Decolonizing Travel Writing (Podcast)

“The more we travel the more we develop our instinct…then just follow your gut.”

On this week’s TMV Podcast, Salim speaks to Tharik Hussain, an author, journalist, and travel writer on the topic of travel versus holiday, travel writing, and our Muslim heritage here in Europe. Tharik Hussain is also the author of the upcoming and fascinating book “Minarets in the Mountains: A Journey into Muslim Europe”, which you can find here.

To listen to the full podcast, click below:

In a fascinating conversation about travel and Muslim heritage, Tharik first explains the difference between a “holiday” and “travel” – and while both have their own group of followers, Salim and Tharik stress that travel means “making it up as you go”, and exploring the world with an open and curious mind. Travel also means “taking yourself out of your comfort zone”, Tharik says.

Tharik also describes how his love for travel started at a young age, and that the more he began to travel and meet people, he realized: “The world is an amazing place, and I really want to see where these people [around the world] are from.”

The more we travel the more we develop our instinct…then just follow your gut.”

Tharik then goes on to explain his time working for Lonely Planet – which was in a way a dream come true – and how important it was to be able to share travel writing and stories on Muslim heritage. To be able to be a Muslim writer, writing on Muslim heritage, travel, and culture, was not only important for Lonely Planet but for the wider world as well – and Tharik stresses the importance in recognizing the often colonial nature of historic travel writing.

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Because travel, and travel writing, has largely come from a colonial backdrop, people who travel and write today are still coming from that kind of heritage – and while this can change, Tharik explains that it will take more diverse voices, and more local voices, to really get out there and get involved in travel writing from an authentic and globalized worldview.

Muslim heritage in the UK, where Tharik is based, is also one of his areas of exploration – and the fascinating story of British Muslims throughout the centuries has helped propel him to further study and explore the rich and diverse history of Muslims in Europe.

His most recent project, in which he traveled to the Balkans to explore the history of indigenous Muslims in countries like Albania, Serbia, and Bosnia, took him on an incredible journey of personal reflection – and changed the way he views that entire region of Europe.

To pre-order Tharik’s upcoming travel book “Minarets in the Mountains: A Journey into Muslim Europe”, click here!

To listen to the rest of this fascinating conversation, click below:

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