“How I Travel” With Somali-Australian Activist Hanan Ibrahim

Hanan Ibrahim

The Somali-Australian activist and model often jets between our two biggest cities. Here’s what smooths her commute.

The city you frequent most and why?

I’m back and forth between Sydney and Melbourne quite a bit. Sydney’s my base but Melbourne’s where my family is.

What do you love about both cities?

In Sydney, it’s the water. In Melbourne, it’s my community and, as a Somali woman, the food. There are six Somali restaurants on Flemington Road alone.

What’s a must-order at a Somali eatery?

You can’t go past chapati (sabaayad).

When you’re on the move, do you pack for just-in-case?

I’m a chronic overpacker but I’ve stopped shaming myself about it.

Might as well use up the checked-in baggage allowance, right?


If you could only take one pair of shoes, they’d be…

Wait, can I take two?



The first pair would be my Crocs for comfort and the second would be my Amina Muaddi heels.

The one thing you always pick up at the airport?

I usually head to the M.A.C store for a lip liner or lipstick that I definitely don’t need.

In the air, what do you have by your side at all times?

I’m one of those crazy people who has a Korean sheet face mask on mid-flight.

What is your flight take-off ritual?

I always say a little dua for travelling: Subhanal-ladzi sakhkhara lana hadza wa ma kunna lahu muqrinin. Wa inna ila Rabbina lamunqalibun. It means I hope the journey is safe and that I return whole. My mum always said it when I travelled with her as a kid.

What’s the last great thing you read on a flight?

Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall

I finished Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall on my last flight and it was amazing.

Where do you stay in Melbourne?

Hilton Hotel, Melbourne, Victoria

With my family or at the Hilton on Little Queen Street. It has a great restaurant, Luci, that’s worth a visit.

Best places for a nightcap?

I don’t drink but I’m a shisha girl so it’s Blackout Lounge in Fitzroy for one, followed by a mocktail at Taquito in Carlton.

First thing you do when you get home?


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SEE ALSO: 18 of the Best Luggage Packing Hacks the Travel Experts Swear By

Image credit: Ben Morris (portrait photograph)

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