So who am I? Well, I’m a third culture kid (TCK) – born in one country, raised in a second, and ethnically from a third. Subsequently, I speak multiple languages and am familiar with different cultures. I have been blessed to be able to travel quite extensively – with family, friends and solo too.
Not only have I traveled to various countries, but I’ve also worked as an expatriate in four different countries so far. How or why? You guessed it – I’m one of those ELL teachers – you know, one of those global nomads who just hop onto a plane and go and immerse themselves in unfamiliar territories and post awesome beach and travel pics with random people. 😉
While images of bar hopping in Rome with hot Italian men, or dancing in clubs until the wee hours in the morning in Thailand may come to mind, that’s definitely not my scene. I’m more of a spiritual person – and no, not the sunrise yoga meditation and vegan lifestyle kinda spirituality. My spirituality comes more from my faith – Islam. With that being said, there are certain stereotypes that I won’t fit in, since my values are different and quite unique to the single female globetrotting population – well at least from my age group.
Often when I travel or work abroad, fellow travellers and expats don’t really know where to place me. While I’m Canadian, clearly I’m also… Muslim… so… hmmm? Some get shocked to see things that I do – like scuba diving, or the fact that I travel solo. While others wonder why I don’t drink beer – like seriously, how can I live without drinking beer???
And thus, being a visible Muslim woman who wears a headscarf (hijab/khimar), I automatically become an ambassador to Islam and have realized, that many people have so many misconceptions of Muslim women. Then of course I also have to deal with the misconceptions from Muslims too. Clearly, a girl who travels like I do is not family-oriented and is not interested in settling down. Through my travels and just talking with people, like when I would share my travel stories with a group of terminally ill cancer patients as I would visit a friend of mine who recently lost her battle, I break those misconceptions one person at a time. Which got me thinking, why not increase my audience and connect with more people?
Part of the reason why people know so little perhaps, is because they don’t know any Muslim women, and clearly, if you were to base your idea of Muslim women on what is portrayed in the media, then you’d conclude that we are an oppressed uneducated bunch who are at the mercy of men. And thus came the idea of – The Hibster – sharing my narrative to the world. ‘The Hibster’ is one of my many nicknames. We all have unique narratives of course, and I feel getting mine out will help debunk the myths about Muslim women, especially single ones, while also sharing my crazy to the world.
So what will I write about? My traveling experiences, probably share some narratives of fellow friends as well, and give people my perspective. Topics? Various and random to be frank, from culture, feminism, religion to politics. Basically, whatever comes to mind and inspires me that day. I don’t have a set schedule of what I’ll be posting at the moment nor when. But if you follow me, you’ll be notified when I do post.
While my writing skills are slightly rusty at the moment, I hope by writing daily, I’ll be able to get back in the saddle so to speak, and perhaps, fulfil my dream of becoming a best-selling author one day.
In the meantime, relax, take a seat, grab your cup of coffee/tea and enjoy my nuances.