'The truth is no one really has all the answers'

Filed on August 2, 2019

Fatema Abdallah, Chief Exploration Officer, Bespoke Getaway Safaris on the trip that inspired her career path

What is the number one item on your wishlist?
To take a six month sabbatical for a road trip from Southern to Eastern Africa! There is just so much to see and the landscapes change with each season; so, to have the luxury of time to be able to explore each country in detail would be priceless.

One life lesson you want to share.
Never stop learning. Especially if you want to own your own business! Make the most of learning when you are in school or university; whether it is a skill, a trade, or thinking outside the box, that bubble of being surrounded by forward thinkers and academics is one to capitalise on.
However, it is more important to continue learning throughout your life. The world we knew in 2000 is not as we know it now; nor will it be what it is today in 2040. Change is the only constant. As an entrepreneur, especially, you need to be on top of what is relevant to engage with your customers.

The biggest learning point or experience in your life.
Moving to Melbourne, Australia, for a one-year internship. I wanted to push myself out of my comfort-zone and seek discomfort; so, I moved to a place I had never travelled to. I had never been so far from home, family or friends. And yet as soon as I boarded the plane, I knew this was my best decision to date!
It was the year I experienced my most valuable life lessons. I worked hard and remember my manager asking me to take time off in lieu of the days I had worked overtime. I stopped at a travel agency on the way home and booked a one month road trip around Australia. It was on this trip I realised the effect travel can have on nurturing who we are. I met so many tour guides and hospitality professionals who were so passionate about what they were offering. It was there that I knew that I would end up working in tourism.

What advice would you give your younger self, if you could?
You can do it! You are the only person truly responsible for changing obstacles that come your way into opportunities. Think of every mistake or hardship as an opportunity to learn and prepare for the next step. The world is filled with people who are really just doing the best they can because the truth is no one really has all the answers.  

If you could move to any country in the world, what would it be?
I've lived in so many places in my life already and there are so many other countries I am yet to see; picking one is impossible! I will say that I love living in Dubai; the city is a melting pot of so many cultures. Not to mention every corner of the world is so accessible with one flight.

Favourite fictional character of all time - and why.
Arya Stark in Game of Thrones. She is headstrong, independent, courageous and constantly adapting to the circumstances that came her way. She pushed against conforming to the expectations society has of her as a female member of a royal household.

A superpower you wish you had?
Teleportation. It would save me a lot of time and money to bypass flying on airplanes to all the countries I want to travel to in my lifetime.

If you were head of your country, what is the first thing you'd do?
I would put my time and effort into education - formal and informal for all ages - and entrepreneurship because it has been the foundation on which every aspect of my potential has been based on.
- Staff reporter


 
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