Abeenaaz Janally is an Urdu teacher at Mahatma Gandhi SSS in Flacq, author and a YouTuber. Her greatest passion is to travel and explore other countries in the world. Among the countries she has visited are France, Reunion, England, Central Europe, Reunion, Rodrigues, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany, Belgium, France, Russia and Turkey.
In a new country, Abeenaaz Janally enjoys immersing herself in culture, history, food, mind-sets and lifestyle. She has made friends around the world by visiting 27 countries. India is the country she visited the most: 14 times.
“When you're born on an island, you always want to find out what's on the other side. I have always wanted to study abroad because I wanted to grow and experience new things,” she says. Abeenaaz Janally usually travels alone and sometimes with her parents. Her last trip was cruising with her mother. Her favourite countries are in Europe. “European countries are exposed to growth and progress, and that continues to fascinate me,” she declares.
Each country has its own specificity, as she sees it. Some countries are famous for their food, many for their attractive crops, while others for their beautiful landscapes. Each country provides a different feeling. “In England, the London Eye, Madame Tussauds, Greenwich Meridian Line, Big Ben, West Minster and many others attracted me. In Reunion, the landscapes are wonderful beyond belief. With my mother, we stayed in the beautiful town of St. Pierre by the beach. I had the wonderful experience of being surrounded by fish while I was swimming. We saw the volcano, walked on lava still hot even after several years, looked at the beautiful mountains, beaches of black sand, went to Cilaos, among others,” she narrates. She was very impressed by the museum “Zafer Longtemps” which made her value the Creole culture and heritage more. She flew back home in a cyclone warning Class 2 which was another new experience for her and her mother. Italy, she continues, is rich in stories but Russia is well-known for its rich culture.
India as first travel experience
It was a dream come true when she got a scholarship from the government of India funded by Indian Council for Cultural Relations. On 19th June 2003, on her birthday, she turned 19 and it was the first time she boarded a plane in her life. India made many of her dreams come true, as she was able to tick a lot of things off her bucket list, namely travelling on a plane and by train, seeing the Taj Mahal, skiing in the snow, being in the desert, riding a camel, a yak and a horse, going on rides and being in a maze.
During her university years, Abeenaaz travelled to many places over the Indian Peninsula. She went to ICCR tours to Tamil Nadu. “It was during the time of Tsunami in December 2014. We passed through a village, we saw people looking at the river, even saw waves at a distance coming towards the village, we saw people on our bus,” she narrates. In Delhi she has witnessed earthquakes and bombs being exploded around Delhi. In Manali, there was snow till the knees (snow storm). It may sound scary now but it was all new experiences for her, which rendered her more courageous to tackle life adversities. “India fostered the belief in me that every challenge has a solution. Nine months after I returned home for the holidays, there was so much maturity showing on my face,” she adds.
Cruised Baltic Sea
Abeenaaz Janally was the first Mauritian to cross the Finnish and Russian border under the new agreement between Russia and Mauritius. “I was stopped at the border, as I didn’t have any visa on my passport. They took my passport to the Consulate and I had a printout of the agreement. They also checked it online and finally allowed me to enter Russia,” she narrates this anecdote with a large smile. In Russia, another thing that she found interesting was that people don’t talk loudly in public transportation and respect people’s privacy.
Russia is very rich in culture and the people are very welcoming. She stayed in a communist style hotel which means the lift could go to a certain floor and for the rest, they are required to use the stairs.
By travelling these 27 countries, the Urdu teacher and author made lots friends and acquaintances from around the world. “Travelling gave me a broad experience of the differences and similarities, but it is not over yet, there is a big world out there to be explored,” she concludes.
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