Lifestyle Travel

Picking up from where we left off: Ridhwana and Ahmed on finding peace in relocating.

SHE LOVES

The freedom to create helps me get COMFORTABLE

One of the things that makes relocating easier for us, is establishing a routine that includes spending time on our hobbies. Whilst discovering new experiences, it’s great to spend time doing something we already enjoy; there’s a sense of home and comfort in that alone which helps us feel settled.

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As a small freelance artist and designer, I’m constantly inspired by my environment. Malaysia is an absolute dream in that sense and really helped progress my creative skills and designs. The bright weather, lush greenery and rich, diverse culture all complimented my creativity. Malaysia itself has
a proud growing community of artists and crafters, as handicraft is at the heart of their culture and is practiced religiously in many Asian countries – this made it very easy to find craft stores and workshops, making it possible to access different tools and try new styles.

Already a nature lover, I quickly became obsessed with the scenic lush greenery Malaysia boasts and would find myself staring out of the window daily, admiring the forests in the distance. I had a lot of fun letting my new surroundings inspire my work and released a home décor collection which married my modern art style with charming natural textures and materials. The bright weather and daily dose of sun also meant that my work always photographed beautifully in the natural light – win win!

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Stunning mosques decorate the country, unique in build and design yet all similarly breath-taking. Much of my time when we first moved to Kuala Lumpur was spent admiring the fascinating architecture, intricate Islamic art and Quranic calligraphy, all of which comforted me spiritually and creatively. The mosques are welcoming, beautifully keptand a haven for everyone, and it was this peaceful secure ambience that reassured me that Malaysia could be our home.

HE LOVES

A good workout and hearty gym session is always on my mind and is something that helps me feel settled no matter where I go. Malaysia has a blossoming fitness culture which made it so easy for me to adjust; there are mainstream gyms in most malls a mere 5-10 minute drive away, and there are plenty of humble ones located above convenience stores. For the days I was feeling really lazy, the communal gym and pool in our apartment block was a ready option. This easy accessibility played a huge part in helping me get into a good routine and feel right at home.

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I felt an overwhelming sense of humbleness and unity in these gyms, true to the overallsoft and well-mannered nature of Malaysians in general – something I hadn’t noticed before in the West and Middle East. I appreciated this ego-free atmosphere, where training was about learning and developing and not about pride.

Malaysia in its nature is hikers’ paradise! It has countless parks, jungles and nature reserves, offering many scenic trails for walks and trekking. The routes and intensity vary and it is absolutely up to you as a family how challenging you want your outdoor adventure to be. The heat is often a task in itself, however most jungle trails are shaded by the trees and rewarded by a cooling waterfall at the end. I’d always recommend an umbrella though! Hiking and trekking was a definite bonus to my fitness options in Malaysia, and somewhat of a novelty having moved from the Middle East.

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