08 Nov, 2021
Living your life traveling from one country to another is a life people could only dream of, but for Fatima AlMattar it’s not only a reality, it’s a career.
From visiting the most beautiful beaches, exploring different cultures, and experiencing life as a local in Africa, her journey took an interesting turn when she was stuck in Antarctica for two weeks due to COVID-19, where she decided to document her adventure in a book.
We decided to have a chat with Fatima AlMattar and ask her about her book, ‘After the End of the World’, as well try to find out a little more about her life.
Congratulations on your first book, ‘After the End of the World’! Tell us about it.
Thank you so much! The book is about my story in Antarctica, which is the last continent and the most southern part of the world. To get there, we had to leave from Ushuaia, which has been called the end of the world. Basically, we were there with no internet or cell connection, and 10 days into our trip, we opened our phones just to realize that the whole world was in lockdown.
Do you plan on writing a sequel?
The short answer is no, but you never know! So far though, no plans for a sequel.
How did you feel being stuck on a ship for 16 days?
I had mixed feelings and emotions between loving and enjoying my surroundings, breathing the fresh air, looking at the penguins and whales… things that people would only dream to see! And also, the fear, uncertainty of the unknown! So it was a gush of emotions for sure, one hour we’re smiling, the second worried, the third chatting, and so on.
very curious… what did you do during those two weeks?
Thankfully the crew managing the ship did an excellent job at keeping us busy for those two weeks, they had prepared a full program about what to do in Antarctica. For the duration we were stuck we were about to run out of food and medication, but the crew was very well-trained and lined up activities for us to do, but at the same time, they were quite transparent with all of us and explained what was happening.
Which do you consider to be your most dangerous traveling experience? And if you had the choice, would you do it again?
I guess the most dangerous experience for me was rafting in the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe where I almost drowned! I started praying and had a flashback of my past… it was definitely a near-death experience. Would I do it again, knowing I was about to drown? Definitely not. It was horrible.
But if we’re talking about overall danger, the country I felt most unsafe in was Madagascar in Africa, and that was mostly because our trip was designed to experience Madagascar authentically, we lived in the rural areas between locals, so that was quite uncomfortable and did not feel safe. Would I do it again? I would visit Madagascar again but would go for a different experience.
To switch from an employee at a major company to traveling the entire world… was it a difficult decision to make?
It was an extremely difficult decision to make because I loved where I worked; I had an amazing time, worked with incredible people in a job with growth potential. But I don’t regret that decision one bit! Traveling the world is a complete eye-opener and a real added value for me as a person. I would say it’s worth following your dreams and passion.
I’ve always liked being an entrepreneur, I have my own traveling consulting company, and I’ve recently established my own social media management company called "Social Recipe", so I’m very happy that I started pursuing my dreams, it was worth exploring my potential.
We have to ask, how many PCRs have you done so far?
Honestly, the second I passed my 100th PCR I stopped counting. Way too many to count or even care to know at this point.
What motto do you live by?
I actually have a motto that I always have in front of me and it truly helps keep me inspired “I can and I will”. I mean, a lot of things inspire me but this particular quote reminds me that if I want to, I could do it. And it turns out I could, and I did!
Who is your biggest supporter?
I’m surrounded by people who support me, from family, friends, colleagues, and teammates. Everyone supports me in their own way, and if you combine that energy, you can truly feel the support and that keeps me going.
I’m very thankful for everyone in my life. Each and every single one of them.
You can find Fatima AlMattar’s book, ‘After the End of The World’, here.
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