At almost 25, Haifa Beseisso has traveled to more countries than most people her age. A filmmaker in her own right, Haifa began her journey documenting the eclectic personalities she meets on her travels across the globe.
Born and raised in arguably one of the most diverse cities in the world, Dubai, Haifa feels “more international than anything.” Growing up with people from different cultures and religions, who speak different languages and cook different foods, often masks the fact that she is of Palestinian origin.
Her implausible energy and passion nearly jumped out of my computer screen where I got the chance to call her via Skype and chat with her about how she got to where she is now, her travels, her dreams and her hopes for the future.
As a television producer for one of the largest channels in the Middle East, Haifa began to feel confined, shifting focus from what she really wanted to.
“When you’re working from 9 to 5 and then spending time on the road and all of that it takes away a lot of your time, and eventually your life. I always knew I wanted something different,” she said.
Spending time behind the camera, Haifa knew she always wanted to be a presenter of a show one day. With no promises from the channel she worked with for a show, Haifa took matters into her own hands and decided to give herself a show.
“I went and I personally worked on a travel show to travel Asia, so I’m like let me make myself a show and film myself, so I filmed myself in my free time with their permission and that’s how it started,” Haifa said.
Wanting her own show so badly gave her the motivation to quit her stable job as a producer and focus her energy on producing videos for her newly-created YouTube travel show, “Fly with Haifa.”
In her videos, Haifa truly travels like an explorer — she meets different people, talks to them, asks them about their stories, their hopes and their dreams.
“I’m super passionate about cross-cultural relations and especially doing it as a hijabi girl because I feel like we need to be more out there,” Haifa said.
By being more “out there,” Haifa argues that as a Muslim woman, she has the responsibility of reaching out and telling others what being a Muslim woman is all about.
“I want to reach to the West that’s why I speak English because I believe we should reach out more to them, like we should speak to them about us, not other people tell them about us,” Haifa said.
By showing the world just what she’s done or is capable of doing as a filmmaker, Haifa wants to redefine the narrative of Muslim women everywhere.
A common theme throughout all of her travel videos, whether they were filmed in India, Japan, Palestine or Zanzibar, is asking strangers along the way what their dreams are.
“My favorite stuff is the dreams, subhanAllah. This is what always leaves the biggest effect on me,” she said.
In every video, she includes at least one “dreamer” with a story that is incredibly powerful and moving. Listening to the stories strangers share with her allows her to come to the realization that everyone has a journey, a struggle and a story.
So naturally I asked her what her dream was.
“Alhamdulilah, I’m living my dream. I’m living it and it’s so much fun to feel like you’re living it. And I’m not living it because someone gave it to me, it’s because I believed in the message and in that Allah will give it to me and in the law of attraction.”
Along with the dream she is already living, Haifa hopes to put together a production team and one day put her YouTube show on television. As the producer, writer, editor and host of “Fly with Haifa,” having a team will allow her to grow the show and develop what she’s already doing.
With her family supporting her, Haifa only wants to work harder to continue traveling and sharing stories from around the world.
“Their goal for me is for me to reach my highest potential, so they want to see me happy so even if it has to mean that all of us are sacrificing together, they’re doing that.”
Finally, Haifa shared some invaluable advice to those wanting to experience the world through travel.
“I think what can get you to travel is not you being a millionaire; it’s really wanting it. So when you really want to go to a place you can find a way to do it even if you don’t have a big budget.”
If you have an undying passion to travel to a specific place, there are so many ways to get there, according to Haifa.
“You can teach in that place, you can learn in that place, you can volunteer. You can start a blog and then find deals in hotels and airlines. There are so many ways that people can Google or YouTube how to make money while traveling and it is so possible.”
Oprah once said, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” So for Haifa believing the law of attraction, or truly and wholeheartedly wanting something is what’s going to get you where you want to go.
A traveler, filmmaker and self-proclaimed dream chaser, Haifa Beseisso is taking risks to build her own dream and find where she belongs in a world that is everything but ordinary.
Check out her channel Fly with Haifa on YouTube and watch my favorite video of hers so far from her trip to Zanzibar, an island off the coast of East Africa.