“I set out alone, having neither fellow-traveler in whose companionship I might find cheer, nor caravan whose party I might join, but swayed by an overmastering impulse within me and a desire long-cherished in my bosom to visit these illustrious sanctuaries. So I braced my resolution to quit my dear ones, female and male and forsook my home as birds forsake their nests. My parents being yet in the bonds of life, it weighed sorely upon me to part from them, and both they and I were afflicted with sorrow at this separation.”
Ibn Battuta was a medieval Muslim traveler who left his home in Morrocco at the age of 21, crossing nearly 75,000 miles, to return only 30 years later. His trip started as a pilgrimage to Hajj and ended up being an exploration of the Islamic World, all the way from West Africa, Southern and Eastern Europe, South Asia, and Central Asia to China. On his return, after all his adventures, he sat and wrote one of the most important historical travel logs that we have today, and titled it ‘A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling’ – it is more commonly known as ‘Al Rihla – The journey’
Ibn Batutta was a devout Muslim but was intrigued by mysticism and spirituality. He recounts many nights spent with mystics who told him stories of what was to lie ahead for him. He was fascinated by the Sufis he met, their philosophy to life, and the beauty of their words. He even spent a lot of time with Mawlawi, more famously known as Rumi. Although he covered many many lands, the place where he would spend the most time, partly due to his imprisonment by a Sultan, was India. There are many anecdotes that I will share with you about this fascinating character. Extremely inspiring.
Ibn Batuta’s Travelling Pillars- :
Keep an open mind: Although he was a highly religious man he was open to learning about others. Judgmental but open.
Education: It was his education and strong command of the Arabic language that allowed him to travel so far and be accommodated by so many.
Food: He loved food, he believed that the World was made rich with God’s gifts and should be enjoyed copiously. He loved food informs, ‘Bizarre fruits and exotic vegetables, leaves and sticks and roots, it’s roasted meats and steamed fishes. Its aroma and textures. He didn’t find food a commodity as much as a gift, medicine, and most importantly an aphrodisiac.
Plan on Changing Your Plans – Winds can die, changing your route. Disease. Illness. Injury. Speed bumps in his travels. He always adapted and found a second route.
Make Friends: The Islamic Civilizations was a unique unified transregional zone where people could travel with no papers, arrive anywhere and find work, raise a family, settle. Unified by language and hospitality
Great Voyages Make Great Nourishment
Ibn Batuta’s preferred method of travel was by land, he is known to have said ‘Man should never travel faster than the speed of his camel, lest he should leave his soul behind.
Shop our latest collection here.