Single to married, travel addict …
I grew up in a pretty conservative community. Ironically, my parents did not set any limitations for travel as long as we remembered and implemented the principles we were raised with. It is through their example as travelers that I started to crave traveling at a very young age.
I have visited over 40 countries and over 170 cities, and even I am in awe that I managed to cover many of these places in the second decade of my life considering I was traveling mostly alone as a single, Muslim, Swahili woman.
Growing up, I always admired anything to do with travel, but specifically by plane. While my parents never re-directed my early youthful dreams of becoming what we then called an 'air hostess’, these dreams of traveling stuck with me as if they were in my genetic makeup.
My parents traveled for work and pleasure and ensured their kids traveled as well. Mombasa was a staple...after all, it is shagz!
My father once worked on a ship, then as an export sales manager so he was always on the move — he still is in his retired state. My mum was a banker by profession and an explorer by nature. She took advantage of any opportunity to travel. She continues to fulfill her travel desires. From both my parents, I learnt the art of mixing business with pleasure.
I am an explorer and a builder. I'm also a nomad. I love to see new places, get lost, and find myself where I had intended to go. I often enjoy meeting new people and building new bonds, even though sometimes I feel like an introvert and act like one — my sister laughs this off.
I am neither exhaustive nor frustrated by language barriers. If anything, they can turn into comedic encounters — funny stories to retell later. I continue to dream, plan, re-plan, and seek to see more and experience more. More importantly, I want to share and inspire more. While I enjoyed traveling alone (and I did most of my travels alone), I am now blessed with a partner in the travel industry, and this allows me to take mixing business with pleasure to a whole new level.
Though I had always dreamt of travel, I never imagined I would land a job where travel became second nature. Even as my university applications went through, consequently paving my path in the IT industry, travel with work was expected to be for training or conferences. As the career research became more informative and as the profession in IT consulting made more sense (or was it the 100% travel option?), there was no better way to mix business with pleasure. Better yet, it was allowed as part of company policies!
Work with travel afforded me the opportunity of becoming a point and miles millionaire — not directly equivalent to the travel-preferred monetary currency, USD, but definitely worth thousands. How I maximized my chances to obtain those points and how I used them is a series of conversations worth peeking into.
Enter my world and join me in the path of wanderlust. The enjoyment and satisfaction is limitless if you are willing to embrace it, because in travel there is a lot to learn about yourself and there is potential for a lot of growth. Finally, I want to pass on the baton. Are you ready to catch it?