About

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته 

I’m Nadia and, before anything else, a massive THANK YOU for visiting the blog!

I am based in the United Arab Emirates, a country that is home to people from all over the world, a haven for food lovers (halal food everywhere!), tall skyscrapers, and a short flight away from a lot of amazing destinations. A country where winters are like springs and summers are like … well, why don’t you come over and experience it yourself?

That’s me feeding a chipmunk in the gardens of Taj Mahal.

While strolling the gardens and admiring the grand and elaborate Mughal-style architecture of the Taj Mahal, a couple of chipmunks came out of the woods and stood at my feet. Just when I crouched to observe them closely, one of the gardeners appeared and offered me a piece of bread to feed the chipmunks. I hesitated.

“Go on,” he encouraged me. I accepted the bread. The chipmunk feasted on it greedily, much to my amusement. Masood took a picture of this encounter. Afterward, when I stood up to thank the gardener for the bread, he told me, “Only 10 rupees for the bread, madam.”

Little did I know back then that this ten-rupee picture would end up being my main display picture online, both on this blog and all my social media accounts. While I no longer fit in that dress, I still very much use the bangles and watch.

However, the travel bug had bitten me at quite a young age. I had my first passport at two-months old. I grew up traveling between two countries to be with both set of grandparents. When I was about eight or nine years old, we moved six houses because my father was trying to establish his business. My siblings and I thought of these moves as adventures. My father had traveled extensively since he was a teenager so when, at bedtime, he would tell us all about his adventures, I would listen with great interest, picturing myself in those stories and dreaming about them when I fell asleep.

When I was ten, my father took me and my younger sister hiking. It was a mountain in Mindanao with no proper hiking trail. I remember walking for the longest time on uneven ground, wet from recent rains, tall trees all around us, and an angry river coursing on our right. My feet ached and I had a little swooning episode from thirst that day. But I still loved the trip!

I started blogging at The Purple Journal  then moved to my own domain here in February 2011. The idea of blogging began when I returned from my very first trip to India. I came home with tons of stories, memories, and photographs that I knew I had to document somewhere.

It all began as personal blog where I’d write about anything: family, conversations, disasters in the kitchen, my neighbors. I was still quite new in Dubai so the posts reflected observations from an excited young woman who was starting a new phase in life. A woman who took cringe-worthy photographs and still thought it was decent enough to be posted online!

Gradually, as the number of my readers grew, so did I as a blogger. My blog has finally found its niche: halal travel, with lots of honest hotel and restaurant reviews. This blog hopes to help you maximize your paid time off and inspire you to travel and explore! 

While the blog is being read by awesome folks of all ages and background, majority are couples and families who travel with some amount of comfort and luxury. 

I wish I had an exciting story to tell you about how we quit our jobs, sold all our possessions and have been happily gallivanting across the globe since. The truth is, both Masood and I work full time in the Healthcare-IT industry. We get limited PTOs, but since we work in the same company that allows some degree of working remotely, we are able to travel several times a year. Wait … this isn’t as glamorous as it sounds! This means that even when we travel abroad, we always bring our laptops with us and have to consider the regular office hours regardless of which timezone we’re currently in!

You’ll find three banners on the homepage of the blog to help you find your way. Posts have mainly been sorted by:

Reviews

Hajj & Umrah

Recipes

You can also click on the Category dropdown located on the homepage’s sidebar.

While most of the restaurants and hotels that I review have been booked and fully paid by us, I have accepted a few complimentary stays as well, and only because I love the establishment and the services they offer! I always make note on the post if a stay or meal is complimentary. However, rest assured that all opinion remain my own and what you get is an honest review.

I remember reading a popular blogger mention that travel blogs should never dedicate entire posts to hotel reviews. Well, I don’t quite agree with said blogger. I may have less readers in comparison but I have learned that the hotel and restaurant reviews on this blog garner a lot of views, and I regularly get emails and messages on Facebook about them!

When I’m not blogging, I enjoy dreaming about my next destination, reading and trying out new recipes.

Still have a question or two, a proposal to review your product or business, advertising, or perhaps to simply drop a line to say hi?

You can either leave a message on the contact page or drop me an e-mail at: admin@nadiamasood.com

Let’s connect on your favourite social media channel:

Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest

Have a nice day!

 

118 comments

  1. Very best of luck to you. I hope this blogging experience is as therapeutic for you as it has been for me already. We both seem to be seeking the same results of inner-peace and fulfillment through our writing. Thank you for your comment on my blog. I appreciate it. And I look forward to reading more from you!
    Mary

  2. Salams dearest,

    i’ve just read through your blog and i find it quite interesting! and i must say you have been blessed with a good mate mashallah. i pray allah grant your duahs inshallah..

    thank you for your comment, its nice to be reminded that its all in allah’s hands…we can only wait and pray patiently.

    god bless!

  3. Mary, thank you! It hasn’t been a month yet since I’ve started blogging, but the experience has indeed been therapeutic. Do visit me again soon 🙂 Best of luck to you too.

  4. Hey, I decided to look your blog as well 🙂 and I really liked it.

    So, you r also looking to reduce 16 lbs till Sep ’08? Me too!! How about we share advices/stuff like that? I am real need of someone to motivate me! 🙁

  5. Nice blog!

    Hi – I have web pages and a blog attached to it for your comments – I write about social issues I hear about and other stuff – lots going on in there – Inviting you all over – Do visit me as well! 🙂

    nadeen.ahmed83.googlepages.com

  6. Pucca’s comment musta sounded rather odd and random eh…so sorry dear, i was reading your blog and musta signed in with my other account when i left that comment.

    anyways, dearest…basra and pucca are one and the same.

  7. Salaam ,
    Nice blog , and nice to meet you

    With Best Regards

    Eng. Hasan Al-Bahkali

    ~ Walaikum Assalam, Eng. Al-Bahkali. Thank you for stopping by. Have a nice day!

  8. Assalamualaikum,

    Figured I got your link from Umm Travis, read a couple of your entries and I’m hooked. LoL~! Insha’Allah, will be stopping by more often in future. 🙂

    Walaikum Assalam, dearest sister. And I have added you in my Google Reader list 🙂

  9. Though I doubt you remember me from oh so long ago… But I look forward to reading and catching up. In about 5 days. x_x

    lol – of course I remember you. See you around here in about 5 days then 🙂

  10. Despite the fact that i am very comment-shy i just have to say this- i think your blog is very original and i love the pictures you take. Another thing i couldn’t get enough of is the way you documented your trip to Saudi it was refreshing to see it through someone else’s eyes.

    I’m glad you enjoyed reading the posts! I’m so happy that you took time to comment; truly appreciate that. Thank you so much 🙂

  11. As Salaam Alaikum,

    Nadia,

    Thanks for your visit to Risk Rap.

    I wish you a blessed Ramadan.

    Peace and prayers,

    jbm

    Walaikum Assalam. Ramadan mubarak to you and your family!

  12. I visited your blog some time last year perhaps while searching some thing about UAE. I just loved it as a great information resource about UAE.

    Today I saw this blog in my bookmarks and so visited it once again. I really like this blog, I must say 🙂

    1. Ahmed Irfan, I changed the theme again just last night. I really had to. The sea green color started to get on my nerves. But I really liked the layout that came with that theme.

      You can still access the city names under the “Places” dropdown, which is just after the “Recent Posts” list on the right of the blog.

  13. Once again – your umrah posts are so awesome. mashaAllah.. you were referring to your mother-in-law as mom yes? 🙂

  14. Thanks for the comments on my page.

    I don’t get a chance to read many other blogs as im doing this through a mobile connection, but reading yours has been really interesting.

  15. First of all, we both use the same theme (well, forget about the self-hosted wordpress blogs that I own). But here I see you’ve decorated and designed your blog in a much sweeter way. I especially loved the header.

    I expected something more from the about page, such as who you are, where you live in, what you do etc.

    Anyway, I think you’re blogging pretty well. I love blogging, too. But the problem is I love blogging in English while my native language (and also mother tongue) is Bangla. So, I feel limited while trying to write in English. I can’t stop blogging in English cause without this language I cannot reach a global audience. Whatever, I liked your blog and hopefully I will be coming back.

    Please don’t forget to keep visiting my blog and comment on any post you like. (If you’re a technology-lover, you might like to try out this blog too that I own http://www.aisajib.com).

    1. Welcome to the blog, Sajib! My “About” page is more about the blog and less about me. I mentioned my name, religion, marital status, where I live, and what I enjoy doing the most. I am comfortable sharing only that much (on this page, at least. Because you’ll eventually find random information about me and my husband as you read the posts) 🙂

      I’m working on my English too! It’s my, well, third language 🙂

  16. You writes well Nadia………………Your English is awesome too……..

    I tried my best…..but I don’t know why I am not being able to better like other bloggers surrounded by me like you………

    It’s nice to meet you and nice to read your blog.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Shamim! I don’t have great tips to give you on how to improve your English writing skills, but you can perhaps start by reading a lot of English books, news, blogs, etc, and try to analyze how sentences are structured. I think you can start by reading 70 ways to improve your English.

  17. Hi Nadia –

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I don’t have time to read your blog now…Am preparing for a trip to Europe, leaving tomorrow…but I will when I return!

    Sherry

  18. Salam Nadia,
    I came across your blog today and have been reading through your very interesting posts. many of them make great reads and i enjoyed them. your Umrah posts are exceptional, i just came back from Umrah with my family few weeks back so i was able to relate to your words and feelings easily.
    you are doing a great job here. keep it up. The purple journal is definitely going on my blogroll
    Many thanks

    1. Walaikum Assalam, SuperSpace, and welcome to the Purple Journal!

      I’m glad you enjoyed reading the Umrah posts. It’s been a long time and I miss the entire experience. How was your own Umrah experience? May Allah accept your Umrah and prayers, ameen.

      Have a nice day!

  19. Thanks for spending your time.. to see and comment on my blog…..that …with in the minutes of publishing …..receiving a comment…..obviously made me happy….that too from a new visitor……….Also…Its interesting to see your post names…definitely will take some time to read those…..Thanks and Have a great day!

  20. وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته
    you are so great sis ^^~
    i’m really glad to have your blog in my favorite bar ^^!

  21. Life takes huge turns when you least expect it..And it’s great that you are making the most of every opportunity 🙂

    I’ve lived in UAE for awhile and I love that place! By the way what made you choose the name “The Purple Journal”? Why purple?

    1. Hello, Lucky!

      UAE is a beautiful and safe place, and we love it here too! When I was choosing a name for this blog, I came up with a few interesting ones. However, they were all taken already. Also, I didn’t particularly know what I’d be blogging about; I had no idea this page will be filled with photography! Purple is my favorite color, that’s all there is to say about the blog’s name 😀

  22. Hi Nadia,
    Love the blog and very interested in reading through the Umra series. I lived in Saudi but used to get off at the motorway towards Mecca where it said ‘muslims only’. So great to be able to have a look inside through your eyes.
    Sally – My Custard Pie recently posted..Custard Mingle

  23. “This means my travel stories do not include getting drunk, dancing, swimsuits, and gambling.” – dang! I didn’t realize till now that this site is so pale and so lame… I mean, what’s a blog without the excesses, huh? as far as I know, this blogging business has a lot to do with human frailties, is why people come over – to spy on one another and realize the living business is not for folding up yet…

    am gonna stick around a while longer and see what mischief and mishaps could be managed on this side sans the necessary elements of life… the blogger better be creative – she has to invent them, by golly! no drinking, no dancing, no gambling? ay, it makes a mockery of civilization and its attainments, haha. 😉 am too slow, not recognizing this is such a poor, drab place… 😉 i better scout for entertainment some place else. wonder why i didn’t realize things are so the instant i landed on these pages. am getting old and dense, really… . 😉 hello, Nadia dear… ^_^

    1. Hey ‘San!

      “what’s a blog without the excesses?” I agree with you on that. That is why this blog has excessive pictures and food-related posts 😀

      Haha! “mockery of civilization and its attainments” that is so funny!

      You are not old or dense, my dear. You are good at spotting talent when you see one 😉 (this is my humble self talking).

  24. I cant believe i never looked at this section before, untill you pointed me on my blog site .. i guess that explains why that section was left empty .. hahahhaha… the expressions and sentiments regarding Masood bhai now means to its full to me when i faced troubles in my laptop today … God bless you guys both.. ameen
    joveria recently posted..Paint me !

  25. I stumbled across your blog as I searched for tips for doing Umrah. My husband and I are InshAllah going in a few weeks and I loved reading about your experience! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    ~ Shaza ~

  26. Hi Nadia, today’s post on the vanishing Taj Mahal in Dubai Bloggers got me hooked onto your blog and here I am spending a lot of time browsing through your travel. You’ve got such a beautiful blog. Planning to hop in frequently now – have subscribed and Liked and Followed etc!!!
    IshitaUnblogged recently posted..Bikers Cafe | Emirati Breakfast Followed by Emirati Desserts (Only A Bengali Desires For Desserts In An Over-filled Tummy!)

  27. MashahAllah! What a beautiful blog! I’m completely in love! If you wouldn’t have visited my novice blog and left a sweet comment I probably would never have came across yours! Will be stalking you now through Bloglovin’.

    Take care!
    -Ayesha
    http://www.AnUblog.com

  28. Assalaamu’alaykum.
    You’re a great story-teller, masha Allah :). Landed here while im searching something about umrah.
    Will follow u in instagram since im not into blogging nowadays :p

  29. Feeling amazed on knowing that you married an Indian guy despite of strict visa regulations between two neighbouring countries. I really liked your previous blog and this one as well.

  30. Assalamualaikum sis!
    I love your posts! To be honest your blog inspired me to start writing. I can say I am your fan 🙂 Keep up the good work, may Allah bless you!

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