Fatima AlMattar (@hello965): "The experiences you gather from travel make you the person you are today"

We catch up with social media personality and Wanderlust Travel Media Influencer of the Year nominee Fatima AlMattar...

3 mins

Travel blogger, content creator and entrepreneur, Fatima started her journey in travel and blogging 12 years ago when it was just a hobby. Luckily she was able to follow her passion and dreams and converted this hobby into her full time job.

Fatima is the founder of travel accounts @hello965 @hellohotelz and @hellocuisines, and she is also the CEO of travel consulting company Hello Explorer.

Her inspiring trips around the world have caught the attentions of thousands on Instagram, TikTok and more, which is why Fatima is nominated to be Travel Media Influencer of the Year at the Wanderlust Travel Awards 2022.

To learn more about Fatima, we asked her some key questions about the essence the travel, the difficulties of travelling for a living, plus the bucket-list destinations she's yet to tick off...

What is the true essence of travel? What does travel mean to you?

For me most importantly, in travel and in life, is to accept people for who they are. And all the experiences you gather from travel makes you the person you are today. So for me, it’s modesty and personality.

(Fatima AlMattar @hello965)

(Fatima AlMattar @hello965)

(Fatima AlMattar @hello965)

(Fatima AlMattar @hello965)

(Fatima AlMattar @hello965)

(Fatima AlMattar @hello965)


What is your number one most unforgettable travel experience?

There’s one particular experience which comes to mind when I get asked this question, and that is spending a night in an underwater villa in Pemba Island in Tanzania. That experience was spectacular, I’ve never experienced anything like that before. It was literally like sleeping in an aquarium where you wake up and see all the fish around you, from the windows and from your bedroom. It was really special because it was in the middle of the ocean with no other villas around you. So that was super unique, super different. Yeah, that was definitely unforgettable and I highly recommend it.


(Fatima AlMattar @hello965)

(Fatima AlMattar @hello965)

Where have you still not been yet that you’re desperate to visit?

Fiji has been on my mind, and has been for a very long time. Fiji and Bora Bora were the islands I really really wanted to visit. I’ve done Bora Bora, so Fiji is now the top of my list of places I want to visit.


What is your preferred transport and what was is the most memorable form of transport you've ever taken?

I have always preferred trains over any other transportation, but my most memorable train ride was the Hiram Bingham Belmond Luxury Train from Cusco to Machu Picchu. I’ve done this journey a couple of times, the first was in 2016 and I also went on it this year in August 2022. It is so memorable and such a fun transport because there’s music, food, a bar and dining tables.

They also have rooms so it can be an overnight transport so you’re comfortable and in your own bed. You can go to sleep and wake up at your destination. So yeah, I highly recommend this train!

It looks idyllic and exciting to the outside world, but what are the main setbacks to travelling for a living?

I would say having a stable income is one of the main setbacks. You want to travel, spend and maximise your experiences, but at the same time it’s not always a stable income unless you work to make it one. This is something that is a major issue for travel influencers, especially if you want to continue for a long time, as travel is expensive as everyone knows!

Another thing that is a problem or setback is actually travelling. Like having to go through immigration with your equipment and your cameras as security around the world is increasing, trying to get your visa, all the work, all the sleepless nights of editing. It’s a lot of work. I know a lot of people see it as glamorous and fancy, and it is amazing and beautiful. But the amount of work that is put into it and all the setbacks and hassle you go through… it’s a lot. But at the end of the day you can produce something amazing.

 Fatima has been nominated as Travel Media Influencer of the Year in the Wanderlust Reader Travel Awards

To vote now (and be in with a chance to win a trip to India, Jordan, or Iceland) head to wanderlusttravelawards.com 

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