Happy #TravelTuesday everyone! This week’s Tuesday feature is with Adeela (@adeelaomar)! Originally from Pakistan and now living in the UK, Adeela has adored travel ever since a young age. Check out all she has to say about her adventures below!

Where was your first trip to? What about it stands out most when you look back?

My very first international trip was to Cherbourg-Octeville, France where I studied for a year, at age 7. I was reluctant about going to school, and I remember crying on my first day while being introduced in front of an entire class. As I wept and sat with the rest of the students on the classroom bench, the boy next to me surprised me with a kiss on my cheek. That small gesture of comfort instantly wiped away my tears and put a broad smile on my face. It has got me grinning as I write this!

My trip to Disneyland, Paris was also quite memorable. I wasn’t drawn towards the Disney characters, but one particular ride called “It’s A Small World” captivated my attention at that very young age. It was a whimsical boat tour around the globe, where dolls from all the countries, dressed in traditional clothing sang to the timeless classic Disney anthem in their native languages. As we sailed through the seven continents, I remember being mesmerized by the vibrant colours on the brightest backdrops and overwhelmed by a universal rhythm and harmony.

Such beautiful childhood memories keep calling me back to France. That year truly instilled a desire in me to see good in the world, explore our selves through interconnectivity and left me hungry for adventure.

What is the most delicious meal you’ve had while travelling? (Give us some details because who doesn’t love food 😂)

I enjoy exploring different cuisines from around the world. A few come to mind –

  • Prappu from Skardu, Pakistan – Unusual but delicious dumplings made of buckwheat and walnut paste, served with walnut oil.
  • Bocata de calamares from Madrid, Spain – Fresh hot bread roll stuffed with crunchy squid rings, perfect with sangria.
  • Tiramisu from Milan, Italy – Authentic and the best one I’ve had to date!

But I’ll be honest, for me, the most delicious meals have truly been the simple ones with family and friends, regardless of the cuisine or destination.

What is the best part about travelling for you? Why?

Travelling is a learning experience for me – It’s like making my first stroke on a blank canvas and discovering music that transports me to different dimensions. It feeds my hunger for knowledge and it fills me up. I love the element of surprise, the mystery of what possibly lies around the corner of narrow cobbled streets, mentally and physically battling the odds to climb a summit at 15,000 ft in harsh weather conditions, imagining myself stepping back in time and acquiring wisdom through encounters with the local people.

How do you go about planning a trip? Is it a go with flow process or is it a bit more structured? 

It depends – I love spontaneity but travelling to most places involves structure to a certain degree since I have to go through the process of visa applications. Travelling within England, where I currently reside, has mostly been spontaneous, whereas I had to intricately plan my trip around Europe last year. A recent road trip with family around Turkey was a mix of both. I had created our itinerary, highlighting which cities to visit and planned the route along the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts to see most of Turkey’s hidden gems within 2 weeks. But our daily schedule used to be exploring different locations without relying on google maps or accessing the internet. The adventure was in observing road signs, asking for recommendations from locals and guiding ourselves to unknown treasures.

Where to next?!

Currently planning a trip to Belgium and to the northern areas of my home country, Pakistan. Soon, all around this small world! 😊