Today, we are interviewing Fatima Barnes, also known as The Pretty Wanderer, a travel enthusiast and podcaster. She is the host of Let's Talk Travel with The Pretty Wanderer.
Please tell us something about yourself.
I inspire people to start traveling this big beautiful world by connecting them with other travel enthusiasts such as myself and sharing our experiences. I teach people how to travel to places they've only dreamed of through money, and time-saving travel hacks weekly on my Podcast and Instagram letting them know it's possible to do with a 9-5. I currently work in a very corporate job for a Fortune 500 company, and I've learned the art of incorporating traveling into my life.
How did you get into what you do right now? Please tell us more about your journey?
I've always loved to travel since I was a child. But 3 years ago, I discovered the travel hack of using travel credit cards to your benefit to earn free or almost free vacations. I was able to go to Maui, Hawaii, and stay at a luxury resort, and I didn't pay for a flight or hotel. From there, I just got into it and learned more and more. Before I knew it, I was a pro. I've already visited 4 of the 7 continents. My goal is to go to all 7. Before COVID-19 this year, I would have already been to 5. I attempted to do a YouTube channel to teach those that I learned and quickly realized, YouTube wasn't for me, but I discovered podcasting and love it.
Who are your role models?
My SHERO/Role models are Beyonce' and Michelle Obama.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by seeing the world, learning about other cultures, and seeing other women succeed and walk into their purposes.
Please tell us about your podcast.
My podcast is dedicated to inspiring aspiring travelers to see the world, but connecting them with a network of travel enthusiast such as myself. I also address real issues that may be stopping someone from seeing the world, such as fear, anxiety, mom guilt, funds, and time. Each week a new episode drops, and I interview someone in the travel community that can answer questions and helps further inspire my listeners. There's always a new tip that will save you time and/or money.
What's your most memorable experience?
I've had so many memorable experiences traveling this world. I would say a very memorable experience for me was the desert safari adventure in Dubai. So many memories, a great time, and culture to experience. I was so excited to finally ride a camel in the desert, which was a dream of mine.
Which social media channels work best for promoting your work? What exactly do you do on the social media channel that makes it work for you?
Instagram and Facebook work best to promote my work. I am able to engage listeners and still give tips and share clips from the upcoming episodes.
What's your greatest fear?
One of my fears now is the changes in the travel industry as it relates to COVID-19. I've canceled many trips, but it worries me that I don't know when things will be normal again.
Looking back, what's one thing you wish you understood better before you ever got started?
Looking back, I wish I would have understood a lot sooner how much money I could have saved traveling. I traveled a lot, but I paid full price on things, and due to not understanding how to maximize my time to travel and see more places, I could have been to a lot more places on my bucket list.
What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?
Prioritizing travel in the life of my husband as a unit and in my life, in general, has helped me become successful in my journey. I was well on my way to visiting 10 new countries in 2020 before COVID-19. Had I known what I know now prior to 3 years ago before really learning industry hacks, I would have definitely been to more places on my bucket list.
What keeps you going when things get tough?
What keeps me going when things get tough being grateful and having an open mind. When you travel the world, you tend to no longer have a myopic view of the world in which you live. You begin to think more big picture. So knowing that things could always be worse and be grateful for where I am right now has definitely helped.
Any message for our readers.
Go out there and explore this world. If COVID-19 didn't teach us anything, it taught us to never take the time we have for granted. Never take our opportunities to learn and explore for granted. I've learned more in my journey traveling than I have in a classroom pursuing my degrees.