style is highly adviced!
It doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to cover yourself in burqa or abaya, but it does mean no-no to sexy shorts and tight dresses. If you’re into opened and sexy style of dressing, expect to attract a lot of unneeded attention in the Muslim world. Before going to a certain country, google the images of local women, to understand what’s their style. Blending among locals is always a safer option.
3. Expect attention and hospitality
Accepting guests culture in the east is very generous. If you’re a traveler, forget about being hungry, forget about searching for a place to sleep, forget about being alone – locals are willing to give you all their generosity and welcoming vibes. They’ll probably take you to the best restaurants, drive you around the place, and make sure each of your wishes comes true. Yes, east is heaven for travelers, hospitality-wise.
4. Expect weird questions
– Who is paying for your trips?
– Do you work? really?
– Are you a virgin?
– Do you have a boyfriend?
– You don’t travel together?
– You’re not bored?
– Where are you? I am coming!
5. Forget about independence
Sometimes, when going for long-term exploration, you need some time alone. But on the east, the “personal space” is not what westerners are used to. When walk on your own, people will either wonder why are you alone or offer you their company to spend time together. Somehow community-spirit is very common, so being on your own is not very normal.
6. People are going to be generous to you: accept and smile
Great food in the restaurant — accept.
Introducing you to the whole family — accept.
Driving you for a factory tour — accept.
The whole village is making food for you — accept.
East — is for Extreme generosity for guests. Accept and smile.
7. Don’t be afraid, but be smart
If you know the clothing and behavior rules…if you know some locals, traveling to a Muslim country can turn out as rich cultural experience and can make you more generous. Read Kuran, understand the culture, and go explore. East is for adventurous travellers!
In conclusion, it’s better to start exploring the Muslim world from a light conservatism level culture, like Turkey or Albania, before moving to Islam-sharks like Saudi Arabia or Iraq. It’s safer to travel with a guy, and it’s a good idea to get acquainted with locals before you’ll be heading to your next destination.
Dress modestly, keep some distance, accept the lovely hospitality and get ready to share some space.
The more you know about the culture before, the better!