The Traveling Diaries

By Aabiya Baqai, Sahrish Ali and Sohila El Saadany

Learn what makes traveling an infusion of excitement from discovering the ancient and the modern.

Traveling Bloggers: One City at a Time

Travel blogging is catching on strong in today’s experience thirsty world. These travel bloggers are setting trends by giving you honest reviews of the places they visit.

Zainab Alhassan Hamidaddin


Hamidaddin moved to Jeddah from the United States to pursue a career in the FMCG Industry. She enjoys discovering new places and getting lost in the cities she visits.

Places Visited
Around the USA, Canada, Mexico, the Middle East, Greece, Turkey, Spain, and of course the cliché European cities like Paris, Rome, and London.

Best Places
“I fell in love with Greece at first sight. From its stunning views to its welcoming people, Greece is truly a magical place!”

From all the places, Madrid is the most livable, according to Hamidaddin. “It is a great example of a cosmopolitan city with the perfect blend of history, culture and art. From its majestic palaces to its stunning gardens to its world-renowned art exhibits, Madrid is truly a city that caters to any taste.”

Picture by Zainab

Picture by Zainab

Surprising Destination
“Yemen. I went when I was younger and had the amazing experience of touring the country: from the bustling capital of Sana’a to the gorgeous countryside of Ibb and the untouched paradise that is Socotra. Yes, the country is extremely traditional; however, I was lucky enough to experience the real Yemen and the wonders it has to offer.”

What is one food you could now never eat in your home country again because you’ve tasted the original version?
Definitely crepes. I tried them in the city of love and it’s safe to say I fell in love at first bite!

Travel Tips

  • Do your research. It’s amazing what you can discover reading about other people’s trials and experiences.
  • Always check the best season to travel to your destinations before you book.
  • Contact the hotel before you book from third party site (like More often than not, the hotel will offer you a better rate than the lowest rate you find online if not match it.

Instagram: ZazaReviws

Esra Alhamal


Esra is a PhD student, artist and blogger who loves to share her experiences, tips and all the art spots she finds while exploring the world.

International Travels

  • Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Morocco, Iran and Turkey.

  • European countries: France, Spain, Switzerland and Netherlands, around the US.


Starting Point
My first solo trip was a two years ago when I went to Spain to attend an Islamic design course in Granada. I loved every moment especially the couple of days I spent in Barcelona. “I went to every building designed by the genius architect Antonio Gaudi and walked everywhere. That is when I decided I really want to be a proper travel blogger.”

Marrakech was pretty, but the shopkeepers were not the nicest or welcoming. I got yelled at a lot because of my camera.

Picture By Esraa

Picture By Esraa

Surprising Destination
“Muscat had a few of the most beautiful beaches I’ve been to, despite initially thinking there wouldn’t be much to see there.”

Travel Tips

  • Plan your outfits based on your activities before packing. That limits what you need to take.
  • plans your entire itinerary and keeps all your plans in one place from your flight bookings to leisure activities along with a map of all the places you would visit.
  • Travel is actually affordable depending on the time of the year and offers.

Instagram: designeresra

Travel Anecdotes

A compilation of interesting travel tales and tips.

“I arrived at Málaga, Spain during the Easter holiday parades. It was packed with massive crowds everywhere so I couldn’t get to the hotel I had booked. I had to stay at a closer hotel and had to pay more. Lesson is, always check the festival dates and try to book either before or after those.” – Belal

Even though they were crowded, those festivals were top-notch.

Even though they were crowded, those festivals were top-notch.

“Some relatives had told us about their Niagara Falls experience, saying it was extremely cold and that they didn’t have enough clothes. Naturally, my mom started packing layers of clothing. Before we left, she made sure I was wearing 2-3 layers. It was hot in the car due to the 9-hour nonstop journey. Niagara Falls also turned out to be really warm without a place to remove my jacket, so I was roaming around the place looking like a penguin. Always check the weather forecast on your phone apps before you leave and do not rely on other people’s experiences.” – Zahara

The boat ride next to Niagara Falls and witnessing rainbows.

The boat ride next to Niagara Falls and witnessing rainbows.

“In Sri Lanka we told our driver that we wanted to eat local food. He just assumed that because we were foreign, we wanted to eat at high-end restaurants, but we wanted to try the authentic cultural street food. He didn’t understand why we would want to go there, so we actually searched for local recommendations that travelers and bloggers had uploaded online. We then guided the driver to these places, so now before I travel; I look online first to see recommendations on blogs.” – Nafeesa

The elephant village called Pinnawala.

The elephant village called Pinnawala.

“My cousins and I (all female) were leaving our hotel room and walking towards Istiklal Street. While walking we saw two shoeshine guys pass us and one of them dropped their brush. We picked it up and gave it back. They were really thankful and asked us to let them shine our shoes. We refused, but they kept insisting, so we had to agree. The guy finished shining our shoes and immediately asked for payment. At first my cousin and I were shocked considering they offered the service, but it went to a point where we could not get rid of them until we gave them some cash. We kind of got robbed because it’s really a gimmick to get cash off of people.” – Suzan

Seeing all the great sites because it was like going through the pages of a history book.

Seeing all the great sites because it was like going through the pages of a history book.


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