Kismayo, Somalia

Home! I’m glad to finally meet you!

Peace and prosperity

Goobweyn: what a beautiful place! Is where Jubba river & Indian Ocean meet.

Mango obsession: I ate and drank for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert ❤  

 

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Keywest

Hello! Hello!

Last week of December I was lucky enough to spend time in Key West, including a day trip to explore the rest of the Keys! I (of course…) took way too many photos.

Taking a road trip through the Florida Keys was one of the best adventure I have done. The 110 mile stretch from Miami to Key West traverses the appropriately named Overseas Highway, crossing 42 bridges while taking you on a wild ride through one of the most picturesque, quirky and fun places.
While the drive to the Southernmost city in the United States only takes 4 hours to complete, you’d be at a total loss to miss the many stops along the way. Each island offers something different and sets the tone for your arrival into the fabled Key West, 90 miles north of Cuba.

Love,

Faduma

 

 


Duval Street


 

End of route1

 

Concrete jungle where dreams… NYC

 

I have a love/hate relationship with New York City. When I’m away, I think about the dirty streets, rude pedestrians, and unforgivable traffic… but when I’m back, I feel the life of the city. The burning desire of each individual with dreams and ambitions. That energy is undeniable. It’s like everyone has an agenda, some sort of story. And whether you’re going through a heartbreak or have lost yourself, New York is the ultimate escape to just live in the moment and forget about all your problems…

I’ll admit it, I’ve always loved big cities. I grew up in a small town in MN and I went college in Phoenix, Arizona.  I always pictured myself moving to Los Angeles once I graduate and never really saw myself in NYC.

All that changed 2015 when I took a job with Estée lauder New York as a research scientist. It was my first time in the big apple. I’ve had a few Mary Tyler Moore moments walking through the city, popping into my favorite bodega for fresh flowers and actually making my way around without getting on the lost on the subway.
But just beneath those really great moments is this: a pestering voice asking, “So you’re here. Now what?” That voice, though condescending, has a point. I didn’t want to simply be here to be my greatest accomplishment. I want to do more. I came to do more.

Coming to New York was instant gratification. I wanted to do it, and with one plane ticket, I did – no depending on luck or time. It happened as soon as I decided I wanted it to happen. For someone who is as horribly impatient as I am, it was perfect.

 

Love, 

Faduma Sahra 

 

Goodread

Can you believe 2018 is almost over.  It has been pretty good year to me, and I’m sure it’s because I’ve made an effort to be more of an optimist. On a smaller scale, it’s probably also due to coffee and all the greats books I read  on travels. But maybe I’m projecting. You tell me.

Last year a lot of my books were self-help books. Helped me cope with changes and personal growth. Here are some of my favorite books I read on 2018. 


1. Kahlil Gibran’s The  Prophet –  I love love love this book written by one of my favorite author of all time.
The Prophet, is one of the most beloved classics. A collection of poetic essays that are philosophical, spiritual, and, above all, inspirational. Short but invaluable book of philosophy and encouragement It is filled with wisdom. Despite the religious implication
“You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” 

  1. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood:  I have loved this book since the first time I read it. It is horrifying, suspenseful, introspective, and just close enough to believable to be truly scary. If you only know the Republic of Gilead from the Hulu show (not the same), read this book.
  2. Becoming – I’m so thrilled to add Becoming to my list! A powerful, surprising and moving book as well as refreshingly candid that I think will be deeply inspirational to many. 


  3. Children of blood and bone by Tomi Adeyemi THE HYPE IS REAL!
    I always prefer to decide for myself if the new overhyped YA book is worth it… and I’m happy to say that this new Fantasy book totally was!

    This is genuinely the greatest debut fantasy novel, greatest fantasy novel in general that I have read in a very long time. Initially, I was TERRIFIED to read. The combination of its size and an epic high fantasy novel was very daunting to me, but I am so happy I picked it up. I cannot possibly recommend it enough.

  4. The Sun Does Shine How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row – am not sure where to put my feelings after finishing this book. I am appalled, sad but also filled with admiration for this inncent man on death row for over thirty years, who managed to retain hope and love. He hung on, didn’t give up.
    Before I read this book, I didn’t have an opinion on the death penalty, but now I do!!!

  5. Letters to a Young Muslim: is a compilation of letters from a father to his son. It is full of wisdom and thoughtful reflections on faith, culture and society.  Love that this book encourages the readers to celebrate individuality whilst recognizing it is our shared humanity that can bring us together.

  6. Good fantasy novel Melina Marchetta never fails to write heart-wrenching relationships and tragedy and pain, of which this was a stellar example. I loved and cried over my favorite characters and the hardships and obstacles that they encountered.
             Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles, #2)
             Quintana of Charyn (Lumatere Chronicles, #3)

  7. All The Light We Cannot See – follows the complex arcs of two such invisible lines through the lives of Werner Pfennig, an orphan boy in pre-World War II Germany and Marie-Laure Leblanc, a blind girl living in Paris with her father.
    The writing was incredible, the descriptions so vivid. It did a superb job of showing the reader how the characters felt through their actions, rather than telling.



  8. An immersive story of an interesting and well thought out land with lovable and hate-able characters. Just what I needed. Perfect mini escape from the real world, into magic ❤

    • Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1)
    • Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy, #2)
    • Assassin’s Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3) 

  9. Ruby by cynthia bond –  It rips your soul out of your body with it’s strong, dark presence. You beg to be released from the grips of this story. 

  10. Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood – If you’re going to read this book, definitely listen to the audio version.
    Feels like he is sitting down with you and telling you his life story. Not only that, but you get to learn quite a bit about pre- and post-Apartheid South Africa from the perspective of someone who hypothetically shouldn’t exist.
    Noah’s mother is black and his father is white, and when he was born any mixed-race relationships were illegal.

 

Past and future letter to myself

I was recently asked to write a letter to my younger and future self for my linguistics class. It was very hard to write, but It was a powerful exercise that I believe everyone should experience. Here is my letter…

Sweet young Fai,

Where do I start… Oh, the places you’ll go – It seems like you’ll never leave your small town life, but all of this will change with years to come. Lots will change when you go to college. Your decision to do a study of abroad in London and move to the across the country for med-school will be stressful at times but you will be happy you did. The friends and memories you make will be lifelong. Those you meet on your journey will embrace you. As you meet new people, be kind. Smile, make friends, get to really know them, and treat everyone well even if they don’t.

Don’t waste any opportunities that are brought to you. Just one rare opportunity can change your life forever. Knowing all the elements in the periodic table may seem lame and nerdy in middle school, but believe me it will come in handy. You will have a career that will take you to places you can only dream of. That cereal you brag hooyo (mom) to buy for you and the fancy makeup at the mall that you cannot afford someday you will be the formulation Research Scientist behind it. So many great things will happen. I can’t explain to you what they are but you know soon.

Your body is embarrassing to you and your introvert attitude is intimidating to others, but you will realize is what makes you, you. You’ll grow to love it. Your circle of friends will change; and the ones that fall like leaves, will be the ones your mom have predicted. Her repetitive advice will finally sink in. See that your sisters are your best friends and biggest supporters.

I can’t stress how much your parents love you. They’re willing to do anything for you and will give up all to make you happy! Your dad will need you more than ever, especially the last year of his life – remember what he’s given up for you. Make sure you’re willing to give everything up for him. Your mom will go through many dark stages but you will all be her light. Sometimes it will be hard to stay in that “I’m so blessed” mode when part of your world is missing. But even with the biggest lump in your throat you’ll wake up with so much gratitude; because you know It Could Always Be Worse.

Hold tight to your beliefs, your love for God, and your roots. Somedays it will be difficult to give back and easy to give up on Somalia, but you will find a way for Somalia to love you as much as you love Somalia. Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. There will be a lot of obstacles in your path. But remember, the struggle you go through will make you become patient, kind, compassionate and humble.

Love,

Future you

Dear Future Faduma Sahra,

Take a breath. I wanted to write this letter to tell you how far you’ve come, even if you don’t feel it. You’ve been doing this adulting thing for a while now, and it’s safe to say you don’t totally suck at it. I admire your passion for God, people, and travel, and I hope you never lose that. When life gets hard, I hope you always remember how strong, funny, and capable you are! May you never forget the times you’ve endured and use that strength and courage to know that you can overcome. May you always choose fear over comfort!

I hope you don’t allow the pressure and opinions of others to be a catalyst for decision making in your life. I hope you continue to put God first and keep building that relationship. Remember that this life is much bigger than you. I hope you continue to use your passion and purpose to propel others. On that contrary, I hope you married, the love of your life and you are living out of your dreams.

I can’t wait to celebrate the future with you, and watch you develop into who God’s called you to be. You are so enough, even when you don’t feel like it.  I would be remiss to end this letter without telling you how proud I am of you. You are one the strongest people I know. I love you so much, and I hope that you keep learning to love all the parts of you, not just the ones that easier to love.

Love,

Faduma

Europe

I want to write an all-encompassing recap of my trip to Europe, but I’m not going to do since I’ve been there and done that before. You can read my previous blog posts or if you’ve specific questions over on Instagram (feel free to DM me).

Thinking about my trip gave me a feeling of this word that isn’t really a word, but more of a feeling —  sonder.

SONDER:
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

There is only one thing I feel compelled to tell you – my favorite part of my summer trip, and what I took home with me. A lot of my worst days are spent feeling dissatisfied with where I am and who I am. The fact that I am growing, that things are still happening, that I still have whole lives left to live often takes a back seat to my less than perfect present. God willing, I will live to be a 100-year-old woman with a million chapters in my book (some okay ones and some fabulous ones), and really just experiencing all.

The family that eats together stays together

Because breakfast is the most important meal 🙂

Nothing like crepes in Paris 

Favorite Souvenir from Paris

View from the hotel: Seine river statue of liberty

 
 

Hello Belgium waffle

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