Note: This post was produced in 2022 by a participant in DNDA’s Summer Youth Program writing workshop led by Beverly Aarons.
Fadumo will enter her senior year this September. Like most other seniors, Fadumo has been thinking a lot about her future and what she would like to do with her life. There’s a lot of pressure throughout your high school years, but even more in your senior year since you’re about to make a choice that would change your life. I asked Fadumo what she would like to do if she could go on a trip anywhere in the world, without needing to worry about money.
Before Fadumo travels, she wants to finish her schooling. When Fadumo graduates high school, she would like to go to college and then go to med school. Her top university choice is UW Seattle, but she is okay with going to Seattle U, UW Tacoma, or South Seattle College. At college, she wants to get a PHD in psychology. She first got interested in psychology about a year or two ago. What interests her most about it is learning about how humans think and how the brain works.
Like many other people, Fadumo had dreamed of traveling before in her life. She’d like to go to London, Paris, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai. She’d go to all these places as one big trip, starting from London and going down to Saudi Arabia. She’d like to go the summer after graduating because, “I’d have more freedom to travel and not have to worry about school,” Fadumo said. She also said that “the trip would also be like a graduation gift” for graduating college. While she’s traveling, Fadumo would like to go with her friend because they both want to travel to the same places.
The first place that Fadumo would go to is London. London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. It’s located in Western Europe and has a long, rich history. London is also the home of Buckingham Palace, which is the home and headquarters of the monarch of England, Queen Elizabeth. She chose to go to London because it has a lot of historical buildings and castles. When she’s in London she wants to explore the city, go shopping, and see historic buildings like Big Ben. Big Ben is the clock located on the clock tower that is located on the northside of Westminster Palace and is the largest bell in the palace. Big Ben is also the biggest clock in the world. She’s had an interest in traveling to London ever since she was little, and she has some family there that she hasn’t met before and would probably meet when she goes.
After London, she would head down south to Paris. Fadumo has wanted to go to Paris ever since she was young. Paris is a city located in France and it’s known as a global center for art, fashion, and culture. Due to Paris’ rich history in fashion, it’s only natural that Fadumo would want to go shopping there. In Paris, she’d like to see the Eiffel Tower and eat at lots of cafes and restaurants. The Eiffel tower is a tower made out of iron and was named after its engineer, Gustave Eiffel. The Eiffel Tower was built to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. It’s a beautiful piece of art and has lots of light shows. There are also lots of other places for her to visit in France, like all the amazing museums, specifically the Louvre, and all of the cafes and bakeries.
Then, she’d go to Dubai, which is located in the United Arab Emirates, a country on the eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula. Fadumo became interested in Dubai really recently, and it’s certainly worth it. Dubai is one of the leading cities in the world and is known for its luxury shopping, nightlife, and modern architecture. One example of Dubai’s architecture is the Burj Khalifa. The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, and is a major tourist attraction. One thing that Fadumo would look forward to is shopping in Dubai. Dubai has lots of huge, luxurious malls filled with high-end stores and lots of interesting experiences inside the malls. Malls in Dubai can have indoor ski resorts, super dedicated themes, like malls modeled after old bazaars, italian cities, and even one based on the travels of Ibn Battuta, a scholar who traveled throughout the muslim world. The Ibn Batutta mall is based on his travels and is the largest themed mall in Dubai. It has different courts based on some of the places he traveled to and it lets you enjoy the history and architecture of the location and time period. The mall has statues or buildings for each location that’s connected to the location, like astronomers in the Indian court which is also a large clock and a huge ship for the Chinese court that represents the ship Ibn Battuta used to travel to China. The mall that Fadumo is most excited to explore is the Gold Souk, a mall where it’s full of jewelry made mostly of gold. It’s famous for being the largest gold market in the world. She wants to go gold shopping, visit some of the mosques they have, enjoy some foods at their halal restaurants, and try to learn the language there.
Finally, she would go to Saudi Arabia for Hajj. Saudi Arabia is one of the most famous countries in the middle east, and is also the arab peninsula and west Asia. Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and is home to 2 of the most important cities in Islam, Mecca and Medina. She wants to go to Saudi whenever it’s Hajj season, and it’s something she’s wanted to do for a while. Hajj is a religious pilgrimage that muslims aim to do at least once in their lifetime. It lasts 5-6 days and takes place on the 8th to either the 12th or 13th of dhul hijjah on the Islamic calendar. The date changes every year on the Gregorian calendar, which is the calendar the rest of the world uses. After Fadumo completes her hajj, she would like to go sightseeing around the country and learn the language they speak in Saudi, which is Arabic, and do other touristy things.
Before Fadumo begins her travels, she would like to have a PHD in psychology and start working when she returns. Fadumo would like to work as a psychiatrist in Mexico. She also said “I could see myself moving to Dubai or Saudi Arabia”. She isn’t sure how long she’d like to travel for, but she wants to enjoy her travels and have lots of fun memories from her trip.