Published: February 1, 2015

I want to watch the sun set over Paris from the Eiffel Tower. I want to walk on the streets of Venice. PHOTO:

I want to do more with my life

Than just be a Pakistani girl, a wife, a mother,

I want to take two years off,

And backpack through Europe!


I want to watch the sun set over Paris from the Eiffel Tower,

I want to walk on the streets of Venice,

I want to get lost on the tube in London,

I want to swim in the waters of Greece,

I want to be mesmerised by the northern lights in Iceland,

I want to go cycling in Holland,

I want to walk through the Black forest during autumn in Germany,

I want to follow the Sound of Music in Austria,

I want to stand at the top of Europe in Switzerland,

I want to tiptoe through the tulips in Amsterdam,

I want to tour the highlands of Scotland,

I want to explore the wonders of ancient empires in Athens,


But you’re Pakistani, there’s no way you’d get the visa!

But you’re a girl, you can’t go alone!

But what will people say?

But you’ll be wasting your life!

But money doesn’t go on trees, we earn in rupees, not pounds!

But you’ll be too old for a good rishta by the time you return!


But there’s no place for wanderlust,

When you are who you are,

When you come from where you do,

When being a Pakistani, and a girl, moreover,

Defines your entire existence, your decisions,

And, unfortunately, your dreams

Myra Mitha

Myra Mitha

An apt case study of diaspora blues, the author is overwhelmed by the qualms and woes of being Pakistani. She currently resides in Malaysia, humanising chatbots. A writer by nature and nurture, she blogs at mithamatics.wordpress.com. She tweets at @MyraM93 (twitter.com/MyraM93)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=8559594100366660134#allposts Supriya Arcot

    And who says you cant travel AFTER marriage ? Dont be so negative,Recommend

  • Salman Shareef

    How did you get the visa of Malaysia If you are Pakistani :)Recommend

  • Visibly

    Among Europeans, we have something called Interrail which gives one cheap/free access to trains all over Europe. A similar type is Eurail for non-European citizen. In my youth, interrail was a rite of passage for many 16-18 year olds. It is so sad that young people, in particular young women, are never allowed this unique experience.Recommend

  • Napier Mole

    Lovely spirit! That’s the way to go!Recommend

  • Aaliya

    That’s just a really negative attitude and message to send out to people. As a single Pakistani girl (and a well established young professional), I was able to successfully secure visas to UK, Singapore, USA and the UAE multiple times so your views hold very little weight for Pakistani girls who HAVE successfully managed to travel the world and realize their dreams. Bottomline: you have to be professionally and financially sound, and show the right documentation to be able to get a visa ANYWHERE. Being Pakistani or a single woman is an afterthought that doesn’t even factor in once you’ve covered those bases.Recommend

  • Salman Shareef

    You are sitting herself In Abroad and spreading negativity and defaming your own country by writing such negative articles.Recommend

  • PakistaniMetalhead

    this post isn’t about visas, its about family restrictions.Recommend

  • PakistaniMetalhead

    You have completely misunderstood her point. She is talking about social and travel restrictions Pakistani families put on their daughters. It is certainly almost nigh impossible for them to be allowed travel to another city on their own, let alone far away countries. She didn’t talk about finances or visa anything here. It shows how little idea you have of actual and conservative family pressures on the young females of Pakistan. I know many even in their mid 20s who are financially sound but their families restrict their movements.Recommend

  • PakistaniMetalhead

    its the same cycle after marriage, then her in-laws start putting restrictions.Recommend