About Moawia

Moawia's Photo - B&W Round

Hello, my name is Moawia Abdelkarim, and welcome to my personal travel website.

I grew up in Sudan, where I studied and practiced architecture early in my career. My first international trip was at the age of 5 to Ivory Coast, in West Africa – yes, that was the name back then, now it’s Côte d’Ivoire. We moved following my father’s new job as an expat with the United Nations, and continued to move following his career as an international expert in agriculture and economics.

In college, I took a trip of a lifetime with a group of four friends. We were students at the University of Khartoum in our junior year; we spent a month backpacking across three countries in Europe. Our first stop was Athens, Greece, then Zagreb, in the former Yugoslavia, and finally concluded the adventure in Vienna, Austria. We had limited funds and zero experience planning such a trip – nevertheless, it was so much fun! I learned a great deal about myself during this trip, and it opened my eyes to the possibilities and what the world has to offer: diverse cultures and history, awesome people, and great architecture – oh, did I forget delicious food too!

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Moroccan Tjins at La Maison Arab – Marrakesh, Morocco

Fast forward, I currently live in Chandler, Arizona, in the USA. And, I feel lucky to have been afforded the opportunity to do what I love most; work for a national construction company building great things, and continue to travel and explore the world.

Today, my desire to travel has developed into a serious hobby. Unlike travel nomads and those who have quit their cubicle jobs to travel for a living and blog about it, I continue to have a day-job and fanatically pursuing my travel dreams. My day-job is awesome, and I love that it helps me collect airline miles and hotel points to lower the cost of my adventures.

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Barcelona, Spain, September 2016

My trips are planned around work and family schedules, and when possible I take time-off from work. The trips I take with family and friends are the best, however I have had a good share of solo adventures too. Because I have a limited budget, I do my best to use airline miles and hotel points to stretch and save. I also leverage bonus points offered by travel credit cards to help cover expenses for day-trips and other local experiences.

My pet peeves with air travel include the wasted time at airports and security lines, the stress of flying, and the ever shrinking space in airplanes. While, to me, it’s all about the destination and I prepare myself mentally for it, there is no denial the experience at the airport and during a flight is as important. However, I’ve learned to never let airport and flight disappointments ruin any journey. I guess, I’ve set the bar low, and have come to expect airports and airlines to disappoint. Sigh!

Every city, hotel or restaurant reviewed on this site I’ve personally visited. The same also applies to photos in my portfolio, I personally took them using an iPhone or my new Nikon DSLR – and they have not been professionally touched. Admittedly I am neither a writer nor a professional photographer, and this is an attempt to share my passion for travel and collecting and spending miles and points.

Countries:

So far I have been to four continents, and visited or lived in the following countries:

Africa: Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Sudan, Zimbabwe
Asia: Hong Kong/China, India, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Qatar
Europe: Austria, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia.
N. America: Canada, USA