While most women at the age of 26 years old get ready to settle down or build up their careers, Omniya Fareed did quite the opposite – she quit her job as a banker to travel the world as a writer. The brave step she took to achieve her dreams has thus far paid off in so many ways 🤗 Read on to discover more about this brave Egyptian as she shares her invaluable experiences and some essential tips for aspiring travel writers!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Omniya, I’m 26, Egyptian, born and raised in the UAE. I studied marketing in university, worked in a bank for 2 years, and I’ve been travelling the world long-term since I quit. I work in freelance writing and own my blog www.omtotheworld.com
2. What led you to make the decision of quitting your job to travel the world?
I was already thinking about it for a while, especially since I have been freelance writing since I was in university and hated my job. Once I saved up enough time and had stable agreements with some employers, I quit and started travelling.
3. Looking back, would you have made the same choice? Why?
Yes, 100%. The only thing I would have changed is quitting a lot sooner. Unfortunately, I listened to many people who used to scare me or tried to put me down because it is something that no one in our culture is used to. Once I started making decisions that I wanted, that is when I started becoming really happy.
4. What has been the most rewarding experience for you since you started travelling as a career?
That the world isnt really as scary as it seems. The kindness I received from strangers is overwhelming and I have met the most amazing people who have become my best friends.
5. Could you tell us more about the differences travelling prior to quitting your job, and after?
When I used to work at the bank and get a holiday, I only had a limited amount of time so I couldn’t really see what I wanted or explore the country properly. I just finished travelling through Spain for three weeks where I visited 5 different cities. I would have probably only been able to only visit 1 or two if I was still working for the bank.
6. You have an unlimited travel budget for 24 hours. What would your itinerary look like?
Trying out the local food is a must, visit a museum if there is one (I’m a museum geek), walk around the city and just discover as I am walking. I’m very spontaneous and usually the best moments and places are the ones that are unplanned.
7. What are 3 of your favourite destinations, and why?
- Japan: The culture, food, history in Japan is amazing. I visited Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima and I am planning to go back to explore even more cities. People in Japan are the most well-mannered and polite people I have seen in my life and they will go out of their way to help you.
- Spain: The weather, history (lots of arab culture similarities in Andalusia by the way), friendly locals, culture, music, and of course, tapas.
- Egypt: Of course there is some bias here ☺️ but Egypt has it all, to be honest: nature, food, history, and the most hospitable people in the world. It is also very safe.
8. What are some of the challenges you have faced while travelling and what did you learn from them?
I’ll have to say dealing with ignorant people. I am a proud Arab and Muslim and will never be ashamed of that. The reason I say this is because I met this Arab guy once who was going around telling everyone he was from Paris because he was worried that people wont like him. That really upset me. Most people are amazing but I have to admit that I did meet some racist people on the way, even though it rarely happens to be honest.
9. Any tips for solo female travellers?
Yes, stay safe and have an amazing time. I always tell people to use common sense and not to do something you would not do back home, in terms of safety. Also, follow your gut feeling ALWAYS. If something doesnt feel right, then it isnt.
10. If you had one advice for those who want to travel as a career, what would it be?
Work hard. Many people look at travel bloggers or writers and think this just happened overnight. It took me six years to establish a writing career and many rejections until I made it. Also, don’t let anyone put you down. As long as you are not doing anything wrong or hurting anyone, then you have nothing to worry about.
11. Fill in the blank: My hope for the world is that…
More accepting of others, no matter who they are or where they come from 😊
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