FIFA World Cup: Indian expat from Oman drives solo from Kerala to Qatar to watch Messi in action

MUSCAT : Naaji Noushi began her World Cup adventure on October 15 from her hometown Kannur, in Kerala. She reached Mumbai on October 27th, from where she shipped her Mahindra Thar van to Oman, to complete her onward journey to the Fifa World Cup destination.

Before her scheduled drive to UAE, she made time to speak to TAS about her plan to drive to all the GCC countries prior to her final destination, Qatar, on December 5, to catch the Fifa action live. A diehard fan of Argentina, she hopes to watch Messi’s game before he retires.

Talking about her current adventure, she says the plan for the solo trip began about six months ago by scouting for sponsors from Oman, GCC countries as well as Kerala. As she puts it, “This is a golden opportunity to watch my favourite star play, and I decided to go ahead.”

Things fell in place with vehicle sponsorship from Mahindra, as well as other generous organizations pitching in to make her solo road trip a whopping success – and there was no looking back. She is geared up and ready to drive to UAE and thereafter to other Gulf countries.

Hailing from India, 34-year old Naaji resides in Oman with her husband Noushad and their five children, aged between 14 and 2. She is an avid traveler with a large base of subscribers on her YouTube channel, ‘Naajinoushi Solo Mom Traveller’, which has earned her the distinction of being a travel influencer.

About her love for driving and the trips she has taken, she says, “I am confident about driving, whether in Oman or in India; I have travelled all over India – I did a solo trip from Kerala to Ladakh only last year.” Her list of trips and adventures can make any adventure lover envious. She has traveled to Lakshadweep and covered ten islands there; she has also traveled to the Everest base, in addition to other connected trips.

As she continues to explore more destinations to quell her ever-growing hunger for travel, she has a message for women everywhere. “I want to tell women that they can do anything they want; they are more daring. More power to women!” she states, adding that she has never faced any problem as a solo driver. In fact, her trips have become inspirations for women who want to break out of their comfort zones.

Naaji attributes her success partly to her family, who have been supportive in every venture she has undertaken, whether it is managing the household in her absence or financing her trips. As a housewife, she admits, that money is an issue when it comes to undertaking such trips. Her husband has pitched in when required, but, as she points out, she has learnt to live on budget during her trips – cooking her own meals, using restrooms at filling stations and sleeping in her vehicle. Her Lakshadweep trip cost her a mere six thousand rupees, which is lesser than OMR 30. “I lived in local people’s homes,” she states, matter-of-factly.

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