The absence of seeing Muslim travellers around the world was initially one of the reasons for starting my blog and sharing my tales online. Since starting the blog my life has changed so much and I have experienced many different things and challenges. From climbing the highest three peaks in the UK, to moving to Manchester to having a baby… you name it!
Three years ago, moving to the North West was one of the big life changing events. In these three years I have always been eager to explore the North West and call it “home”. So I made a list of “places to see” and we explored lots of different parks around the north west as a couple and as a family when Nael came along.
We came across the Muslim walking group on WhatsApp recently and I feel like it was such a blessing for us as a family. The group is run by the lovely Dr Amir Hannan who is an organised, kind and approachable leader. His strong leadership skills means that the walks are well organised and the participants well informed.
The details of the walk and the link to the groups website (for the purpose of registering for walks) were shared on the WhatsApp group in order to sign up for the walk the day before. The chosen place for last weekend was Dunham Massey with the walk scheduled to start at 2pm.
As Ahmed has recently really got into riding his bike, he decided to ride his bike to Dunham Massey which would have taken him about an hour. It worked out well for me because while he headed off for his adrenalin fix, I got to stay back home and get organised before driving down with (our almost two year old son) in time for the walk.
Due to Nael not lasting very long in his pushchair we decided to take our toddler carrier with us which was brilliant as Nael got to enjoy all the gorgeous views and we didn’t have to keep stopping. Dr Amir also offered to carry Nael which was a bonus as it’s always nice to know there’s an extra pair of hands/shoulders to carry him if it gets too much!
We have always enjoyed walking as a family but recently we have been slacking and getting lazy about going outdoors, so this group encouraged us to take part to get some fresh air last weekend. We even managed to actually walk almost 10,000 steps which is something we haven’t done in quite some time.
The group is diverse bunch of individuals who are welcoming towards people of all abilities, ages, genders and backgrounds. Although it targets Muslims, it is not exclusively for Muslims only. Anyone is welcome to join in and enjoy some time being outdoors. Even though it was only our first time, we instantly felt included and accepted.
After a very long time it felt amazing to feel part of a community that gave you a sense of belonging. Chatting and engaging with like minded people whilst enjoying our surroundings felt truly refreshing!
Ps. Dr Amir is also a fabulous photographer which means that you’ll have long lasting memories with picturesque views. You can’t really go wrong with that!
There’s even a story behind this photo…. we all kinda freaked out seeing the huge puddle, so we all tried to figured out the best way to go across without getting our shoes completely covered in the muddy water. Some of the walkers decided to venture straight through while others crossed as best they could by stepping over a half-submerged branch to the side of the track… meanwhile, I decided to show off my physical ability and climbed on to the fence… using it to bypass the puddle I really didn’t have appropriate footwear (lesson learnt for next time). We all had a little giggle and a joke about it but actually what it highlighted was the importance of having appropriate footwear.
We headed back to the starting point soon after and headed straight to the cafe for some well deserved cake and tea… some would say all the good work that we had put in walking was undone… to all these naysayers I say this with a huge smile on my face: ‘Live a little!’
After having a splendid day with the group, we can’t to join them again next weekend for yet another exciting walk!
If you would like to find out more about this group or are interested in joining it please see the details at any one of the links below: