T: A short bio about yourself? 3-4 lines that best describe you, what you do for a living and so…
M: I am known as Menk Mahawangsa or my real name is Muazammil Mamat. I quit my job in Malaysia and became a full-time traveller; I went backpacking trip from Malaysia to England passing through 39 countries for a total of 6 months. Currently, I’m wandering around Bosnia Herzegovina and I’m also working as a travel consultant for Jejak Balkan for trips in the Balkan countries.
T: What would you want to be known for besides beautiful photography and travelling? (something that no one knows about you)
M: Initially, when I started my overland trip I had a Facebook page and Instagram account (Routexplorers) where I share my journey and somehow it caught media attention because during my overland trip I was there stranded in an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal which happened last year in April that killed more than 8000 people. I have a vast interest in exploring new places around the world and I’m active in extreme sports like surfing and snowboarding. I also don’t mind doing any humanitarian work wherever I am.
T: What inspires you to travel and capture scenic spots and people?
M: My parents were fond of travelling. My mom did her PhD in the United Kingdom for 4 years during my primary years and she brought us with her. After high school, I would spend a lot of time at Cherating, Malaysia where I learned to surf and met a lot of wonderful backpackers that inspired me to explore the world.
T: What excites you more when travelling? Meeting new people? Experiencing a new culture? Food?
M: I love meeting new people and experiencing new culture. For me, it is the best way to learn about the world. When I meet new people, I gain more knowledge of what is really going on their side of the world rather than watching it on television. Understanding other cultures are always interesting for me because it opens my mind up to another level of understanding, accepting and being thankful to Allah for all these creations.
T: Your favourite local destination and why?
M: As for now, my favourite destination is the Balkans and that is why I have been staying here for 8 months already. I want to explore the mesmerizing nature and learn about the history of Islam in Europe. Most people would think that eastern Europe is dangerous because of the war that happened about 20 years ago but I can assure you that it is completely safe now and that is what makes it interesting to explore the vague and unknown world of the Balkans.
T: Your best travel incident/story that might inspire young Muslims to travel.
M: This is a hard question. As for now, I am biased towards Bosnia and I would recommend young Muslims to come here because we do actually exist way back since the Ottoman Empire in the 14th century. Besides that, I would recommend everyone to go to countries with Muslim minority like China. Iran is also interesting where you could experience the different divisions of Muslim and understand how history divided us. For adventures, just go to Tibet and Nepal where you can witness the beauty of the Himalayan mountains.