Azra Mahmood and Tahasina Raafa share how travelling enriches their personal and professional lives

For those working a solid 9-5 in Dhaka, nothing cures the blues better than a trip away of home. Whether you do it for business or leisure, a change of scenery always helps your system to reboot from the woes of paperwork and meetings. Model and choreographer Azra Mahmood and Marketing Communications Manager at Samsung Electronics, Tahsina Rafa reckon how travelling contributes to their personal growth and also be more receptive towards cultural diversity.

Azra Mahmood
Ever wondered how the runway models look effortlessly beautiful even after a 12-hour long flight? One could only wish it was a magic pill that keeps them looking radiant 24/7 but it takes a lot of maintenance and care. When it comes to keeping your style quotient in check while travelling Azra believes in keeping her style comfortable yet trendy. She advocates for influencing one’s soul by travelling. In her view, fashion and style are subjective and often reflect one’s inner self which grows with time and experience.

Comfortable shoes, watch and great clothes are the three travelling essentials that Azra swears by. And for her, comfortable shoes can be a pair of 6-inch stilettos too. She carries off every piece of attire that anyone would label as ‘uncomfortable’ with great ease. ‘’Fashion is not uncomfortable, it’s ‘people’ who feel uncomfortable,’’ she smiles.

Keeping her fashion game strong, she picks different outfits for different occasions. “For a snowy evening, I would opt for a jacket that will keep me warm and cosy.” Whereas for a day at the beach, she would rely on a chic hat and a good sunscreen to keep the tanlines away. “Sometimes you should  just let loose and enjoy without worrying about certain things like if your earrings match your shoes or not.”


According to Azra, someone with a torn t-shirt can be the most fashionable person in a room. “It’s not what you wear, it’s how you make what you wear a style statement,” she wraps up.

Tahsina Rafa
Scurrying from meeting to meeting and getting very less sleep, we sometimes don’t get time to ‘live a little.’ Hence travelling allows us to fill this void and let our inner wanderlust runs its course. Focusing on the novelty of travelling, Tahasina Rafa who is currently the Marketing Communications Manager at Samsung Electronics shares with us her travel style. Having been to destinations such as Kathmandu, Seoul, Bali, and Sydney, we find out all about her modus operandi.

Lomprayah – Thailand

For Tahasina, there is nothing better than visiting a new place, soaking up the local culture, interacting with their people and sampling their cuisine. “It’s an ongoing adventure,” she added. Whether it’s the peace and tranquility of Nepal, the gadgets and futuristic lifestyle of Seoul, the beaches of Bali or the scenery of Australia, the earth has much more to offer than we think. And while every destination has so much to offer, she longs for either a snowy evening, a day in the beach or island hopping the most. “A day at the beach and island hopping is one of my favourite activities. Nothing beats the sound of waves crashing at your feet; the smell of salty sea air and tropical island sun. Some of my favourite beaches are Koh Tao (Thailand), Jimbaran (Bali, Indonesia), and Bondi (New South Wales, Australia),” she reveals.

She also keeps it light when it comes to packing. “There are some essentials that I cannot do without of course such as my smartphone, charger and smartwatch. I go easy on other accessories, only packing my most essential makeup in travel friendly sizes. I often buy a couple of local or native dresses which helps me blend with the crowd and I can also bring some back home as souvenirs. And one thing I never forget – I always, always bring back home a fridge magnet,” she exclaims.

One aspect of travelling people often overlook is planning. Tahasina emphasised on its importance and also shared how exciting it can be, “I love planning it as much as I love going on the actual trip. Planning means reading reviews, noting phrases in the local language, placing bookings and finally, working on the itinerary. It’s like you have already visited the place in your mind before going there – and that’s a lot of fun.”

*Photographs from ICE Today Archives/Tahasina Rafa