The Pakistani Traveller
I never saw a plane for 25 years of my life but as I hit my 26th year, I took 100+ flights, 80+ train rides and countless road trips. I visited 20+ countries and the journey is still continued. Here is my life changing story.
Hi, I am Assam Altaf. I was born on 5th June 1987 in Lahore, Pakistan and my forefather migrated from Ferozpur, India at the time of partition in 1947. I belong to a middle class but hard working family. As a matter of fact, i am the youngest child of the family. Being the youngest, I have always been close to my mother; who is an inspiring woman of my life in terms of hard work and independence. My parents never bound me infact they have always given me freedom to live my life. I really admire and respect my mother and father both to give me this beautiful life.
Since Childhood, I was scared of solo travelling, i never went for outing alone. School trips were normal and those were mostly once in a year and i was the guy who just went to school & college directly with a forward face, never looked and came back home directly. i had no idea about restaurants, places or attractions we have in our city or country. Even in my 20s i had no idea about Pizza hut, Mcdonalds or any other Lahori cafes. Till 25 years of my life, i saw planes from my house roof-top only.
I never visited Karachi or any other city of Pakistan before. One more secret, I was also scared of dark rooms and never went to roof top at nights. I know I sound like a loser but this is how I was! and this is what my story is. My life changed from being a loser to a winner haha i mean to say loser to an Ideal.
1 Dec 2007 – we group of five friends, went to our first out of city trip to Kalar Kahar which is about 250 km away from my home city Lahore and that was very first day i enjoyed like hell. It felt so calm and free. That was my first road trip without my parents where I realized that i grew up.. hahhaa… Anyhow this trip made me think to live my life in different way and after every semester we friends use to plan different spots or more like day trips.
I will not say that I was a brilliant student, but I was different. I was not into the race of positions and grades. I used to live on my own rules. My goal was passing the exam, but passing it with flying colors was not my cup of tea. Yes, I was among those students who studied a night before exams rather than studying for the whole year. Because I believed that learning one day prior to exam was much easy. But, that is not the fact. I learnt it with the passage of time that it was all about the interest you take in your perspective subjects.
When I chose my favorite subjects, my grades upgraded from F to A1 (yeah its true). I started enjoying every bit of my studies and improved my knowledge keeping my rules along. At that time, it was not easy for me to make decisions of my own because our society still lived in the era of doctors and engineers. But if you want your dreams to be fulfilled, you have to plan accordingly. I took the step for myself and that was the most satisfying thing for me.
Master in Mass Communication ( University of South Asia – Lahore, Pakistan )
Bachelors in Commerce ( Superior University/ Punjab University – Lahore – Pakistan )
Intermediate in Commerce ( Punjab Collage – Lahore – Pakistan )
Metric in Science ( Cantt Public High School – Lahore – PK )
Digital Photography ( National Collage of Arts )
Landscape Photography ( LUMS )
Graphic Designing ( National Collage of Arts – Lahore )
I Rejected Full Pakistan Tour offered by TDCP (Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab)
In early two years of my university I travelled with my friends and did part time job with my studies and the earning was more like my pocket money. At that period of time I started doing professional photography as well. My photography life is another story but somehow photography was linked to my travelling as well. It gave me support so i could travel. I got an offer from TDCP Lahore for Pakistan tour.which was a 3 month project because of my Photography course and see i rejected that offer with lame excuses because somewhere inside i was scared of solo travelling. This offer was more than just travelling, i could exhibit my photography officially under TDCP sponsorship without any cost.
Later i regretted my decision. After a few days, by the grace of ALLAH, another door opened with the opportunity of travelling. One of my college friend offered me to go with him to his home town for his brother’s wedding which is located in Astor -Gilgit – Northern Areas of Pakistan. That was the first time, i visited Northern Areas and i got to know the real beauty of Pakistan. I did not even imagined that how beautiful our country was. I travelled with him all the way from Lahore to Rawalpindi and onwards. We continued our journey to Gilgit – Pakistan.
That was my very first longest road trip and alone far from my home town. I still remember I started crying the first night when i reached my destination. I already started missing my home town, my family and my friends. But that night i felt my self so close to my ALLAH as well and very next day i found my self a completely new person. I started enjoying the new culture of that place. I started taking good landscape pictures to capture best moments of my life with this thought that when i would be old, these pictures would help me in recalling all my moments.
After The Gilgit trip, my next challenge was to travel alone / solo all the way for 28 hours road trip again. But as i mentioned, i found myself different with so much confidence that i could travel anywhere now. Finally i was not scared of travelling, not scared of people. I got so much love while travelling to northern areas that it changed my mind and made me close to my God.
Travel Across Pakistsan
1st Phase of my traveling, i started to explore my home town city lahore and trust me i never found any best place in the world after exploring my home city. Still i am still exploring and i guess there is no end to this city. lahore has hidden gems including me haha. well after returning from my first ever northern trip i did not come back to home 😉 because now i had amazing confidence in me so really wanted to continue my journey.
when i reached back to twin city islamabad/pindi, I got a call from my client come friend from multan. he invited me to visit his city and do a shoot for fashion show. i accepted his offer and then again after 22 hours of travelling, i continued my journey from Islamabad to Multan for 9 hours. i made new friends over there and they showed me the city of tombs. i saw many cultures, different languages in this trip.
Later, i did many day trips, two days trips with friends without friends. most of the time i asked my close friends to come with me to have new experience of life and now they are also addicted to travelling haha. they blame me for this addiction. my mission was to explore the beauty of pakistan on my own. i went back to northern areas again. i went to Kashmir and then to Karachi.
i have seen all other major cities of pakistan like Jhelum, Faislabad, Kharian, Taxila, Wah, Bhawalpur etc.. every city has different taste, different way of love, different oxygen. Trust me! Mean while i got so much fame from my photography skills that people recognize wherever i went. They invited me at their home and gave me the best hospitality. i cannot even explain the love of those people that i found while traveling in pakistan.
Pakistan is an absolutely beautiful place in the world, from mountains to grounds, from grounds to deserts and from deserts to sea. i have seen multi cultures at one place, where languages are changing every few kilometers. we have palaces, we have oldest universities, we have beautiful beaches, we have amazing heritage sites. i never stop my self to explore pakistan and i never want to finish it soon. i wish to explore this beautiful country all the time.
My ALLAH wrote my destiny and now He wants me to explore the entire world. so He made me ready to live another life without family and friends and all my fans that i made so far with my photography and travelling. my next chapter is about traveling abroad.
Travel Around the World with Green Passport
Travel Blogger – Graphic Designer – Photographer
- 2007-09 Concept Artist – Tintash (Lahore)
- 2009-10 Graphic Designer – 4Square Ad Agency (lahore)
- 2010 Time & Space Advertising Agency (Lahore)
- 2011-2019 All kind of Photography
- 2013-2019 Art Director – Armada Group Dubai. U.A.E.
- Adobe Stock, ShutterStock, Gettyimages
- Working with different Media companies.
For More Detail Visit :
I never saw a picture of Dubai before i visited this place!
2012 August: I travelled abroad for the first time to Dubai, which made me and my aims broader and blew my lust to travel more. I found this place so different than Pakistan and advanced as well. I never saw a picture of Dubai or could imagine it. I had no idea about how Dubai was. I remember someone saying that Dubai had a building which looked like a Dolphin and was known as Dolphin Tower. One day standing in front of that Dolphin Tower i came to know that it was Burj ul Arab haha :D. Now you know what was the only thing i knew about Dubai.
For me visiting Dubai was coming out of my shell. Everything was new Tall buildings, broad roads, cleanliness, metros and was systematic. Even buildings were something new to me because Lahore does not have buildings and i never visited Karachi which is the city of buildings in our country . I saw beach in Dubai for the first time. My life’s first flight was for Dubai. You can say that i have experienced most of the new things in Dubai. I spent a month in United Arab Emirates and explored different states of UAE like Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Al-Ain, Ajman etc. I visited Karachi after Dubai then i went back to Lahore and got busy with my full time photography and i continued exploring pakistan.
One year later, in June 2013, I visited Dubai again and was offered job here as a Graphic Designer. I never wanted to do job here as i always wanted to continue my photography and thats why i thought that dubai had international market and different cultures at one place. I accepted the job because the company provided me visa and other allowances. This really helped me in staying and understanding this new city. Meanwhile i travelled my home country 4 times a year as i was suffering from home sickness. I spent most of my income in travelling to Pakistan.
After one and a half year, i decided to travel other countries as well. I was living abroad so i had good opportunity to travel more countries. I had zero idea about how could i get a visa through embassy or consulates, but by the passage of time i got to learn each and everything and now i am expert in all these procedures.
Visiting 20+ Countries in 4 Years
Travelling with Pakistani Green passport is always a challenge for me and is for every Pakistani i know. I faced many hurdles but nothing is impossible. I got many visas but still got rejection from 2 major countries that i will share with you in my blogs soon. Still i am happy with my passport and my nationality. I am proud to be a Pakistani and I believe if we can travel with our own green passport then why to think about any other nationality or passport.
My second visiting country was Turkey and at that time i hardly had 2000 dhirams ( 55000 pak rupee ) in my bank account. I visited so many countries after Turkey because the passion in me grew more and more. This addiction got into my veins and even now i cannot breath without thinking about traveling. I visited 20+ countries in the last 4 years without quitting my job.
Quitting your job is not always a solution, the best solution is managing everything at the same time. I feel ALLAH has given me the ability to manage all my stuff together. Yah, I know travelling is not a cheap hobby, but you can make it cheaper by different ways. In my website i will show you and guide you that you can manage everything without leaving any thing.
NAME: M. Assam Altaf
NICKNAME: Assam Artist
BIRTHPLACE: Lahore, Pakistan
LANGUAGES: 3 (Urdu, English, Punjabi)
NOMAD SINCE: Dec 1, 2007
Official Website :
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Site is About
The site is about how to manage travelling in the budget from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates / Dubai with holding Pakistani Passport. I will Share helpful travelling hacks and Visa Guides for Pakistani Passport.
The Pakistani Traveller Assam Artist blog is all about travelling stories, travelling guides and travelling photography and my The mission is to travel all over the world INSHALLAH and my journey will continue INSHALLAH. I will try my best to update you guys on daily bases. You can stay in touch with me on my social media platforms or here in my site you can contact me any time.
you can find your desired destination information from below button or you can read more about my mission and goals.
In my website i offer you free knowledge about different countries, specially visa guideline for all pakistani passport holders. I know many people face issues while applying for visas or most of the pakistani hesitate in applying visas. i will guide you through my blogs & pages. Do not worry nothing is impossible. if i can do then anybody can do. you can feel free to contact me on this site. i will open up few travel forums on my site and also allow you all to email me directly and you can also subscrib this website and stay in touch with me through my social media. All links are mentioned in this site footer. I wish to spread maximum knowledge of travelling among all the travelling lovers.
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I Believe that anybody in this world can travel any where. I Don’t see any boundaries. Every person has the right to travel. We should travel. It makes our lives more interesting. For me, travelling is like oxygen or petrol. I cannot survive without it. People should not afraid of solo travelling and should never be dependent on family or friend. In beginning you might fail but you never lose hope and thats the best part. Being a Pakistani Passport holder we should respect our passport because we have our individual identity after so many sacrifices. We should not disrespect our passport or our Pakistani nationality.
I Believe in if we can travel with Pakistani Green Passport then why is there a need of any other nationality or passport for travelling other countries. Inshallah We will win our trust back among all the countries and prove them wrong that we are a good nation and we love our country very much.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
well assam artist is my name and this is my official website www.assamartist.com and thepakistanitraveller.assamartist.com is my subdomain which i am using for only for travel bloging. and assamartist.com i am using for my all skills including Photography and Designing.
well before publishing “thepakistanitraveller.assamartist.com” page i have done lots of research about spelling for traveller. many of them using traveler with single “L” and many of them are using with “LL”. in google both are fine and both have same meanings. so personally i like Traveller with “LL”. i don’t know it will effect on my work or not. but now i dont have any other option 😀
i am a solo traveler. but some times i invite my close friends to join me specially when i am traveling around pakistan. fore more detail i will share link soon
No, Not at all, but yes i am rich from my intelligence, i know how to use my brain. i know how to take help from my feet while traveling. i know how to save money. .. for more detail answer i will share link on my blog soon.
initially i was using DSLR Nikon D90 but now i have Canon 5D Mark III. and if you talk about cell phone. before i was using iphone 6 for travel photos now i am using iphone X. i will share you link and detail soon.