Ep.78 Where To Next? (Naomi Travelling)
4:57AM Feb 20, 2020
Good day everyone you're listening to talk your hobby. And this is Episode 78. Where to next? I'm your host Alex and today I have the honor to have niomi as my guests on the show how you doing today?
I'm doing really well. I'm
excited to chat with you, Alex. I'm excited as well. It's uh, I just came back from soccer practice so I'm pumped up with the energy so we can make this interview. Great.
I'm ready. I'm ready.
All right, so before we jump into Naomi's hobby, we will learn more about niomi as a whole, who is this amazing person we're talking to right now. So who is niomi?
Well, I you know I always like to start with my parents story. I mean, my parents came to Canada about 27 years ago. And they left Ethiopia during an interesting time, and came to Toronto. And you know, a couple years later had me and as soon as they had me, they moved over to Ottawa. And we, you know, raised a family here. So it was, you know, I'm the proud Daughter of two immigrant parents. And, you know, I think that's really enlightened and guided my path here, when it comes to the projects that I work on my community building efforts and the work that I do when it comes to, you know, elevating and uplifting people of color. And so for me, Naomi, I really love to build relationships and connect with like minded people, you know, folks who are creative who are interested in building things that matter. I am currently 22 and I'm driven to Help people uncover their truth and stand in their power. And you know, a couple years ago, I started the Power BI podcast because I think the reason why you found me Alice, and I interview leaders about their why and the fulfillment that comes with, you know, living life on purpose and with purpose. And recently, I started speaking at events. And you know, with my company that I started with my co founder, our vision is really to make the future of work inclusive. So we do educational programming, and we do community building events. For this For this reason,
you know what we're going to be best friends, I have the same type of energy, and I love how you take the approach, just getting people together. And of course, immigration, like my family is composed of immigrants, and it's always great to bring different cultures and different experiences in because everybody has something different to offer. And I feel like you have a lot to offer. Since you have your company. You connected with a lot of people and you have a podcast. So you're a professional at this. You should be running my podcast right now. Not me.
You're doing a fantastic, fantastic job.
So speaking about all those companies and all the projects you're working on, do you have any social media links you would like to share? Because you have your podcast? I'm sure you have Instagram, Twitter, anything else?
Yeah, sure. So I really like to have and I encourage everyone to have an online home. So for me, that's, that's a website. And folks, you can find me at Naomi haila.com and amihl.com. And I'm going to be starting a newsletter, like an email newsletter in the new year. I'm not too sure when this episode is going up, but January 2020, I'll have an email newsletter where you can keep updated with different events that are going on in the city resources to help you grow your business and your personal life. And yes, Instagram, Twitter, you can find me everywhere at Naomi haila.
Perfect. I'll put that in the description below. And to answer your question, this episode's gonna come out in probably March I record way ahead of schedule. So Theotokos good news, because people will have a lot of newsletter to catch up on.
That's awesome. Perfect. So we got All
of that, and you guys have a lot of resources to learn more about niomi. But now it's time to talk about Naomi's passion, which is traveling. So how did you get introduced to traveling?
You know, it was in 2016. When I caught the travel bug, I traveled to Bergen and I was there for about six weeks on international study exchange. And you know, for those of you who don't know, Bergen is a very small city on the west coast of Norway, which is beautifully surrounded by seven mountains. And so you can imagine a lot of the activities that we did like after classes was go on hikes with all the other exchange students, and different locals. And you know, before this, I had traveled across Canada and even frequented my, you know, my roots in Ethiopia. But this was the very first time that I was traveling alone. That was, I think, 18 or 19. And I had the opportunity to go somewhere different, right? And so this was completely outside of my comfort zone. beyond what I knew at that age, and that was when things really shifted for me,
what was the thing that actually pushed you to go? Was it something like a pamphlet, a really well designed pamphlet or a friend who kind of encouraged you to do it or family or anybody else.
I was quite involved in school. So I had a chance to meet people from different walks of life. And, you know, being part of student led organizations and different programs. I actually, like international exchange studying abroad, for some, for whatever reason wasn't on my radar at all. But you know, someone I can't remember who someone brought it to my attention that Norway had a fantastic summer program in Bergen, that I should definitely apply to. And so I yeah, I went down to, I went to the University of Ottawa at Telfer, which is the business school and I went down and I grabbed the pamphlets and there's so much information as to, you know, different opportunities that are going on. So I made sure that I was well informed before I talked to my parents about it. And as you can imagine that My parents trust study travel, like going to Norway, like across the ocean. Are you kidding me? And so it took like it took a couple of weeks to, to convince them that this would be a good idea. And after I gathered all this information and really communicated the benefit of traveling, while I was in school to them, it almost became their idea. They're like, at that point, they were pushing me to go, right. Like, hey, Naomi, like make this happen. Make sure that you have enough money that you're settled and and go, like, go for it. So would you
say that this trip or the 16th was your first step to true independence as in like, you know, this is my first step into adulthood.
That's interesting. When the trip came about, it was a it was June 2016. And I didn't really see it as a yes, it was going alone. But I also had the backing of the school as well and the other exchange students that were heading off with me. And so, you know, when it came to feeling independent, or you know, this is something that I was embarking on I would say that it was stronger when I was starting University. Because I, you know, I finished school high school on the back side. And we finished in grade 11. So, you know, as opposed to most of the provinces in Canada, which she graduated grade 12. You know, it's finishing at 16 years old, and I decided that I didn't, that I wanted to go directly to university. And so I felt like that was more of an independent jump, rather than, you know, me going to Norway, but I think it really sunk in when I was there. Because I think when you're staying anywhere for an extended period of time, you you really get to know the city and you're buying groceries on your own. And so No, it didn't feel like it was the first time but I think it definitely got more real when I was physically there.
Yeah, speaking about making it feel real. Did you have the culture shock have a big impact on you or you were pretty much well prepared with a little things that you were like, Oh, cool.
Yeah, Norway is very Have you been to Norway before Allah?
I have not. But I have lived in France for four months for work.
Francis You haven't been in France, but it looks beautiful. So culture shock me, you know, predominantly, I think it was around from a Canadian like, in comparison to a Canadian context. It was around how family oriented Norwegians where they work hard, but they don't work like long hours like Canadians and Americans do. And so there isn't there was there's so much more emphasis on family and like being with your loved ones and hiking, like I mentioned, you were surrounded by mountains, like, everywhere that you would go you would see families and friends just spending a lot of quality time together. And so that was interesting for me. And also another interesting thing was that on Sundays, everything would be closed. And so I know that was something that we moved away from here, but on that and in terms of adopting Yes, the more the family orientation of people was something that I really admired. Yeah,
you know what we should bring up like family oriented thing back in Canada cuz I know So no, I think I can't remember which country in Europe it was. But they're starting to do four day work weeks.
I love that. Yeah, I think a company, I can't remember which technology company but they're trying it. I think it's in Germany specifically, they have gone down to four, four day work weeks to see what productive productivity levels are going to be like their employees. And so yeah, if you can somehow make that happen here, Alex. I'd be very delighted
if it just me. Okay. So yeah, this podcast objective right now is to make sure that we all all of Canadians have four day work weeks and Sunday, everything is closed. Even hospitals. I'm kidding. No hospitals. Yes. So we need more family time, more community time, more time. So Naomi and I can talk on this podcast. But back to traveling up for you on a personal level. What would you say is the best part about traveling?
Okay, this is hard. The best part about traveling, I would say okay, two things. First, the people really And the opportunity to stretch yourself hands down like new, it's a new environment, different surroundings, the food is different, you know, the ambience is new. And it's that connection that you get to experience with, with people who maybe have different beliefs than you who, you know, run with different cultural norms. And I think that comes with, you know, with being at all these different intersections, right, because I'm, you know, for me personally, like I'm an Ethiopian, who was born in Canada grew up here and I'm in a completely different country and so there's so many worlds colliding there. And you know, the best part is that you get to learn from from locals right about their culture and and how people live across the world dive. That's what I found most, most fascinating.
No, I completely agree with you. It's a little culture shock but it's like in a good way. You get to just embrace everything you said that expression when in Rome do as Romans or one in whatever country you in
Whatever they do,
it's it's a chance to learn and learn more information and it actually helps you become more wise and I feel like you're pretty wise, right? I don't know about that. Okay, my books are pretty wise.
You know what it is I surround myself with people who are better than me and like every aspect, who like have more knowledge and more experience, and I think, you know, we're all sponges, you soak in so much information. And that's how I've been able to learn so quickly. I think it's because I'm not I'm not scared of surrounding myself with different people. In fact, like, I search for that I really I run towards it,
man. I feel like I'm just talking to myself right now. That's
my narcissistic right there. But yeah, but yes, back to the countries we've been that we haven't really touched this yet. But where have you been?
So Ethiopia for blind like I've been three times, although I haven't been the past 10 years. So that's definitely on my list. I've been to Amsterdam, which is an another I've been to Stockholm, Sweden. I've been to Bergen, Norway, Copenhagen, Denmark, London, UK, which is probably one of my favorite places to be. And then a few spots in the US. So I hadn't before 2019 I hadn't at all frequented the US even though we share frickin border. And so this year, I had my main travels were actually to the US. So I went and visited New York, Atlanta, Georgia, San Jose, and San Francisco, which is in California, and definitely have a few trips planned for the new year. Oh, and New York. How could I forget?
You know, just over the border right there.
Exactly. So close. And so those are the places mainly I mainly in Europe. And I think that was definitely because of my, you know, first independent travel experience to Norway, which allowed me to try out some neighboring countries and then I've been back since so
that's awesome. I love it. You went back, even though you went there for studies, and maybe it might have been stressful, but you're like, you know what? The country itself was beautiful. I want to go back for the experience, not as a student, but as a traveler.
Mm hmm. I agree.
And so we talked about where you've been. Now, the cliche cliche question to ask is, where would you like to go? Whether it's for 2020? Or in other years from now?
Yes. You know, what, two continents that I really want to visit are? Definitely do more of Africa. So there are, you know, I definitely want to go back to Ethiopia. I'd love to check out Cape Town and do bits of like West Africa as well, which I haven't frequented. And then also the continent of South America, I think would be incredible. So yeah, I definitely have some places like Peru, Puerto Rico, Cape Town, which I mentioned. You know, you said you spent some time in France. I need to visit I need to visit France. Where were you? Did you were you in Paris or were You in, you know, the south of France. Where did you go?
Well, I was a little bit more in the north. So I worked at Vimy Ridge as a tour guide. So I was in a place called North Paducah, which is weird way of saying is like North but not have these place. But I was there for four months, I went, I didn't travel that much because I was saving up money. But I did go to Paris. But I've traveled a few other countries around the world. But yeah, France was definitely interesting experience. It allowed me to learn how the northern French speak and it's different from how Canadians speak or North African speak, or Cuba speaks Exactly. So it's a lot of like, you got to train your ear and I would imagine it's the same for when you go to a different country, let's say Norway, and they speak to you in English, if that's not their first language, but you've trained your ear to learn how to decode or understand different dialects or accents.
Agreed. Agreed. Actually, I felt that no region spoke better English but they also learning English alongside Norwegian when when growing up like in school and so yeah, but I definitely agree when it comes to accents. I love accents love well that's beautiful.
I love how people speak and it's just like there is some people telling you the first languages there's the second third fourth and they're putting so much effort to learn and language so there's no need to like say, Oh, they don't speak world. speaking another language is not their first one right? Sorry, that sounds like a PTA like a PSA like an infomercial. Don't make fun of people like that. No, it's people speak different languages yet. I enjoy like my family. My brother in law's Russian. My wife is Korean. So there's accents all over my family.
That's incredible. I love that. Yeah.
No for you when it comes to traveling. I know we do these weird like segues from a conversation conversation conversation question. What is your favorite thing to do while you're traveling?
Okay, so this is gonna sound weird, but what I love to do is take public transit. I love seeing like when I'm in a new city I love using their, you know, bus systems trains metros, because it's so different from, you know, the city that I live in, like we live in Ottawa, and we only recently have what's called a light rail.
But even then, like it's semi functional light rail, yes, let's not get in trouble for that. And to go to a lot like larger cities, for example, in New York, I was very intentional about when I was traveling with a group of friends we took Uber is everywhere, just because it was simpler. But, you know, when I was alone, I extended my trip a couple days so that I could stay alone. I was like, I need to take, you know, the the metro everywhere I needed and go downtown go to go up Manhattan. I mean, they're so their metro system is incredible. It takes you all across the city. And I think, you know, with technology now to, you know, there are very few times where I was lost, right? And so my Google Maps was basically my best friend. And if I ever came through a roadblock, there were always people that I could approach and talk to and they would help me out. But I think that's the best way to see a city right? And if there are, if you want to frequent like a specific part of New York for example, you can get from point A to point B so quickly and it's just a cheaper way to travel to Yeah, I love I love taking public transit and like chatting with locals and seeing how the city's connected by you know, whether it's a bus system or a metro
it's kind of like an ant colony where everything is just connected and you just have to find your way I did you actually hear that Uber released our sir doing a helicopter in New York, that you can just take
Did you hear about that?
Would you be willing to do that? I think he's like $200 to go from one airport to another I think so.
Oh, wow. You know, if I need to travel from like LaGuardia to one of the other way that I might try I did hear about this Alex that's that's that's hilarious
people. This is coming out of March, people are going to be saying, Alex, we know this has been for this has been out for a while while you're talking about this get back to travel. But it was a part of traveling. It's a helicopter. So you actually did the perfect segue to my next question, which was what's your preferred method of travel when visiting, walking, biking motorcycle automobile of running, but I'm going to twist it instead. What was the most interesting one you took?
Ooh, Yo, I'm so ready for that. Because so yeah, besides Metro and like walking, biking, I when I was in Sweden, I did I took a Segway and I visited like different areas of, of Stockholm. And so I don't know if any of your listeners have been to, to Stockholm, Sweden, but it kind of separated into different districts. And so, you know, that was a place that I went alone, as you will learn and during the episode, I love to travel by myself and take solo trips. But that was a place where, you know, I searched I went online, and I searched Like interesting ways to frequent the city. And I found like different segway tours that you pay by donation. So I think I paid Like what? You know, 5050 euros? No, actually, this one had a cost to it. So I think it's 5050 euros for a two or three hour segway trip around Stockholm. And so that was such a cool way to, to, you know, go around and visit and meet like, I made two new Irish friends while I was there too, while also getting a chance to do something, a drama and like, I love adrenaline. And so that was a great way to visit the city for sure.
Actually, speaking of which, meeting friends so my wife used to live in a hostel Do you go visit and live in hostels where you travel or hotels or do you find if there's a some sort of Airbnb?
Mm hmm. Well, it depends. If I'm with friends then you know, sometimes like I've tried Airbnb, that's definitely in a good way in a less expensive way of traveling. If I'm only Alone Alex To be quite honest, especially like as a young woman traveling, I do not do hospitals if I'm alone if I'm with a group of groups of friends yes for sure. Because we have like I have people that I can confide in like you know if anything happens and you know you have people that you trust there but when I'm traveling alone, I strictly go with hotels. And so you know, yes it is a more expensive way to travel especially when you're in places like Europe or bigger cities like New York but I definitely value my safety more than saving a buck so now when when I'm traveling alone, I definitely go to hotel route
and that's completely reasonable and completely understandable understand and do take the right choice if you want to do hotel you do hotel, you don't have to prove anything to anybody by saying yeah, I'm I'm young I can do this. If you want to do safe hotel DCF hotel if you want to hang glide. I don't know how that's related, but I mean, for not right up. Say but anybody listening, do whatever you need to do to make your trip more relaxed and more pleasant and more safe.
Now speaking about the trips himself, is there any type of documentation, whether you take videos or photos or do blogs or anything like that?
I definitely do document my trips. logs is I record, I do record a lot of videos that I for my own personal reasons will keep on my laptop and share with my family. But I don't necessarily post on YouTube, I'll look into that. I'll look into that for future trips. But for sure, documenting the small moments I will share that with my friends on on Instagram, for example, but it's for the main purpose of showing people what's out there. Right. So if I find like, I bumped into a really cool person, like I'll do a short video with them, kind of explaining any projects that they're working on or like, you know, something interesting that happened while we were together. So I share Mainly with friends and family, the video and the photos. And then I'll do some interesting moments on on platforms like Instagram, or whatever social media platform is of the rage at that time. Yeah,
it sounds like you got the perfect balance between both of them saying This one is for the family. This is for the public. And this is what this was just for me. Cuz
I'm sure yeah, for just yourself.
Yeah. Because you know what, like, I have all of those pieces documented. And it's such a great read, like, sometimes you forget, like you forget the beautiful small moments of being somewhere. When I look back, I'm like, wow, I remember that happened. And I remember where I was and how it was feeling. And so I think documentation is such an a beautiful way to keep track of like, how you've grown along the years and what you've seen. So yes, I do keep a lot of things to myself. You
know, this is a really, really stupid question. But I know for myself, when I go on trips, and I listen to some songs, I get those songs stuck in my head and when I listened to it again, I'm like, oh, my goodness, I Remember that true? Do you have any songs like that?
Yeah, you know what music Yes, but more than that smells so when I go on and this is not intentional, but you know when I was in Norway for example I got this perfume and every time I smell it, I it brings me immediately back to my time in Bergen. And so you know, you know when I noticed that the first time which was completely unintentional now when I'm going to some memorable places, I'll definitely get some like new perfume and and make sure that I'm wearing it there because it immediately brings me back music is also very powerful. Yeah, I'm glad that you brought that up.
That's awesome. I love that I can just walk see you walking around the city in Ottawa with a bag full of like different perfumes like you know today I want to reminisce about Norway. Get rid of this cold cold weather actually normally has snow to Nevermind.
It's pretty cool.
Yeah. So for you, you
see already mentioned where you want to travel next, but what comes into the method of how you choose your new destination isn't the culture, the people, the food, the music, the anything else in between.
Okay, so when we talk to this might, this is not gonna I'm bringing this up for a reason. But you know, when we talk about work life balance and how some people say that Oh, like I don't believe it that exists. There has been like I like when people talk about work life integration. And so, for me when I look at places to travel, I look at the people who are there, slash if there are any interesting, like business or creative entrepreneurial conferences that are taking place in a city, right? So that's definitely a huge, you know, piece and determining factor when I look at my next Next enter destination to go to if there's a conference, are there people that I'm looking to meet in that specific city, and that's how I and you know, when it's a beautiful place to visit as well and it's like, okay, like I'm hitting two birds with one stone type thing. So, you know, for me, something intentional that I do When I when I get to a specific place, is that I set aside time to meet with business people, entrepreneurs, people in tech or creative folks. And I like to, to really plan that out by finding people on social media. And so you know, Instagram and LinkedIn are definitely two places that I am very conscious about the connections that I'm making. And, you know, the individuals that I'm following and seeing how we can kind of work together and collaborate. And so if there's an opportunity where there's a conference, or something taking place in that city, and I get to combine that with, you know, meeting these digital connections and taking that relationship to another level and getting to meet them in person, then I am 100% driven to do that. And so that's been a huge determining factor for where I go, go next.
And that is why we're you're here on my podcast. That's how you got here, right?
So I found your Instagram and also my friend Linda and Nick mentioned. Yeah, so that's that was a shout out to them. But yeah, once I figured out you did a podcast I'm like, Okay, well, she's a professional, she'll be able to talk to me she will take over my podcasts I'll she'll be asking me questions instead of talking about my hobby.
I asked you questions. I'm not asking myself questions.
So, you know, I completely agree with you. It's, it's a cool thing. I like that connection aspect. We're all human. And we all have something to offer. And I feel like you're the type of person that goes and not just at the surface level, but you go underneath as well. Like you try to find out the good things like you don't just go Hi, I'm Naomi. Oh, that okay. But you try to dig in like, Oh, cool. That's what you're offering. And I just, I really appreciate it.
I think we have to write like, there's so much. That's how you build genuine relationships with people is you understand what makes them tick and what they're driven by and finding you know, people That you can introduce them to for example, so that you can help them get to another level. Like that's what you're getting. That's what relationships are all about. Right?
Well, hopefully I'm doing my part and my listeners, maybe they'll get in contact with you, and then you can get to the next level. That's, that's my message me message me. I will for sure. So yes, you mentioned this earlier on as well, you like to travel alone? And I'm sure you travel with company as well. What are some benefits from both sides? Mm hmm.
I think first, like when you're deciding whether you want to do a solo trip, or go with friends or with a company, like you understand your purpose, we're traveling, right? So if I'm there for a conference or business reason, I usually go with whoever I'm working with. So for example, with the community building stuff that we've been doing in the educational programming, Sam and I have traveled quite a bit this year in 2019. And so we've been across the US to build our network and expand in our own minds. what's possible in terms of what we can build, right. And so that's been great to travel with someone because we get to bounce ideas off of each other, and we just make a fantastic team. But I also and more often travel alone, and I can connect with friends, you know, international exchange, really introduced me to people from all over the world. And so, you know, when you get back home, you know, you realize, oh my gosh, like I have friends in California and friends in Australia and you know, across Europe and so it's been a great way to you know, even when you are traveling alone to reach out to people that you know, to reach out to friends and say, Hey, I'm gonna be in town like tonight Can I crash with you or, or whatever. And so that's been a really beautiful way to see a city in its in its entirety right. And and really get to know what the locals are doing. And so what I love about traveling alone is that and if I have a friend in that city, is that we get to take the subway And we get to go to all the best restaurants and I'm not seeing this new place from a tourist perspective. I'm seeing it from, you know, a local who's lived there and knows all the best things to do. And so that's what I love to do when it comes to traveling alone.
Speaking of which, have you ever had any friends that humid from foreign countries come visit you at home? Like a nada?
Yes. Are you kidding? So? Yeah, we've had we've had a bunch and you know, I went on exchange with three other individuals from from Ottawa. And so yes, when people are in town, I 100% make the time to meet with them and show them around and basically show I mean, there's some Okay, there's not much in Ottawa, but we definitely get to Alex, have you been behind the parliament building in Ottawa?
No, God, yes. Been a long time ago.
Okay. You have to go again. It's an incredible view. The whole city and you can see the water. And so you know, you get to share these beautiful autumn as a beautiful city, you get to share these moments with people who are coming from everywhere from South America from parts of Europe. And so yes, I definitely do have visitors who come and visit auto.
That's awesome. Well definitely bring people there next time. I have some family who come from South Korea who come visit. But another good place to go show people I don't know if you've ever been. But on the Gatineau side, it's called the Kings trail and got new park. And it's just like a giant hill or mini mountain, depending on who you ask. But you could just see ads on feel like it just goes on forever. You can see fields and fields and fields, and it's just beautiful. Especially during the fall time.
Wow. Okay, I've made a note about that. Definitely go check it out.
No for you. This is a really tough question. So be on the edge of your seat for this. What has traveling taught you in life?
Traveling has taught me so much but I think the world One thing that really resonates like at the second is to trust God and the universe, like to trust in my resourcefulness. Because, you know, when you're traveling when you're doing anything kind of risky or starting a new project, whatever, you know, oftentimes things didn't go my way. Right? So whether that's at the airport or, you know, when I'm frequenting a city and you know, something happens, and you're alone, for example, I can't necessarily call my parents and say, Hey, like, I need help. I mean, I can do that, but it's not an immediate reaction. Do you know what I mean? And so traveling has really taught me to think on my feet, and like the be quick and figure shit out and solve problems as they come. And I think, you know, back to the the first point about trusting God and trusting the universe, is that you know, the world is so big. It's so vast And I think sometimes when we're in our own little bubble in our own little cities, we oftentimes lose lose track of that right of like how we are like this tiny little speck in this in this in this universe and so it's really given me a lot of perspective to, to really act and put things in motion like put my dreams in motion. And it showed me you know, that things are always in momentum like across the world, right? And so when we think oh, you know, everything is crashing down in Ottawa, I'm like, No, but this The world is still moving. And so every time I travel, I'm constantly reminded and and inspired to keep on my rhythm and create right create art connect with people and and build products that matter to my community.
And hopefully we get to meet one day and just bounce off like each other's vibes because, man, you're such a positive person. I love
you guys. Let's go off coffee for sure.
I'm definitely down for that. Don't drink coffee, but I'm down for the idea of going out for a drink tea or water? Yes, but I have way too much energy I don't know why. My wife my wife said like no you don't need coffee you're good. I'm like okay, I'm good. You know has so this is a tough question but has traveling ever stressed you out
a couple of times I mean you know for anyone who has been on a like picture this if you've been on a delayed flight with a very tight connecting one right after I'm not sure where the energy comes to run from one end to the airport terminal to another but you know there have definitely been some some times of stress when it but it's mainly been like logistical and at the airport thing like once you get into the city, you can pretty much maneuver and like figure figure things out. But yeah, but it's mainly been trying to get to a connecting flight when your original flight is super delayed. That's that's what mainly stresses me out. I've never been in a situation where you know, my safety has been a concern as of yet knock on wood knock on wood. And so yeah, so as of now it's mainly airport shenanigans for sure.
I completely agree with you what our most recent trip we went to Japan, and the flight got canceled but the luggage is technically already on the plane because of the bad weather. And then we were supposed to go to Toronto and then we didn't know where our luggage is were and the only way we were know to know when the luggage was going to be or when we were going to see the luggage is once we were in Japan. So the moment we landed in Japan A day later we're like come on come on. We're so happy when we saw her luggage there
Yeah. Oh my gosh. Because then you have to frequent the city with without your stuff I mean yeah, definitely concerning. Yeah,
all that money for souvenirs will be spent on clothing for Mr. shelter where know in general what was what is the biggest challenge for you when it comes to traveling?
For right now? I think you know, my biggest challenge was, I think when I first started traveling was believing that it was very, it's like traveling is a very expensive, quote unquote, hobby that you have to do. But as I started to do more digging online around, you know how people can afford travel, it has definitely, definitely reduce that barrier. And so I don't really face this challenge anymore. But I'm just a lot more intentional about how I spend my money. And so, you know, originally, I had this myth, and I'm kind of leading into your next, like, one of your, you know, coming up upcoming questions around misconceptions, because I think, you know, sometimes, at least for me, a barrier that I had was, Oh, I can't do that. Like, that's not within my means. That's not something that I can afford. That's not something that I can do. And so I think, you know, my biggest challenge was getting out of my own way. It was Figure instead of saying, you know that I can't do this, it's how can I do it? How can I make this possible for me? So it's more of a mental thing, like most instances and most challenges that we all face. It is a mental game. And oftentimes, we are the ones that are standing in our own way. So
sometimes you just gotta dive in, like cold water. You just gotta dive in and just experience the whole thing.
Yeah. And plan, like, plan that shit out. Oh, yeah. Awesome.
Yeah, no. Yes, you are, you did lead to the next question. And I definitely definitely did not write these questions down. What are you talking about? No, these are all improvised. No, I did write these down. So what are some big misconceptions about travel?
You know, it was for me. I mean, I had this misconception to before I started traveling is that you have to be rich to explore the world. And you know, for me, that just hasn't been the case. And so you know, with the plethora of resources that you have out there around, you know, on the internet, if this is something that you really want to do. When it's in your heart of hearts, figure out a way to do it. If you want to explore if you want to travel if you want to, you know, meet people in different cities and like experience new things, then, you know, prioritize that prioritize that in your life. So, you know, for me I don't really like Yes, I like to have a nice things and, you know, technology that makes my life easier. But I've also prioritized experiences over over material shit, you know what I mean? So it's allowed me to you know, have like a set in place goals and spending goals for you know, how I want to spend my my income, and I don't spend it aimlessly, you know, shopping through malls, I buy quality items that last me a long time. And I invest in in things that are going to enrich my soul. And so if that's something that's a priority, it doesn't, you don't necessarily need to be rich to to enjoy travel. And to enjoy exploring the beautiful world that is available to us.
And especially today with our cell phones or laptops, you can find deals on cheaper flights.
Yes, absolutely. I mean, there's so many and even, like with the gig economy, starting to take over a lot of industries and make their way into a lot of industries, there are so many opportunities to make money to make extra income if you have a full time job on the side. And so using the internet and so whether it's reducing your expenses, or finding ways to increase your revenue, there's so many opportunities to make this a reality for you.
I have a friend who I actually interviewed him on traveling on my podcast and earlier episode, and he works for Air Canada, and that's he actually started wanting to work for them to travel so he pays like $75 to go from one country to another. Wow.
Okay, I need to meet this person.
Yeah, I could definitely get you in contact. He's in Montreal right now. But yeah, he wants to get in contact with people and he's always down to make new friends.
That's great. Now for you is traveling something you want to share with the world or keep it more for yourself as in like a you had a long day and not spontaneous traveling. You know what a long day I'm just going to go to Australia. I'm not like that. I mean, just that I would feel like you need money to just do a spontaneous travel like that. But I mean, just Is it something that you want to keep for yourself or share with the world?
Yeah, and I think we touched a little bit upon this in the document in peace if I'm understanding your question correctly, but for me, there are so many moments that I love to keep to myself and traveling. And you know, I think the desire for me, as I said earlier to share is is not so much to say, you know, hey, this is where I am. It's to really show the beauty of different cultures and different people and different food and that this is all available to you If you put your mind to it and so, for me, there's there's a lot that I don't share. But it's really out there to, you know, what I do share is really out in terms of encouraging other people to explore and get outside their comfort zone. And I think so many times, you know, when you stay in one place for so long, you can get stuck. If you want to go further, oftentimes, you need to put yourself in very uncomfortable situations. And so as an individual, I've grown in ways that I can't even imagine because of I've taken myself out of my city. Do you know what I mean? And so even if it's taking a train to to Toronto and and spending some time there with some friends or spending some time there alone, it rewires your brain and it gets you to see things differently. I mean, even when you're traveling, Alex, like when you were in France, people do things differently there, right? Yeah, just regular here. And so it gets you to think oh my gosh, I wonder why they do that. It's a different, it's just a different perspective. And what I find I'm so refreshed when I come back home. Because I've, I get to see things in a new light, I get to see things with different eyes. And so when it comes to something that you share with the world or something that I you know, keep to myself, I think with whatever, you know, hobby or thing that you enjoy doing, make sure that you are doing it for yourself at the end of the day, right. And so, if you're doing things for the sake of, you know, showing other people or whatever, then I think that can lead you down to a road of disappointment and a lot of hurt. So, yeah, I don't know if that was to do.
That was perfect. I loved it. But that's the idea that this podcast, I want people to go deep it but if they want, I'm not forcing him to go deep if they want to go deep and just talk on about just letting everything out of their heart. This is the platform for that. It's the same with your podcast. Nobody I do agree with you on that point. I absolutely do know For you, do you have any influences or inspirations? So let's say either it's your parents cuz you talked about your parents coming to Canada. So maybe that's an influence, or, let's say, a celebrity or even a friend or a creature, I don't know. Like, geese who travel who migrate any type of inspiration, do you have any?
I think, you know, for me, yes, I did mention my parents at the beginning. Because it, it reminds me of my, like, I think we all need to be in tune with with our story. And our story is a lot a lot longer than the day we were born. Right. And so, we are passed down a lot of things, ideologies, beliefs, you know, deep seated a lot of deep seated things for our parents. And for me, I think one thing that was definitely passed down was this drive to, to do more and to do better for myself and for my and for my community. And so My parents are huge inspiration for the stuff that I'm working on and the and the impact that I want to have because they sacrificed everything for me and my brother to lead, quote unquote, stable and comfortable life here in Ottawa. And so for me, that inspiration goes really deep, to a point where I want to continue to pour into other people and to pour into my community and to uplift specifically people of color. Because I think, you know, when I think about the different influencers that are that are out there, and inspirational people like Tyler Perry, for example, and Oprah Winfrey, when you look back on their stories, they come from very humble from very humble beginnings, but they also show me as a black woman what's possible, right? And so, and those are two people that I definitely admire and look up to.
No, I completely understand where you're coming from. Like, for myself, my story is complicated because I'm half black. half white and my wife's Korean so our kids can be confused. That's that's, that's a that's a given. I was gonna say what's our story? You pick whatever story you want that's your story for today. But no, but
I so beautiful. Like I can't imagine how that's impacted your life and the way that you make decisions and how you like you know that they want you want to leave in the world that's incredible.
Yeah, like as a kid I know it's not all about me this episode.
oh my goodness to black people on white to white people on black and to my to myself, I'm confused to other people. I'm either Arabic or Latino. But either way at this point in my life, I'm like, you know what, I'm whatever you want me to be. But my focus right now is to help people out and like you know me, and this is why I'm doing this podcast so everybody has a voice black, white, Asian, no matter what. Everybody has a chance to be on here and share their passion. Man, that was that was cheesy what I just said. Yeah,
nobody came from your heart, Alex. And you know what, that's why I think you know, No, that's why I think, you know, for both of us, and I don't want to speak for you in any way
that we speak for me.
But, you know, I think that's something that we share in common is, is that we're leveraging the technology and the platforms that are out there to elevate other people's voices. And for so long, you know, the voices of underrepresented people haven't been, you know, we haven't been given the light of day. And so right now we have the internet, like, there is no middleman like, I can go on and create a podcast, you can, you know, we can send each other messages and say, hey, let's schedule this time. Like, how crazy is that? And we get to reach people that we probably wouldn't have been able to reach, you know, 3040 years ago. And so thank you for creating this platform. It's incredible. Thank you
know, you shouldn't be thanking me I should be thanking you and all my other guests because without them and you This is nothing this is just me ranting talking about nonsense. But For you back to the traveling aspect Do you have any word of advice for anybody who might be interested in this hobby. So, one big piece of advice you would give them bring a lot of money or bring some extra socks or don't forget to toothbrush.
But if you do, you can just buy one wherever you are. And I would say choose a a culture or city that you're really fascinated by, you know, whether it's something that you read in a book or watching a movie, if there's a place that really resonates with you learn everything you can about it and then book that frickin flight. Find a place to stay, whether it's with a friend or you know, at a hotel and Airbnb, a hostel, an explorer, like if that's exploring with with, with somebody that you are going with, you know, from your city, or if that's exploring alone, put yourself in different situations. You won't regret it. I'm telling you, you will not regret it.
You have more to gain than to lose.
Yeah, and you know what, you know, One thing that, you know, I was in a situation in October 2018. So it was last year, where I was planning a trip with a friend. And something happened last minute. And at that point, we didn't book any of our flights. But we're like, okay, on this date, we're going to organize our trip. And we're going to go to a few countries in Europe. And last minute, a work function team up for my friend, and she canceled and, you know, sitting down with someone and saying, you know, like, I don't really feel comfortable going alone, like, it's I'm not going with school, like it's going to be a complete solo trip. And someone said to me, You are never going to regret traveling. You're never going to regret being in a new country getting the opportunity to learn something new. So just book it, and I booked it for the like two weeks later. Like I was leaving in two weeks. So I booked it. And I went for about three weeks to three different places in Europe and it literally They changed my life. That was that's you know, when you're alone you get to reflect you get to learn about yourself. So your promise you you will not regret traveling
and you get to do things that you enjoy. You don't need to worry about pleasing anybody else here with if you want to go for a long walk, go for a long walk if you want to go walk on seven mountains do the seven mountains in Norway.
And Norway. Exactly.
Did you do all seven mountains?
No, I didn't. I didn't have enough time to do all. I think we did three, we did three. And they were the very basic ones. I got lost on our way down from one. And this is the beauty of how life works. We went as a group, but on our way down. Somehow I got just disconnected from the group. And I didn't have a cell phone. And I had no idea where the school was. And I had to figure out how to get
your survival your survival instinct just kicked in.
Yo it's wild. I don't know how I'm here because you know, I ended up at someone's home and They lived, they lived really close to the the end of the like one of the trails going up to the mountain. And they were, it was like a gated home but they were somehow at that second, they were driving up through their driveway, in their car and they were heading home. And I went in front of the car and I was like, Hey, I'm so sorry, I am lost. I am studying at you know, and he and I literally had I don't have my cell phone, like I don't know how to get home and there was a couple and they said Get in the car, like will drive you and I'm like, Oh no, no, like, I just need the keys, okay. And then the husband kind enough. He's he probably thought that I wasn't comfortable with him being there. But like, you know what, like, my wife will drive you home. I'm gonna I'm just gonna get out of the car and I got in her car and she drove me to the school. And I find out that she's actually from Montreal. But the world is very small and I don't know, you'll figure out Whatever happens, we'll figure it out. I love
those small gestures of kindness. And I love how the guy was like, You know what? Yeah, she probably doesn't feel safe. I'll let my wife do it. That's, that's cool. I like that kind. Yeah. And now you kind of touched this before, but I'm going to ask it in a way and see if you have anything else to add to it. How have you used your projects and opportunities to make traveling more wholesome as a whole?
For me, it comes down to that, you know, work life integration thing that I mentioned earlier. And I think whether you're working on a business, if there's an opportunity to get out of my city, and connect with people who are in New York, for example, or Atlanta and really elevate and take, you know, this business to another level, the one that I'm working on with my with my incredible friend, Sam, then we're going to take that opportunity. Do you know what I mean? And so, for us, finding people who are outside of our little ecosystem To learn from to grow with to collaborate, to collaborate with as well has been out of this world. And so I think you know, for us be be intentional about the plane trips that you take or the visits that you have for new cities. And if you're going there on vacation, find a way to like book in a few calls or book in like a coffee date with someone that you really admire who lives in that city and see if they're willing to take some time to meet with you. So I think, think of your life, I think of my life holistically. And I definitely try to find ways to make the most out of my trips, using my my business, my podcast, whatever, to make those connections with people in different cities.
That's awesome. I love how you go in with a determination the goal and life is so short, why not take the chance? I like that. Exactly. Exactly. know you mentioned this at the beginning of the episode. I'm gonna ask it again. Do you have any social media links or websites or projects you're working on that you love to share with the audience?
Yes. So Naomi haila calm would be essentially where the home is, for all of the work in terms of, you know, booking me to speak at any upcoming events that you have. And to learn more about the podcast and the community that we're building as well, Sam and I are in the midst of rebranding and, you know, incorporating this new business, which is won't be called find your tribe anymore. It's going to be called it's going to be called inclusively. Because we really see avenues to work on the corporate side with companies to help them make their organizations more inclusive for diverse, diverse talent, whether that's, you know, recruiting people retaining them and advancing them within the organization. And so, yes, you can find me there. And then also on Instagram is where I'm most active Instagram is na Oh, am I HE and then LinkedIn, please connect with me on LinkedIn. Ben, I'd love that.
Okay, in that case, I'll connect with you on LinkedIn. I don't really use it. But you know what, since you said it, and you're such a great person, I'll start using it more, and I'll connect with you. I know, it's an old picture. I don't have my beard in there. I'm just like, completely bald guy anyways, not about my shaved head. It's about niomi. So I'll put all that information in the description below so you guys can go check it out and follow, connect and just build on that community aspect.
I agree. Thank you so much.
Yeah. Well, thank you. So for the last question. It's a question that, you know, this one, I think I'm pretty confident but yeah, I'll ask it. Do you have any questions for me about traveling?
Alex, I'm super curious about what your misconceptions were about people who travel like did anything change during our conversation? Very curious about that.
Not so much. So I've traveled to like I lived in France. I traveled to South Korea, Japan and a bunch of countries in the Caribbean because most of my family's from half my family's from Barbados and Trinidad. So have family there. And I've been to the states and Amsterdam as well. So I'm just like slowly figuring out where I went. misconceptions not so much like God admit I live in a family full of immigrants. So having different cultures around has always been a thing. And yeah, the only misconception I have is, I guess for people who don't travel, which sounds weird. And I don't mean this in any harm or any way like, I do encourage everybody to travel even if it's just through neighboring country, just the idea to experience because I feel some people who don't travel don't get to be more open about the world around them. And I'm not blaming you, sometimes it's your means or you can do it and that's fair. I can't I can't blame you. I can't say oh, you need to travel. I'm saying if you have the opportunity, take a chance and you will definitely learn something new because even your neighbors next door This is really bad like analogy, but even your neighbors next door have different ways of living and you can learn from it.
I agree. I agree. What's your next trip? Oh,
next trip a mine. So I wouldn't mind going back to Japan because I went there but next trip, maybe, maybe Denmark to visit some friends because I have a friend who lives there but also to go Peru as well, cuz I want to go
Yeah, we'll go together you
won't need to travel alone and if you want to break off from us to just go do your thing by all means go do your thing. So yeah, like my wife, she can
just make this a group trip Alex like, if you like traveling, your wife likes traveling, I have so many friends who love to travel. And so we can make some sort of like anyone listening please message us.
My wife would listen to this just like
yes, she might look my wife loves traveling. She actually came to Canada by herself not knowing anybody and not to meet me but we just ended up meeting and we've been together for six years but yeah, she's like a fanatic traveler as well. So I'd like you to would get along and then I feel like you to just ditch me and Let me just work. So yeah, okay, go ahead, go get lost somewhere. That's funny. So yeah, there you have it, another body with the hobby. Thank you so much niomi for coming on and just sharing your wisdom, your knowledge and listening to me rant a lot and being silly. And I just really appreciate you just sharing everything that was on your mind and in your heart.
Thank you, Alex, I really appreciate it this opportunity. And I look forward to connecting with you in person in the future.
So if you guys want to learn more about niomi, you can go check her out and the links they'll put in the description below. She has she has some project she's working on. And she's a very friendly person. And she's always done to meet up and make new connections and meet wonderful people. And if you'd like to be on my podcast or have any questions at all, you could send me an email at time for your hobby at gmail. com. And of course, if you think this episode is gonna be helpful for anybody, by all means, share it with them, because who knows, maybe they're going through a hard time and traveling can be a solution. Like Like I said before, if you just travel a little bit, you might learn something new and it might be Even just make you reevaluate different things, try new things and meet amazing people, maybe even the niomi into different countries like
So Until the next episode, make some time for your hobby. Take care