Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama Joins Us On the Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama is todays guest on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots podcast.
This is a lady that we had to have on the show as she has a dream that is so inspiring.
Have you ever wanted to travel the world, see amazing sights and experience new cultures but thought “Man what would I do with the kids?”
Well I know that I have, and I guess mentally I have set my stall out for when they all grow up and leave home, and then straight on a airplane I’ll go.
But does it have to be that way?
Do you have to wait until everything seems perfect in your life, or do you just need to show a passion and a commitment to the task?
How The Dots Joined Up For Princess
Well todays guest is a lady who decided in 2007 that she would visit every country on earth, and has currently visited 36 and five continents.
Planning her work carefully to allow for months of travel each year, as soon as the kids are in school, she leaves them with her beloved nanny, packs her bags and sets off alone to start conversations with total strangers, and the collection of unforgettable memories.
As she says “I am a dreamer and a doer. I am passionate about living life to the full and empowering others to do the same. I wear many hats; I am a writer, mother, entrepreneur, philanthropist and a ‘modern Marco Polo’.
And now as the 230th guest on Join Up Dots she can add interviewee to her titles too.
So without further a do, its with great delight that I bring onto the show to start joining up dots, the lady with the longest name I have ever seen, Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama.
During the episode we discussed such weighty topics with Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama such as:
Why it is so important to feel the fear but then do it anyway. It’s the only way to gain the life that you deserve.
Why Princess feels that it is so important to look back at your childhood and make a list of things that inspired you and still inspire you. And then start working towards bringing them into your life.
How she spends six months of her life planning her travels so she can set off confident in the knowledge that she will make the most of her time away.
Why she made sure that she was the first Ghanaian to throw herself off the Auckland Bridge in New Zealand, even though she was terrified to do it.
Why she believes that her superstar parents gave her a true gift, when they encouraged her to always do the things that she wanted to do and love every second of life.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama Books
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Interview Transcription Of Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello there. Hello World. Welcome to Episode 230 of Join Up Dots and we have got an amazing guest. The voiceover man at the beginning says if you are looking for amazing people who follow their dreams and go after it, then well you’ve come to the right episode because this is a lady who is is taking action on a daily basis. It’s amazing what she’s doing. And she she puts us most of us to shame. So let me ask you a question. Have you ever wanted to travel the world see amazing sights and experience new cultures but for man, what would I do with a kid Well, I know that I have and I guess mentally upset my stall out but when they all grow up and leave home and straight on an aeroplane I go, but does it have to be that way? Do you have to wait until everything seems perfect in your life? Or do you just need to show a passion and a commitment to the task? Well, today’s guest is a lady who decided in 2007 that she would visit every country on Earth, and has currently visited 36 and five continents, planning her work carefully to allow for months of travel each year. As soon as the kids are in school, she leaves them with her beloved nanny, packed her bags and sets off alone to start conversations with total strangers and the collection of unforgettable memories. As she says I am a dreamer and a doula. I’m passionate about living life to the ball and empowering others to do the same. I wear many hats. I’m a writer, mother, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a modern Marco Polo. And now as a 200 and 30th guest on Join Up Dots. She can add interviewee to her titles too. So without further ado is with great delight that I bring onto the show to start Join Up Dots. But lady with the longest name I have ever seen. Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama. How are you?
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [2:09]
Very well and thank you. Yes, you got the name kind of right 90% right. Oh, you
David Ralph [2:14]
could have just you could have just said that I’d done it marvellous. You know, it’s it’s my show you could you could pick me up a bit. So, so what did I do wrong? Because I’ve been practising that
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [2:25]
David Ralph [2:27]
so it’s Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama correct there you go spotter got it right so are you a fully fledged crown wearing royal
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [2:40]
Well, I wish I’m sometimes I actually try and pretend I am one and hopefully I get some favours but you know people just love being a royal wouldn’t want me travelling the way you do. So we don’t believe you princess is just my name.
David Ralph [2:53]
I’ll tell you what, but I bet Prince gets up upper class treatment, don’t you? I think he does. All right. So you should be able to do all right with a title that big. So So where did you get them? Obviously, it’s from your parents. But how did that come about? How did the princess and all the other bits because I was reading your blog and the bit that made me laugh out loud was on your blog, you say, my middle name is adventure and I thought, oh my god, she’s got another name as well. It’s like, I know, she’s so greedy. She wants to have every single name possible. So where would you put adventure into that? First of all, so where would the middle name part be?
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [3:31]
Well, maybe the middle name would actually be the first name so it would sound like adventure princess Omaha to Brian mahama. Because I think you know, that’s who I am. I am an adventurer.
David Ralph [3:43]
Okay, and the name comes from what sort of area what sort of geographical locations
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [3:48]
Saudi Arabia that’s where that the name comes from? My parents. It’s a rare name actually because i i think i have i know only one other person Who was named after me with that name is it’s not even common in Saudi Arabia my parents used to go to Saudi Arabia a lot before I was born so they thought yeah let’s let’s give it a name and I absolutely love it it’s long enough
David Ralph [4:16]
I love the fact that you you say it’s not a common name I would have said that was a given
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [4:23]
Yes, there’s not a common name at all
David Ralph [4:25]
is not at all I’m pretty proud of it. I’m gonna add extra words I’m gonna have David podcasting Ralph or something like that in the middle of it and see see if anybody notices. So Have you always been a lady who has been inspired by sort of the atlases and exotic pictures? Have you always wanted to know what was the other side of that hill you were looking at?
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [4:49]
You know, I always have and as a as a child, I mean, geography in school was my favourite lesson. You know, I would I would never be bored. Geography and I remember my teacher, you know, talking about the Yangtze River, and, you know, 25 years or you know, something of that sort, China was still a very closed country. So think wow, Yangtze River China, that sounds very far and, you know, it’s a place I would I would want to visit. So I fell in love with, you know, explorers, such as even battuta, who was the first African explorer and people like Marco Polo, Vasco de Gama. And I just and I read about them and thought wow, I can only imagine what it will be like travelling for 25 you know, 30 years non stop trying to get from, you know, say Morocco to China. And I thought, well, maybe when I grow up, I would, I would be like one of them. So I another time, my knowledge was a little bit limited. So I, if you ask me, What do you want to be when you grow up? I said, I want to be an air hostess. Because, you know, I thought that, you know, the airport’s They travelled and did these things. But when I started to understand my thought, wow, you know, I could actually travel the world, not as an air hostess, but as somebody who was just seeking to know how other people live. Because I think the brilliant thing about you with the greatest respect is you haven’t grown up, are you You’re still connected to the passions that you had as a child. And that’s, that’s one of the themes that we have on the show that the real successful people, the people that have found their thing in life, pretty much it’s linking them to the things that they loved when they were little, and you’ve done that you’ve connected. Exactly, yeah, you know, you know, children, actually, because when you’re a child, you have no fears, you don’t have any barriers. I mean, things like, you know, Jen, I mean, you don’t worry about things like that. So when your odds what you want to do is say you want to either be a fireman or an engineer. I mean, that’s that’s the real you, because you have no idea that you know, even to be an astronaut you may have to go to school for you know, number of years, you just you’re just passionate about the subject and you believe that you can do it. So when you’re a child and you say you want to be a that’s the real you because you’re not seeing limitations. And I think that’s, that’s, that’s how we should all be thinking, you know, as a child, what did I want to do? And that’s what you should be doing.
David Ralph [7:19]
I agree with you totally. And it’s always amazing to me when I go into schools, and I don’t go into schools very often I try to keep away from schools, really. But um, when you do and you speak to like five year olds, and you say, what do you want to be, they would say, I want to be a princess. I want to be an astronaut. I want to be, you know, an elephant, I would say ain’t anything. But once I get to about 1617, it’s gone. And you get a shrug of the shoulders. I don’t know what I want to be I just, you know, just need a job, that kind of thing. And if there’s something between about five and 15 or 16, but I don’t know they get brainwashed somehow. And I think we all fight against it. So it’s not just a UK problem. It’s America. It’s America, Africa everywhere you go everywhere, they seem to have this kind of, you know, you got to settle down, you can’t be a child for the rest of your life. But now I’m sort of saying, Yes, you can. You can be a child in an adult’s body you can enjoy your life and, and earn income doing what you love as well.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [8:18]
Exactly. And I think that is just because, you know, we get caught up in society’s expectations of us or we allow society to actually dictate was what we want to do. And we stopped dreaming and we think well, you know, I can’t be a princess or I can’t travel around the world or I can’t be a writer or an artist you know, I’ve got to get a real life and get a job and it’s just you know, society’s you know, way of keeping you in the box but like you’re saying, We it’s something we all have to focus even for me personally, I fight it every single day because a simple thing that well, you’re a woman, you know, you have children, you cannot be travelling around the world well, sex, you can maybe actually Can’t be on the road, you know, you know for years and years and years, but I can still travel around the world you know to suit who I am what I want. And this my current, you know, circumstances really
David Ralph [9:12]
so so how many children have you got?
Unknown Speaker [9:15]
David Ralph [9:16]
six, you got six Are you You’ve done well, I’ve got five. So, in a football match, you’d be winning one nil.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [9:24]
I sure will be winning and I intend to have many more you know, I think I have you know, love for children and I’ve got the heart and you know, I can do it because I try and I know that I can so yeah, I think I’m gonna have more Why
David Ralph [9:37]
not? Now? Why not? Oh, just keep banging them out. Just keep going. Keep going. Anything will force you to keep on travelling to stay away from home. It will be bad I promise you.
Unknown Speaker [9:50]
David Ralph [9:51]
You’ve got it sorted. So is a is a point that you might throw in as a sensible point but as an as a lady as a mother when you have This via to start travelling back in 2007, there must have been a big part of you thinking, what are people going to say, I know I want to do this but but I’m setting myself up to abuse and you know, vitriol or whatever. Because we do kind of play into what we think society and our close relationships expect of us. Most of the time, we don’t even ask them, we just kind of go, Oh, this is gonna cause problem. So did you have those same thoughts going through your head?
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [10:27]
You know, I must tell you this, I am blessed to have you know, the I caught my parents, I call them superstar parents. You know, my parents raised us all to be individuals. My parents raised us all to me, you know, a bit different and to accept them who we, you know, who we are. So I you know, growing up, I was left to you know, be my own world and to dream and not to be bothered about the opinions of others once it’s not immoral, or an illegal thing I wanted to do. So yes, I had fears when I actually want To start doing this, but you know, I’ve just grown up not caring about the opinions of others in that sense, you know, ask them. And I’ll just make sure it’s sensible. So I won’t go often, you know, being disrespectful or anything of that sort. But I wouldn’t sit here thinking, you know, what other people going to do? And who are the other people in the first place? You know, if, if my family thinks what I’m doing is great, you know, and I’m happy to, you know, push on. I mean, who are the others that we are concerned about? I mean, they don’t even know exists. I love
David Ralph [11:30]
you already. Do you know that I should have had you on every single episode of this show? It should have just been you and me for 230 episodes, because that’s exactly. That’s exactly what I want the the audience and the listeners to realise, who are the others? You know, why do we have these conversations in our mind? Where, oh, if I say this, they’re gonna say that most of the time they don’t even care. They’re busy doing their own life, and especially when they’re busy. Yeah. Yeah. Especially with parents. They really want you to be happy, don’t they?
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [12:00]
They do. Yeah, they do. They do. They really do.
David Ralph [12:04]
So so your parents gave you a gift to Ben, didn’t they? So being super parents and getting you to really embrace who you are and not conforming and be authentic? Are your Did you have brothers and sisters are by sort of doing the same kind of things? Are they totally into what they should be doing?
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [12:22]
Yes, I mean, they’re all doing what they what they love to do. I’ve got one brother, I mean, who speaks four languages. He speaks Mandarin speaks French, Spanish, you know, an English and he actually studied, you know, his PhD in China. He says, You know, I love Thai and I’m living in China, my parents as well go for it. That’s, you know, what you want to do? He’s a lawyer, but you know, I mean, he’s very different, in that sense, and I think that is just because of how we were raised. You know, our parents just said, you know, it is what you want to be, be it, dream and become, I mean, my father, I remember him saying, look, I won’t find Any of your dreams, but I won’t stop you from achieving them either.
David Ralph [13:03]
Yeah, no, I think that’s right. I was having a conversation with a lady the other day and her. Her son is planning to emigrate to America and take the grandchildren with them, which is fair enough, because it’s their kids. And this lady’s taking it to heart about her son’s taking her grandchildren away. But I was kind of sort of saying to her, you know, what you’re doing Ben is taking your son’s dreams away, you’re taking his life away, and what would make you more sort of unhappy doing that or not seeing your grandchildren? You know, it is a it’s a generational thing where now when my kids sort of leave and they go and I’ve already moved out to another one’s moving out next month. I mean, I’ve got two sort of younger ones sort of hanging around. If I want to go to you know, Madagascar or something, you’ve got Skype, haven’t you? You’ve got a ways of connecting now, which you you didn’t have before. You’ve got to allow them to go out and follow their passions, no matter how it makes you personally been. As a parent. You’ve got Allow them to be who they are.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [14:02]
Exactly. And I, I really have come to realise that, you know, when parents have found a purpose in life and are doing what exactly they want to do, you know, they don’t tend to hold their children down, you know, because, you know, my parents, they discovered who they were they’ve excelled in what they’re doing, you know, and my father is 79, you know, but he’s still, you know, he’s still practising and still giving legal advice, his writing is still raising so many of us. And so his life is full, you know, he has no room to be telling me what to do. I mean, he’s, his plate is so full. And I think that that’s what we all have to discover. We have to discover our purpose and live it and then we can allow our friends and family our children to do the same, because I like will be rich, we won’t be fulfilled. So we’ll know that you know, why not go ahead and have a fulfilling life as well.
David Ralph [14:53]
So So let’s take us back to that that date in 2007, or probably it was before then when Use decided that you weren’t going to see every country on Earth. Now, most people, it would be too daunting to even start. They might just go to, as you know, a local country and then start without weekends away. What interested me is that you have been travelling, but you don’t see all the country when you’re there. I was looking at some of what you’ve seen in America, and you’ve seen Los Angeles and I thought I wish he would have gone to New York, but you haven’t. But you’d gone to Washington, how it How did you start planning where you would go and why have you chosen certain places? I my mind would gone. If I go to America, I’m going to see all of America, then I’m going to come home, I’m gonna go off to Africa. I’m gonna see all of Africa. Is that not possible?
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [15:44]
Well, you know, it is possible if that’s what you want to do. But truthfully, that’s not what I want to do. Because if we look at say, America, you know, there’s some places I would want to see. I have to choose places based on my interest. trust and who I am. So things like you know, architecture, culture, food history, they appeal to me, you know, design. So I kind of like places, you know, that have a lot of those things. So go to a place like Washington, you know, because libraries are a big thing for me I am a big fan of libraries. So for Washington, the big draw was the Library of Congress, which is the largest library in the world. I actually went in there spend some time basically that I’m saying the whole day, you know how to look a deficit personal library, and you know, what’s in the reading room. So things like that appealed to me. So wherever I find my interest in a country I will go there
David Ralph [16:43]
to do you not find though because I’ve done a lot of travelling my life and I find the the kind of tourist attractions in many ways leave me cold. And the things that I had no idea about all the things that leave the lasting memories when I walk around the corner and I discover something but I would never found, but was just the highlights of the trip, do you find the same things?
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [17:05]
I do find the same thing sometimes. But what I do is, before I actually go into a country, I can spend as long as six months researching what the country has, you know, and when I want to see, and I would actually, you know, go there looking for those particular things. And yet every now and again, you find an offering that just really, really, it’s an icing on the cake, because you didn’t read about it. You didn’t know it was there and you find it. So yeah, those are the kind of places that I would I would visit, I don’t actually set out saying I want to necessarily see every tourist site in in a place. No, if the tourist site doesn’t really appeal to me, it’s not architected for you know, I may not go there.
David Ralph [17:49]
So So do you count some, you know, some countries you’ve literally stepped in and stepped out or do you actually have to spend a period of time in there
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [18:00]
I think it’s a bit of both.
Some of them, I would just step in and step out, but I would have at least seen something. You know, even if it’s for just an hour, I would have at least seen something that I wanted to see in that place. And for other places, I would stay for longer, longer periods of time.
David Ralph [18:21]
So So what was the first country you did? And was it convenience? Was it to break down the fears that you might have had to just get going? Or was it the number one place you wanted to see?
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [18:33]
Well, I actually love the first I’d say the first major travel I embarked on once I did a road trip from West Africa into North Africa. One because you know, West Africa is more or less easy to travel to if you’re an eco US citizen, you don’t you know, need visas to do that. And up to North Africa because I wanted to go to Egypt to Morocco. So I did a road trip and I absolutely enjoyed it. So from Ghana, I moved on to Burkina Faso I went to want to go. My father was in like a big at the time. So I spent a few days, you know, had a look around, and then I moved on to Bamako, Mali, and I just kept on moving on until I got to Casablanca in Morocco.
David Ralph [19:15]
And so so where do you actually call home and so Where? Where do you come back to over time,
Unknown Speaker [19:21]
Accra in Ghana,
David Ralph [19:23]
and that will always be home as far as you’re concerned.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [19:26]
Oh, yes, I absolutely love it here and I have no intention of living anywhere else.
David Ralph [19:31]
I mean, what is it that you love so passionately about there?
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [19:35]
You know, firstly, I mean, I love Ghana, we’ve got a great weather you know, my family’s here My children are here you know, then school and these are where my roots are. I just I my work is also related to an extent you know, here. So yes, I love it
David Ralph [19:52]
here. And did you love your life generally because you seem to you seem to love having conversations you love Ghana, you Love travel isn’t other parts of your life that you haven’t completed yet as in, but not exactly the way that you want it because you sound like you’re having your cake and eat it to be honest.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [20:10]
You know, life is work in progress. But everything I’m doing this, you know, time in my life, I think that I wanted to do and things that I absolutely enjoyed. I mean, sometimes, and of course, you know, because I have, you know, little kids and well, they’re quite a lot. You know, I think, Wow, this house is so noisy, but I love it. You know, I wouldn’t want a quiet house. So but this of course, certain things in my life that I would want to improve or have more on and I’m working on. But yeah, I genuinely love my life.
David Ralph [20:43]
I think you do as well, let’s play some words but really sort of emphasise what we’re talking about at the moment, finding your thing and making a go at it. This is Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [20:52]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice instead. He got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [21:19]
Now you aren’t living back. So how do we get that message out to the listeners who’s sitting on the train on the buses or at work in their cubicles? They’re counting the hours until they can go home? How can we say to them, and get them to believe that go for the thing you love? And you might find out it but God if it comes off, like it’s doing for you, then you really hit home? You know,
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [21:43]
I think the first place to start is you have to be true to yourself. You know, it’s one of those things where you either have to get a pen and a paper and you have to just write out you know, what’s your heart’s desire? What exactly would you want to be doing? You know if you died today Would you be happy, and you have to be true and some of these things are hard to do. Because you may be thinking, Well, you know, my children and my spouse and you know, work and money and how I eat, but that’s not where to start from, you know, you need to answer this basic question, what exactly am I passionate about? You can have a long list of passionate about building schools in deprived communities, and passionate about teaching, kids swimming, or to draw or whatever it is, you need to write it down. And then the next step will be, you know, do I have to learn about how to do this? Because I think for me, one thing that has helped me and all that I do is research. You know, if I wanted to be an artist, tomorrow, I’m going to read the books that artists have written on how to, you know, be the best artists. If I wanted to be an architect, I’ll get books on that. So wanting to travel around the world. I, you know, I read books by Jim Rogers, and so many other people who actually done it and they showed me how Then I had a plan. I said, you know, I’m working in a bind, but I’m going to have a plan to live in a year or two years, and I’m going to stick with a plan no matter what, whether I have the money that I intended to have saved or not, I’m gonna do it. And that pressurised me to look at life critically. So I wouldn’t go through the day, just not thinking about what I do. But that influenced my spending habits, you know, who I spend time with. And one thing I did was I just kept out negative. I mean, I’m too positive, you know, to hang around negative people anyway. But I made a conscious decision not to hang out with people who will not feed my dream, not feed my passion, because people can just bring you down. I mean, your fault you think you want to do X or Y and they come with one word or you know how you’re really going to eat or you know, it’s gonna work out because you know, you have a plan, but then fear and gulfs you and you just cave in and think, well, I can’t do this. So these are some of the practical steps you have to take. You have to have a timeline. You have to first decide what you want what exactly it is you want to do. And you know, don’t think about the the head bits, where am I going to get money from? Listen to your heart, you know, what did you want to do as a child, you write it down. And then you start to reset or read about people who are doing things like that, or similar things. Or you may want to do things nobody’s even doing but at least you can get books to inspire you to keep feeding your dream. And then you set a timeline for when you’re going to start. It can be six months, a year, two years, but it shouldn’t be, say 10 years, that’s too far. I mean, you would be 10 years older. And sometimes we don’t even have all of that time. And nobody knows what’s going to happen in 10 years time. So I think that you need to have a plan itself in the next two years, I should have saved it. And I would leave and even if I don’t say if I don’t have that much money, I was still going to leave because I’ll be willing to sacrifice. I’ll be willing to scrounge up a living to you know, to live life on the bare minimum if I have to just live my dream.
David Ralph [25:03]
I had to give out a round of applause that is that is the the blueprint, the blueprint for doing anything wasn’t it is it’s imperfect action, knowing what you want or not even knowing what you want, but start looking around and finding things we talk about this all the time princess on the show. But so many times when people are trapped in a position or a situation by almost had their brain fine tuned to going to another situation that’s similar, that that’s all they know about. And by having the internet in front of you, you have got the window to the world to see amazing things that people are doing. And more often than not, you look at anything I didn’t even know that was possible. I heard a story yesterday which blew my mind but there’s a man in america know sunny London, who’s got a taxi called the bow meow. And he goes round and picks up dogs and cats and takes them for a walk. So he picks more Up in the taxi, takes him to a park. And then the dogs have a day out. And he’s making a good living on it. Now you would never believe that that was possible. But you get that idea. You kind of think, well, I’ve got a car. I know loads of people have got dogs, why can’t I do the same thing? And that’s the thing that you’re saying, isn’t it become aware, but focus in on your passions, write a list, jot down everything that you fancy doing, and then whittle it down to the stuff you really love doing when look for other people that are doing similar stuff and get an idea. But set a time set a date to do it. And if you are three quarters bare, then it’s better than not being met at all. You can make a go, and that’s what you did.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [26:40]
Exactly, exactly. That’s exactly what I did.
David Ralph [26:43]
So so when you had this idea, and you decided to go for it, there must still been I know it’s all right to say what you’re saying now. And so what I’m saying because we both done similar things we we’ve taken imperfect action, and because of our efforts afterwards, it’s panned out and it’s going great guns for both of us, which is Brilliant, but at the time beforehand, you is a leap of faith, isn’t it? It’s a leap of faith. I’m not quite there, but I’m still going to do that. How did you overcome that? Where you it’s it wasn’t perfect, but you still did it?
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [27:15]
Yes. You know, I, I came to realise A long time ago that fear is a part of life. We live in an imperfect world where things wouldn’t go according to plan all the time. I mean, once you You are alive, you’re breathing. Fear is a part of it, but it’s how you use the fear. And I remember so well on my living interview, because in the job I was in, you know, you know, I was been catered for in terms of how help. So when are the interview, they said, you know, hon luck in your hospital cards. I thought, Oh, my God, and I prayed. I said, Lord, you have to keep me well, because at this stage in my life, we don’t have money to be sick. You know, we cannot afford that. To be sick, because it meant that if I was going to go to the hospital or have to, you know, come up with money to pay for drugs to pay for the whole, you know, treatment. Yeah. And, you know, fear is a part of it. You know, you can choose to allow fear to rule you or you can choose to dominate, dominate fear and say, Look, I know that these issues are staring me in the face. I know, you know, I may not have all the answers, but I’m still going to go ahead anyway, like Susan Jeffers says at best, she says feel the fear, but do it anyway. And so that’s what I did. I was afraid. Oh, yes, I was afraid, you know, but I still have to do it. But I also think that you know, planning to an extent and research and really helped me because I knew that there were people who were in situations like I was in who actually went on to do it. So I said, Well, um, yes, you would, you would have things. Things will not be plain sailing, but I knew that I had to take a chance otherwise I didn’t have a chance of succeeding. And what I wanted to do so that’s how I overcame the fear.
David Ralph [29:03]
Now, I’m not gonna ask this question, because I’m interested in the answer because I’ve actually read the answer on your website. But I’m gonna ask it for the audience. You obviously travel on your own your la Yes, on your own. Is that something that would hold back people? Is it something but as a father with daughters, I would say to them, Look, get a boyfriend or go with somebody that you care about? Or is that a fear that I shouldn’t have? Is it okay to travel on your own?
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [29:33]
Yes, it’s okay to travel on your own. Because, you know, I’m 36 I, you know, I would travel sensibly, I know exactly where I’m going. You know, I really wouldn’t be out at night because I see and do so many things during the day that, you know, by nine or 10pm a must. I want to get on with the next day. But it’s safe. You know, it’s safe. If you do the right things, you know, you don’t go home. Hanging out with strangers in bars and in places where you don’t really know about. And I mean, you just do the right thing. You know, you’d be out in the open and, and it’s safe. And I’ve been to places where people do well, that’s not very safe, but it’s been, it’s been safe. And one thing I found is, you know, 99% of the time people are good people. Um, so I live by
David Ralph [30:26]
Yeah, I agree. 99% of grey and 1% is probably serial killers. And yes, and you try to keep away from both lunatics if you can. But everybody else I have travelled the globe. And when push comes to shove, and I’ve broken down in the car, or something’s happened, generally somebody will come out of the woodwork and help you out. And they don’t ask for anything, but they’re just there to care. And if there’s a kind of, I suppose it is a pay forward way, especially with travellers that people appreciate the fact that you’ve made the But to come to their country and you’re interested in their culture, and so they are willing to, you know, go overboard. Have you had situations where people have almost invited you into their homes and, and treated you like a daughter?
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [31:13]
Oh, yes, I have had many, many situations, you know, being in Canada and travelling through Africa by road, you know, you meet and so, you know, I, I actually met the person who said, Look, come to my home, and yes, you know, I did, and I, you know, I would I would actually think about it and generally you would have peace about it in your heart. And so you’d go and go to serve you food be nice to you, or people that actually, you know, show you where to go what to do. And I found out that people have been kind to me, I’ve never told this I’ve never had any horrible experience of you know, people wanting to rip you off. Or, you know, no, no, not at all people have genuinely wanted to help but like you’re saying, they know that wow. If you’ve taken the time out, to come and visit the country, that leaves that could do is just be nice to you and that’s what I’ve experienced.
David Ralph [32:04]
So So how do you get into the nuts and bolts of it? And I suppose this is the question that so many people who want to do what you’re doing will want to know the answer. How do you afford to do this? Do you work really hard and then travel almost in luxury? Or do you scrimp and save while you’re travelling? How do you actually do
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [32:24]
you know, I work I teach, I write you know, I speak at events and I save all my money for travel. And of course, you know, when I travel I don’t I I say that I’m a minimalist, and luxury is a word far for me when I’m travelling, you know, around, I can sleep in train stations, I sleep in hostels, you know, I cook whenever I’m travelling just to save money, because I’m more I’m interested in experience in things.
David Ralph [32:53]
How do you cook when you are travelling you you get an apartment or something because if yes,
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [32:57]
I would stay in a hostel and How to Make sure the hospital has a kitchen. So I’ll go to the local shop, you know, buy vegetables, buy food, and then come and cook. So I don’t, you know, spend, you know, money on food out, you know, this is expensive if you want to travel like that, you know, 20 years here and 20 years then Wow, that’s, that’s a huge budget, and I can’t afford, you know, that kind of travel at the moment. So yeah, I work hard. And I save I the whole plan is to work for nine months, and to travel for three months. And that’s what I’ve
David Ralph [33:32]
been doing. And the free mums are generally when your children are at school, and they’re being looked after by a banana.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [33:39]
Exactly. So I wouldn’t travel three straight months, that would be too much they would kick and scream. So I would go for maybe six weeks at a time, and then another six weeks or a month, a month a month. So when they’re in school and I’m on the road, and what I’ve actually found is that because I travel that way, I tend to get the cheap deals. Because Travelling is summer, we know is super expensive, astronomically expensive. But if I travel, you know, in October into November, you know, flights are cheap places to stay cheap. And it’s just a good way I’ll have I found it. So I save a lot, even by the way I do it.
David Ralph [34:17]
So So tell us about some of the experiences, the memorable ones, but you look back on and you kind of go wow, because one of the things that was very interesting on your blog page was, what legacy Are you leaving behind and you are quite firm on the fact that you are here to not only have a kick ass life but to inspire others and that’s your legacy. So what the kind of things that you have done that you’ve gone Wow, this was amazing.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [34:45]
You know, I would just watch and I am actually the first Ghanaian to bungee jump over Auckland Harbour Bridge. Now, I was just watching the video only yesterday and I was saying to myself, I mean, what was I thinking? It was one of this area’s The most rewarding experiences of my life. I was so scared doing it. And even when I was watching the video, I was afraid for myself because
David Ralph [35:11]
I don’t get back fear you know, anything like that I’m your your skype picture of at the moment is bad picture of you just throwing yourself off and I’ve been looking at it for about the last 35 minutes. And I just don’t see any point in doing anything like that. Don’t throw yourself out of an aeroplane it’s gonna land stand on the bridge and look or walk to the bottom and look up but I just don’t get that. So what so why do you feel the need to do that kind of crazy stuff if you were so scared.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [35:41]
You know, I’m a I Well, I really was afraid of heights until that experience and I’m not as afraid of heights as I was. But it’s also to you know, to let fear know Look, I can overcome you and whatever it is I’m afraid of I can overcome. So that’s one way of letting fear know I you know I will overcome you. Bye Doing what I’m afraid of. So if I’m afraid of heights, that, you know, the sensible thing is to, you know, to jump over a high Cliff or whatever it is, then you get over it. Because after that experience, I’m not as afraid of heights as I used to Definitely not. Um, so that’s been one experience that got me you know, going, Wow. Another thing is seeing the pyramids of Giza, you know, nothing quite prepared me for for that. I mean, these are huge, super imposing structures, you actually feel like I’m standing next to a Pyramid of Giza. So I, I got there and I thought, wow, and these were people who build How do they do them when they were no cranes. You know, how did they carry these boulders to put them together and stack them up until they became a pyramid? Well, you know, disappointed with
David Ralph [36:50]
the pyramids, because so many people tell me but in their head, they’re gonna be sort of going on camels through the desert with the sun going down and when you get there, it’s totally It’s everywhere. And it’s two inches away from a main road and all that kind of stuff.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [37:05]
No, I wasn’t because for me, like I said, I love architecture. And I go with that kind of eye, but just to see such a huge build, and I mean, for me in books, they even look much smaller. And I you know, I think that sometimes, you know, we also tend to have, you know, too much imaginary, because if you really read about the pyramids of Giza, and how the places you want to stand that it’s it’s a mecca for forest, you I mean, that’s reality. But I think that we, you know, sometimes we tend to want to, you know, have these things in our head that is going to be this fairy tale of a place No, I was in such a place like that one. You know, carers is a large city and really popular and the pyramids I place that people want to come and see. So I was not disappointed. I was actually blown away because it was so huge. It was huge for them. I actually thought
David Ralph [37:57]
huge. Yeah, I love that word. Yes, yes. That’s the perfect word for the pyramid. I, you seem to me Bo, that somebody that could be just, you know, could be out in a field with it raining on them and would be happy because you’re experiencing life. You’re not in an office, you’re not sort of locked away. In air conditioning units you’re actually out and about, it seems to me, but the amazing stuff is amazing, but you would be equally amazed by something, almost, you know, we wouldn’t even notice it because we will pass it all the time.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [38:29]
Exactly. And you know, I think that the I’ve come to understand that life, like I said, it’s not perfect. And you know, with my most recent travel, I was in Madrid about three weeks or four weeks ago, and you know, I had my my purse stolen, but I made sure and yes, as much as it was a difficult situation. I had to, you know, go for about 10 hours, without money and without knowing what to do until he finally came. But I never thought well, Madrid was a you know, herb. No, I still enjoyed it. The beautiful architecture, the nice food, you know, the people I met after that experience, you know, so in everything for me, I would always look for the brighter side of things. Because the glass, you know it for me is always half full and not half empty isn’t like you’re saying, yes, it could be raining. And I remember actually being in Corona, Corona is in the northern part of Spain is in the Galatea region of Spain. And it was a rainy day. But I said, you know, I’m here for one full day, I’m going to go out in the rain, I’m going to take photographs, I’m going to experience all the things that I wanted to do. And that’s exactly what I did, because it’s raining. And so, you know, you can’t have rainbows without the rain. So it’s part of life.
David Ralph [39:41]
I always say to the wife when it’s raining, and she says, oh, we’re not gonna go out in the rain. Oh, it’s only wet sunshine. It’s exactly the same as the way of thinking about it, isn’t it? You can you can put any clothing on and you’re prepared. There’s no bad weather. It’s only bad clothing.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [39:55]
Yes, yes, exactly. Very true.
David Ralph [39:58]
So has it been any time You know, I don’t want to touch on the negative because that’s not what this show is all about. It’s about inspiring people to do amazing stuff. But has it been any things on your journey when you’ve gone? Macy’s a bit rubbish? I really I’m not keen on this.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [40:14]
You know, I wouldn’t say that. Because for me, no matter the experiences I’ve had, you know, I’ve still been doubts, you know, the best lessons from it. So, the experience may have been less of what I expected, but I will learn one or two things, and that would help me in preparing for my next journey. And without that experience, I wouldn’t have known how to prepare, you know, for another thing, so yes, and travel is tough. You know, I go to countries where I speak only English and I barely managed to speak some friends and family is tough. You can ask a person for directions. And you know, they, they show you somewhere which is completely off from where you want, but it taught me that I had to have an English and another language dictionary. So the least I could do was try and say the words, you know, whether in in Spanish or whatever to the person, and then they can direct me and I can learn in sign language. So every experience, no matter how difficult or challenging has helped me, you know, has taught me something I’ve used for the next trip. And so yeah, I’ve loved every bit of it. And like I’m saying, you know, some of the experiences can be tough, but I’ve learned from it and so it can be classified as a negative experience, because there’s something positive that came out from it.
David Ralph [41:31]
Absolutely no experience is wasted.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [41:34]
None at all. None at all. No experience is wasted.
David Ralph [41:37]
Well, we’re going to play some words now from a famous chap who literally said the same thing back in 2005. Probably round about the time when the idea of travelling started popping into your mind before you set out in 2007. This is Steve Jobs and he says it quite eloquently about it’s all about joining up the dots Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [41:57]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots look forward when I was in college, but it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [42:32]
Do you buy into those words princess?
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [42:34]
I totally agree. I totally agree. Because when I look at you know my life and some of the things I had done as a time, it didn’t look relevant because even if your your daughter or son comes to you today as well, I mean geography is my favourite subject you look at them and think geography, you know, what are you gonna do with it? You know, but look what the love and passion for geography has, has brought me so I totally agree with that.
David Ralph [42:57]
So So do you think but as people Heavens and we all kind of say to our kids, no, you you need to have maps and you need to have a science, we should pretty much just say to them, I’ll just do the things that you love.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [43:09]
Yes, I mean, I don’t tell my I mean, I don’t tell my children, any of those things at all. Because I always say if if my 10 year old, you know, came or I densified a fact that they were good enough, I think whether it’s music or sports, you know, I would gladly take them out of regular school and send them to a school where that passion will be nurtured. So I don’t you know, tell my children to have them I know I just say learn, I’m very keen that all my children know how to research or find information from themselves because that’s that’s how you’re going to you know, find what it is you want to do. So if they’re not interested in maths or science, I just say do the best and if they fail, you know, we find something else they’re interested in.
David Ralph [43:55]
ages of your kids been
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [43:57]
six 789 1012 Blimey, you
David Ralph [44:03]
were like pregnant for seven years or something?
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [44:08]
like children adopted.
David Ralph [44:10]
Oh, right. Okay, right. So you have adopted children, he the kind of kids now that look at you and go, I want to do this Mom, I want to come come with you, oh, you know that don’t leave us behind this time, let us come and experience what you’re experiencing.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [44:26]
Well, I tell them that you know, mommy’s working and you know, saving, you know, I am saving all her money to do this, like my fault my parents taught me you know, would allow you to live your dreams, but you will have to fund it. So I’m teaching them you know how to how to be entrepreneurial in their mindset, you know how to make more money than so they can, you know, fund their dream, but tell them you know, when when you’re working, or when you can save X amount, the money would add a little bit more and then you can explore the world.
David Ralph [44:55]
So you are giving your kids the same gift but your mom and dad did in a different way. You’ve inspiring him, hopefully the same way but I hope Fingers crossed, I’m inspiring my kids that, yes, get an education, but find a way of earning your own cash, because then you’ve got options and you’ve got choices.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [45:14]
Exactly. And I also, you know, I also believe that if you’re a parent stand on their feet, you know how to say no, how to go against the crowd. I mean, you would just teach them to cave in to the opinions of others. So I’m raising them, you know, to be able to think for themselves to choose their paths.
David Ralph [45:32]
Okay, can you see a difference with the older ones? Can you see? Is there a moment when you think Yeah, the pennies dropping? They’re starting to understand this, the entrepreneurial spirit is, is growing within them?
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [45:45]
Oh, yes. I could see that all the time. I mean, they always say Mommy, can we sell this? Or you know why, you know, you know, let’s save this money. Instead of buying this one. We Let’s save some of it so we can use it on you know, go for a school trip or We can do this, oh, I’m seeing that all the time. Because if I give them an option of say a more expensive whether it’s, you know, a toy or you know, you know, buy a cheaper one, or let’s buy the cheapest way possible, so we can have the extra money to see or experience things from seeing that all the time.
Unknown Speaker [46:17]
So where are you gonna
David Ralph [46:18]
go? Now we’re coming to the end of the show. But it’s fascinating to see how your journey has got to this point. But you’ve done 36 countries and there’s 190 to 206 or something. I think I’ve been told the last time I spoke about this. So where are you planning to go next?
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [46:35]
Well, I would travel through east, East Africa and South Africa. Next, that would be in January or February. I you know, I want to at least have visited every country in Africa before I I finished visiting the other continents. Africa is my continent, and I want to see it all before I I see the rest. So yes, I’ll be travelling through Eastern and South Africa. In another few months,
David Ralph [47:01]
and are you are you planning to come to London again because I’m just down the road from London and I could meet up and I could show you a good coffee and a couple of pints of lager.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [47:11]
I will definitely come to London very soon I will keep you informed. I mean sometime next year I will come.
David Ralph [47:17]
Well, we’ll meet up we meet up and I show you a good night. Oh, no, you go to bed by about eight o’clock. It just it just be me on my own in a in a restaurant.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [47:28]
So yes, we can have lunch, not dinner. Yeah, I’ll be half asleep.
David Ralph [47:32]
And you’ll probably be in your pyjamas at lunchtime.
Unknown Speaker [47:36]
No, not that. So.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [47:39]
You know, I try and go to bed really early. So I can wake up really, really early to read and to plan to write the thing to pray. Also the reasons why I go to bed early to bed early to rise.
David Ralph [47:52]
Absolutely. I’m finding this a fame for the show. So I’m gonna ask and the people who are out there doing their thing go getters. They get up more early than anyone that I’ve ever known before and I’m an early riser but I was spoke to a gentleman the other day who gets up at half past three every day. That’s just madness really hard pass free. That’s middle of night. What is your kind of early to rise?
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [48:17]
You know, I I just hope you’re sitting down properly because I don’t want you falling off your chair too. am,
Unknown Speaker [48:22]
too. I am you get up at 2am?
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [48:26]
Yes, yes, I do, David, because I go to bed at 730 or 8pm. until five, six hours is enough. Because you need a lot of time to write. You need a lot of time to think, to work and I try and do that before the kids wake up because then I say my house becomes a marketplace.
David Ralph [48:44]
So what time do you go to bed
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [48:47]
730 or 8pm go mom, my
David Ralph [48:51]
daughter goes to bed earlier. later than that
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [48:54]
later. Well, she doesn’t wake up at 2am so
David Ralph [48:58]
well the only people that get up To me, it’s probably Santa Claus and burglars. You are the world record holder but get up. That’s not early but that’s that’s before we used to Midler night. Prince Princess Princess, that is madness. You’ve now set the benchmark for lunacy on this show.
Unknown Speaker [49:24]
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [49:27]
But you know, you know, I just have so much to do. And I need I need always what everyone is asleep, but actually do them. Because by the time people start to wake up at five and six and seven, it’s too noisy.
David Ralph [49:40]
Yeah, I know. I’m an early riser. And I like to do a certain amount of preparation before everybody gets up. So I’m well aware. I’m well aware. But I still think that you’re mad. I honestly.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [49:52]
Well, it’s great to have, you know, a few more people on your show. That’s when you you know you represent so yes,
David Ralph [49:58]
yeah. And you’re at the top You’re at the top you I salute you from afar.
Unknown Speaker [50:03]
David Ralph [50:06]
So so just before we say goodbye to you, and we send you back in time for one on one with your younger self. This is a message to all the listeners out there. Do you think that every single one of them no matter what their situation, no matter what their financial situation can go about getting a kick ass life for themselves?
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [50:23]
Yes, I believe that you’ve got to know what you want to do. You have to plan for it. And you actually have to do it. Because I believe that God created every one of us to, you know, to do what we, what we enjoy. What’s the point in living life, you’re just waiting for the clock, you know, to take for 5pm or 6pm you know, life is meant to be live and you have just one life. You know, this is not a dress rehearsal. This is the main thing. So live it you know, live it to the fullest even your pressure, but I believe that anyone listening to me out there can live the life that you want to do it. Take a lot of hard work and sacrifice, but you can achieve it.
David Ralph [51:04]
I agree with that. Totally Well, this is the part of the show that we called a sermon on the mic. And this is when we we give you some very quick travelling, but this is time travel, you probably haven’t done this before. And we’re going to send you back in time to have a one on one with the younger princess. And if you could go back in time and speak to the younger version, what age would you choose and what advice would you give? Well, we’re gonna find out because when I play the theme tune and it fades, you’re up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [51:38]
With the first bit of the show.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [51:54]
Well, yeah, the Princess of 13. I would just say to you That you really can achieve all that you set out to do, you will not achieve all of it at once. But once you start, you know you will achieve it. And I will also want to say to you don’t be concerned about the opinions of others, because the opinions of others are just like the flower. If it’s it’s bright and out today and then it fades on tomorrow. So, dream, do but know that the path to greatness will stretch you, you will have to sacrifice and be willing to do it and enjoy every single bit of the journey. There’ll be highs and there’ll be lows. But know that you will come through the mall. I really want to urge you to go out there and dream and do all that you want to do because truthfully, it’s in when you are living your dream that you inspire others and you give others the opportunity to also live their dream. So yes, young princess, you can I’m all that you
David Ralph [53:00]
want to be. Princess, how can our audience who have been inspired by the conversation today connect with you?
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [53:07]
Well, yes, you can visit me on the globe trotting princess of calm. And also, my book, my maiden book titled The mod back is available on amazon.co.uk or amazon.com, or in bookstores around well around Ghana, but you can get get it on the internet. It’s the mud duck. It comes with insights on how to live your best life, and all that I’ve shared and more. So add you all to the editor read it, you will definitely be inspired.
David Ralph [53:40]
Absolutely. We’ll have all the links on the show notes and we will have the book link there as well. I think it should be called to two o’clock mad duck myself, I think that would be totally, totally apt title. Princess, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots and please come back again when you have more dots to join up because I do believe by joining up the dots and can acting out pass is the best way to build our futures. Princess. Thank you so much.
Princess Umul Hatiyya Ibrahim Mahama [54:04]
Thank you very much David has been my pleasure.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you or wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.