Welcome back to a new edition of the Traveler’s Chair my friends! And this time, featuring one of Kenya’s Top Travel Vloggers: Farhana Oberson! 😀
With 13 countries under her belt, Farhana’s travel vlogs would easily make you forget your bank account status and book the next flight out! 😉
I ‘met’ Farhana Oberson on Instagram a while back and we became fast internet friends. 😀
Intrigued by her warm personality and fun travel vlogs, I knew she’d be perfect for the Traveler’s Chair! I genuinely admire her commitment to making this feature work, and I am stoked to share her story with you… 😀
Who is Farhana Oberson?
Well, my name is Farhana Oberson, born and bred in Kenya. I am a Muslim Travel Vlogger; I travel and share my experiences on YouTube and Social Media.
Most of my childhood (between 1 & 10) was spent on the beautiful Island of Lamu, Shela, where I got home-schooled.
Thereafter, I relocated to Mombasa for my Primary and Secondary schooling at Mombasa Academy. In 2014 I moved to Malaysia, where I completed my Bachelors Degree in Business Administration.
What would we never guess about Farhana Oberson the person?
I think no one would never guess that I am actually pretty tiny. My videos make me look bigger than I am, but that’s different from Farhana Oberson the person.
Tell us about your Vlogging Journey… How did it all begin?
I was going through a difficult time at Uni, when I decided to turn to YouTube as a distraction.
I started out with sharing videos of the places I’d visit in Malaysia for my friends and family. And now here we are… I guess I’ve never looked back. 🙂
What inspires you to keep going?
My Rafikis definitely inspire me. Their support and constant encouragement keep me going, and I am so grateful.
Was Vlogging what you always wanted to do?
Not at all. I used it as a hobby and form of distraction, then it just blew up from there.
I studied Business Administration which has come in handy, in what I do particularly from the money aspect.
What challenges have you faced as a Vlogger in Kenya?
In Kenya, one of the biggest challenges is getting companies to pay you to travel. But we are thinking international now.
Does being Muslim affect the travel decisions you make, and how?
Not necessarily no… Vlogging enables me to share the story of the Hijab. I believe that wearing a Hijab shouldn’t be a limitation to exploring the world’s possibilities.
For example in India, I loved the unity of the people despite religious differences; after all, we bleed the same color.
What’s your experience been like, traveling abroad as an African woman?
People tend not to associate me with being African because I don’t lie in the ‘norm’ of what an African looks like… So it’s fun when I tell people I am from Africa and they ask: why are you light-skinned?
Any memorable/ scary travel experiences?
One time I was at the Tsavo with my family when our driver, being too cocky, drove off road so we could see the elephants up close… But the elephant wasn’t too happy about it, and started chasing after us. We got away, but it was definitely a near death experience!
How do you afford to travel?
Sponsorships by companies.
What tips can you give to people who think travel is impossibly expensive?
If you learn how to budget and plan ahead, it is actually very cheap. Like say: catch the train, stay at hostels or cheap hotels, and enjoy the beach.
Ever had to give up something to raise money for a trip?
No, thankfully not.
How do you choose your next destinations?
They’re usually spontaneous and unplanned… Something comes up, I pack my bags and leave.
How many countries have you been to? And which ones are your favourite?
I’ve been to 13 countries and Zambia has been my favourite so far. Have you seen how incredibly beautiful the Victoria Falls are?
Top 3 Countries on your bucket-list?
I really want to visit Morocco, Greece, and Japan.
Tell us about your Kerala Blog Express Trip…
I actually got nominated by my followers… I didn’t know about it until the Tourism Board of India emailed me that I’d been chosen to go to India for 2 weeks!
The Kerala Blog Express is a trip of a lifetime! You go on a two-week adventure across the State of Kerala, with a bunch of Creatives from around the world, on a big luxurious tour bus. 😀
What were the highlights? Both the good and bad…
There were so many good moments! I made some incredible friends that I will never forget in my life. Plus, I experienced a part of India that I didn’t know about before and ate incredible food!
The low was probably the constant traveling across an entire state, which was not all pleasant.
Tell us about your most memorable experiences in Kerala…
Definitely the people! They are so welcoming, kind and ever smiling! I felt at home and comfortable wherever we went.
What 3 lessons/insights about travel and yourself did you learn from the trip?
First I learnt that this world is huge and we need to travel to learn about cultures and people of the world.
Secondly, I learnt that though the world is big, our similarities are even bigger! I was amazed to find that there were so many similarities between my home culture and the Kerala culture. For instance we share the ‘Mkeka’ (carpet) making in Lamu and rope-making, using coconut strings.
Lastly, I learned that the best way to overcome your fears is by putting yourself in the most uncomfortable situations.
What’s different about traveling in Kenya vs. other countries you’ve been to?
Traveling in Kenya can be expensive… For instance, you can only fly to Lamu, because driving isn’t advisable.
While in Malaysia you can take a 7 hours’ bus to Singapore, that’s both comfortable and affordable.
Luxurious trip or an adventurous trip- and why?
I’d choose an adventurous trip for sure. Because I’d end up having overcome, learnt or felt something that I wouldn’t otherwise experience on a luxury trip.
Share some Travel Tips/ Hacks you’ve picked up…
Always pack in outfits!
Say you’re traveling for a week. You can pack exactly 7 outfits and two extra tops that you’ll interchange with the pants you’ve already worn.
What gear do you use to shoot your videos?
So far I use a canon M50 and a Go Pro.
What are your must-haves when you travel?
I have to carry lipstick, a perfume and my camera gear haha.
What Content Creators in Africa have had a great impact on your work? And how…
None in Africa, but I look up to many Travel Vloggers abroad. It motivates me to learn new filming tactics.
What advice can you give to people who want to follow their dreams?
Just do it literally. Do it and do it with passion.
What does the future look like for Farhana Oberson?
I don’t know. I live very, very spontaneously. So perhaps by the time the readers are reading this, I am either in another country or I am in bed. Haha.
Many thanks to Farhana Oberson for sharing her story on our Traveler’s Chair! 🙂
>> Check out Farhana’s Kerala Travel Vlog below 🙂
Tip: Read one of our first-ever Traveler’s Chair Posts on: Adventures of the Hikemaniak Here
Thank you for reading! I hope that you are inspired to give your dreams another chance. 🙂
Who would you like to see next on the Traveler’s Chair? Leave your suggestions, input and feed back on the comment section down below.
Cheers to a wonderful Month ahead! 🙂
<<Love and Light. Stay Inspired Always>>