Twins, Fresh Fish and The Travel Bug

Twins, Fresh Fish and The Travel Bug

"What inspired you to combine entrepreneurship with travel at such a young age?"

From a young age, I was inspired by my mother to travel. She met my dad in Morocco while traveling and somehow, whenever a foreign country came up in conversation her response was always along the lines of, “Been there, done that.” It wasn’t until I decided to go to Jamaica for my 21st birthday that I really caught the “travel bug.” I went with my friend, also my birthday twin, and it was there that I finally understood the thrill, joy, and tranquillity that comes with travel. There was one day, specifically, during my trip when I made the decision to leave my friends at the hotel and explore the island alone. I figured that since we were staying on a resort by the beach, I could continue to walk along the shore, past the resort, and find….something.

A five-minute walk along the shore, just past the concrete fence and barbed wire surrounding my resort, I met two twin girls and their cousin who couldn’t have been a day over 6 years old. The group of them were calf-deep in the water, fish in one hand, and baby knife in the other. Descaling, gutting, and cleaning the fish. I was 21 and at my big age, I had never fished in my life. And here were these two baby girls, hunting and preparing their food on a random Tuesday; I was intrigued. After introducing myself, the twins- Bobo and Didi- declared that they were going to make me some lunch.

Didi sat me down amongst the elders, started a fire, and attentively grilled the fish, while Bobo climbed up the back of my chair announcing that she would get me a nice plate for my lunch. She proceeded to pick a couple leaves off the tree that I had chosen for shade and handed them to Bobo to plate my lunch.

After lunch, the twins gave me a tour of their village and plucked fresh fruit off of every tree they saw- just for me to try. Later that day, after I’d returned to the hotel from our adventure, I brought my friends back to the village to meet the twins, as well as the other kids in the neighborhood.




We met the families of the children, and went for a ride on the twin's dad’s boat and played in the water until sundown. They had taken us in as if we were family when I had just happened to meet them earlier that day. The excitement of meeting new people and seeing how they lived sparked a desire for me to seek similar experiences.





"How do you manage to balance running a business while exploring different parts of the world?"

Before my trip to Jamaica, I was a textbook workaholic. I spent all day obsessing over my business; sales, production, content, the whole nine yards. All with a conventional image of success, money, and accolades in mind. But, the kindness and hospitality of Didi, Bobo, and their entire village enlightened me to realize that I wasn’t killing myself to make money, or gain clout.

I realized my business was a pathway to living the life that I desired. A life filled with peace, joy, and excitement. It was on this trip, that I declared that I would no long be a slave to my business. 

I promised myself to prioritize travel because I had never felt so present, grounded, or connected to the world as I did in Jamaica. 10 months later, I took my first solo trip to Italy, Spain and Switzerland. 

As I am writing this, I am on my third week of traveling solo in Brazil and in my sixth Brazilian city- Curitiba. This experience has been nothing short of life-changing. However, it took a lot of preparation to get here; most of it mental. The most prevalent obstacle I faced while preparing for this trip was figuring out how I could fulfill orders while I was out of the country. Now, the solution may seem simple, right? Just hire somebody. But, when you spend years cultivating anything, especially a business, from the ground up, you can be understandably hesitant to hand over operations to anyone else. Me, being very particular and somewhat possessive over my business, the idea of someone else packing orders and shipping them out with my name on them was a hard pill to swallow. But, I made a promise to myself to prioritize travel, and sacrifices would have to come with this decision. Thankfully, I have a beautiful and supportive family who insisted on helping me through this transition. Before leaving, I had to reorganize all of my products and teach my brother how to fulfill orders. This task, in and of itself, was very difficult for me because I have been packing my own orders for 3+ years. I have a system in my head that can be difficult to verbalize to someone unfamiliar with the process. Since this is the first time someone other than myself has fulfilled my orders, mistakes and mishaps are expected. I have been learning the importance of giving myself and my support system grace. I’m learning how beneficial it is to be transparent with customers when mistakes happen and do what I can to fix the issue quickly to maintain the trusting relationship I have with my customers. I’m so incredibly grateful that I can depend on my family to help me keep my business running while I am not physically home. Shoutout to Amir, I love you.

"Can you share some of the most valuable lessons you've learned from your travels as an entrepreneur?"

1. Global citizenship

To me, being a global citizen means being conscious of the space that I occupy outside of my land. It means being conscious of the privilege, knowledge, and perspective I have while in my land. It is a blessing to travel, meet new people, and experience different cultures. I don’t take any of these privileges for granted, and hold myself to a high standard when it comes to the way I treat people, whom I do business with, and where I spend my money. I employ women-led co-ops over large manufacturers. I boycott companies invested in apartheid regimes, no matter where I am. I feel a personal responsibility to share my adventures with my community in hopes of inspiring my peers to discover the world as I have been. It is because of this personal responsibility that I have decided to create this blog segment - Gyals Who Travel- to show you that it is possible to explore the world on your own terms.

2. F’in Around And Finding Out

Before I came to Brazil,  pretty much every person that I told about my trip declared that I was either A: Crazy, or B: Going to die. On occasion, I was told I was C: crazy AND I was definitely going to die. Had I listened to the narrow, close-minded, fear-based opinions of people who had never been to Brazil, I would not be here today. Brazil is my 16th country and it is my favorite place I have ever been (outside of my motherlands ofc). 

 I have made countless friends, created beautiful memories and built a trust with myself and God that I don’t think I would have obtained otherwise. When traveling, it is so important to harness a strong intuition. Some people may think that their intuition is weak or nonexistent, but your intuition is just like a muscle; It gets stronger the more you exercise it. The first step in clearing the fog and HEARING yourself is to set your intention and make room for your authentic feelings and thoughts to surface.

Say it with me- “I give myself permission to explore and indulge in my deepest desires”

Where, who, or what is calling your name? 


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