With women’s day right around the corner (as well as Pakistan day), the people over at Jovago (Pakistan’s very own hotel booking website) have come up with short interviews with empowered Pakistani women regarding traveling in Pakistan and the beauty of Pakistan. The interviews feature Sidra Iqbal, Nadine Malik and Aisha Chapra Sander.
About Sidra Iqbal
Sidra Iqbal is a celebrated television journalist and a passionate development activist from Pakistan. She presently hosts and produces ‘Insight with Sidra Iqbal’, the flagship current affairs show on the state television, PTV News. She is the first Pakistani to be presented the GR8 Women Award for Journalism 2014 by the Government of UAE and the Indian Television Academy.
Over the last 8 years, she has gained an in-depth understanding of national and regional (South Asian) security, political, economic, governance and human development challenges & environments, based on extensive experience in reporting Live, leading analytic discussions and interviewing the public leaders from Pakistan and abroad.
About Nadine Malik
Nadine Malik Almani is the Country Manager of Jovago Pakistan, which is an international venture by Rocket Internet specializing in hotel and vacation rentals globally. Nadine is a graduate from Bryn Mawr College, USA and started her career as a banker with Citibank Pakistan. After 4 years at Citi, she went on to pursue her MBA at INSEAD, France and then worked for 2 years as a Management Consultant for Bain and Company in Singapore and Dubai. Nadine joined Rocket Internet in August 2014 to establish operations for Jovago.com, Pakistan’s first online hotel booking platform. Jovago aims to address an existing gap in the industry by facilitating tourism and bringing value added services all under one platform.
About Aisha Chapra Sander
Aisha is passionate about health, spirit, and how to move the body with awareness and grace. She is a Yoga Alliance, USA certified Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with 400 hours of teachers training and over 1000 hours of teaching experience. Aisha has been organizing yoga holidays since 2013 in the stunning mountains of Northern Pakistan. She enjoys teaching yoga to people of all ages and introducing them to regions they have never experienced. Her practice is a loving-kind style of yoga, which emphasizes body awareness through the core, breath work, and simple mindful movements suitable for all levels of practitioners. It is a continually evolving practice which gives nourishment and equanimity for the body, mind and soul. She is an aspiring writer and poet, who loves to sing and dance in her free time.
How often have you and do you travel within Pakistan and your most favorite place you have visited?
Because of my work, I am required to travel a lot in Pakistan. In fact, I go to Islamabad few times every month because of my TV show. About my most favorite destination, I don’t have any particular one. I love Islamabad because I have work there, but I also love the Northern areas. Karachi is my hometown so I will always be biased and favor it over any other city. I most recently visited Islamabad.
I travel within Pakistan a lot. My work requires me to go to different places to check out the hotels and guest houses, because of which I have an excuse to discover and explore our beautiful country! My most favorite place is definitely Swat. It’s beautiful and there are many lovely walking trails and hiking options. I went skiing in Malamjabba, and that was a memorable experience.
Aisha Chapra Sander:
I made a commitment in 2008 that every year I would travel to a new place in Pakistan. I am very fortunate that I have been able to fulfill the minimum and some years been able to travel to more than two or three new places. I have traveled by road, train and plane to various parts of Sindh, Punjab and the Northern Areas. Each place is special to me and I am so grateful for all the experiences I have had in exploring Pakistan. It is difficult for me to pick a favorite but I know that Mastuj, Upper Chitral holds an exceptionally special place in my heart and lucky for me I get to go there at least twice a year!
Do you believe traveling is important, if so why?
Yes, I believe traveling is very important. It helps rejuvenate a person and gives them the energy to get back into the daily routine. Your job, and your daily tasks become very mundane, because of which people become angry and restless and easily irritable. In fact, I think that employers should ensure their employees travel once a year – it makes us more productive and excited when we come back to work. For me, traveling every quarter (when I’m lucky) or six months is good enough to keep me happy and content for the rest of the year!
Yes, definitely. When you travel you discover new things, meet people with different cultures, see how they live, and gain exposure of things outside your own bubble. Traveling helps broaden your mind and vision. One of my favorite things about traveling is food! I have discovered so many different Pakistani cuisines thanks to my travel! So yes, I place a lot of importance on travel – and encourage all my employees to avail their yearly vacation!
Aisha Chapra Sander:
Yes I believe traveling is important but I also think traveling in our country is especially important because there is so much negativity that can be removed when we experience the positive and generous hospitality of the beautiful, diverse, and enigmatic people of Pakistan. Not everyone can afford to travel and so it is also important to be able to find new experiences wherever you are. Travel helps us understand ourselves better, helps us to connect with people who are different from us, and is such an incredible privilege!
What advice would you give our readers about traveling within Pakistan.
Don’t underestimate Pakistan. There is so much beauty in our country, and it should be explored and promoted. People feel the need to travel abroad for a “nice, relaxing and peaceful” vacation but why spend so much money when you can get the same from here? Pakistan is just gorgeous, beyond words and all of us should start appreciating what all our country has to offer!
All of you must go to the Northern areas. Pakistan has so much to offer, from urban city life, like Karachi and Lahore, to a more relaxed city life – Islamabad, to sea ports like Gwadar to Northern hilly areas! There’s just so many places to visit and so many things to do! Book a vacation NOW!
Aisha Chapra Sander:
Don’t be timid! Go explore this beautiful incredible country. Nothing will disappoint if you go with an open and warm attitude towards the unexpected. Embrace the way that Pakistan helps us cope with uncertainty and enjoy the adventure of learning about the incredibly diverse cultures that are in our country 🙂
Now if you’re feeling inspired about traveling in Pakistan, go ahead and plan a trip now and remember you can book your hotel online at Jovango.