Huda Daud has visited more than 20 countries! Woahhh. Let’s read her interview.
T: A short bio about yourself, A 3-4 lines that best describe you, what you do for a living and so…
H: Hello there, my name is Huda Daud and I’m a Biotechnologist by training. Currently, I’m working as a Project Coordinator for a global life science company. When I’m not in the office working, I’ll be in some foreign city getting myself lost in their history and culture. I’m simple and happy-go-lucky who’s been travelling since 2007.
T: Where have you been?
H: I’ve been to over 20 countries including Malaysia (all states – must explore my home country first), Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Japan, Korea, Turkey, Egypt, Denmark, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Indonesia, and most of the European countries.
T: What’s your favourite place so far? Why?
H: Japan. Everything about the country is just beautiful; from the people, the culture, the food, the scenery… Every city has a story to tell, I would definitely love to go to Japan again. Plus it was my graduation trip which makes it more memorable, a trip to reward myself after 4 hard-working years in uni.
T: One unforgettable travel experience or incident that sticks in your mind…?
H: Back in April 2015, I went to Spain with my sister and her friend. We reached Madrid quite late and by the time we reached our hostel, it was already 10pm. Since we only had a day in Madrid, we thought of exploring Madrid at night. So at 11pm, we went out to Grand Via stopping for Llao Llao ice cream along the way (we even kept the spoon because it was unique).
Once we reached Puerto De Sol Plaza, we saw many people in a black pointed hat that covered their face with a white robe (later we got to know they are part of a brotherhood where different brotherhoods have a different colour robe and pointed hat). There are also people carrying a big statue of Jesus; like some kind of cult gathering. We were so scared that these people were going to harm us.
Exactly at midnight, these people started to roam around the area. I asked a random local lady what is going on; apparently, it was only a parade to celebrate Easter (Spain’s biggest religious celebration).
Phew, we scared ourselves for nothing. The following days, there were many parades along the streets of the Spanish cities in celebration of Easter.
T: What was the most challenging thing about travelling?
H: Delay in transportation as it could affect your subsequent journey. I’ve once had to sleep at the airport and forgo my accommodation in Cambridge as the flight was delayed and the car rental office was already close by the time I landed at the airport (it was already 1.30am at that time). Another time, my friends and I nearly missed our flight from Paris to Rome as the train from downtown Paris to the airport was delayed for more than an hour. By the time we reached the airport, we had to run like in Amazing Race looking for the check-in counter. We were lucky as the group checking in before us had trouble checking in, and we were the last to check-in and board the plane.
Another challenge would be finding a prayer space during wintertime when the grounds are mostly wet. We are quite blessed to be in Malaysia where prayer spaces are abundant but in countries where Muslims are minority finding a suitable prayer, space can be challenging. But throughout my experience, I have adapted praying in various locations such as in the parking lot, on the snowy ground, on a sandy beach and my favourite of all in a changing room of a retail store.
T: What place is top of your bucket list?
H: Machu Picchu, Peru
T: One advice for travellers?
H: Bring back something new from your travel (be it a new word, new food, new culture, new knowledge on that country, or a new perspective in life) and not just Instagram-worthy photos.