Hi Fuad! BIG CONGRATS on being the “Thailand Smiles" DreamJobber and smiling all the way through Thailand this summer! Before we talk about this incredible experience, can you tell me a little bit about your background and where it is that you currently call home?
First off I want to give a huge shoutout to everyone at Dreamjobbing and the Thailand tourism board that gave me the most amazing job in the world! It was an experience that can't be expressed in words that I will forever be grateful for.
I was born in London, England to the thanks of my Nigerian parents. Right before my 6th birthday mom took us to live the in Chicagoland area. Growing up I was always into sports and one of my biggest dreams was to be able to be track & field athlete that traveled the world competing.
As I got older I realised that I would need to have another skill set to generate income because unless you are Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps or on their level, money will not be flowing in.
My brother Jubril moved out of the house right after he graduated High School. His first real international trip was to Thailand in 2011 and that changed everything for him. A 3 week trip quickly turned to a 6 month stay in one of his favorite places in the world.
I was fortunate enough to be with him on his second trip to Thailand in 2013. With the combination of amazing people, landscape, food and activities its very hard not to fall in love with it.
Im currently in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.
Why did you decide to apply to be the “Thailand Smiles Ambassador"?
People know me as the crazy guy who seems to always be positive and full of energy. I'm far from having the most beautiful smile in the world but I sure love showing teeth each and every day.
So my buddy Dan actually told me about being a Smiles Ambassador for Thailand.
I couldn't think of a more perfect position for me!
It was like asking a little girl if she wanted a pony!
What was the experience like for you to go from submitting the application video to being named the “Thailand Smiles Ambassador", and do you have tips that you can share for other DreamJobbers hoping to land their DreamJob?
The making of the submission video was amazing. I got to put on a suit and act like the POTUS Obama. Going through all of our old Thailand footage was just like being back there.
I have a few tips for DreamJobbers hoping to land their DreamJob.
- Be yourself - I have shot a fair amount of videos and been a part of many in my lifetime and I can say that the absolute best videos came about when I was not putting on an act. People can see through b.s when it's right in there face. You should be talking to the lens of the camera like it was your best friend or someone in your family.
- Be original - Just like a job interview you want to stand out from the rest of your competition. Don't just go on & on about how your love journalism, travel, film etc show it off! Give them a taste of what makes you unique.
- Be inspiring - Dreamjobbing is an amazing platform that is inspiring people to think outside of the box, giving them an opportunity to change their story. So in your submission video show how you will be able to motivate others to get out of their comfort zone and go for it!
Has this experience changed how you feel about your career going forward?
This experience has definitely changed how I feel about my career. For me there is no greater feeling than seeing pure joy from people's faces just by simple gestures like flashing a smile there way. With the combination of my brother's and my marketing efforts we hope to show off what it's really like in places like Thailand to the world.
What was your favorite thing about traveling through Thailand? Any amazing stories that you can share?
My favorite part of traveling through Thailand was embracing all of the amazing and diverse culture that they have. The detail that they have in the temples and other landmarks can take you hours to really dive into.
One funny thing Blake and I did during our time in Bangkok was going down random alleys (something I wouldn't try in most places). When we did this we ran into some amazing street art and one street full of life. There was a group of kids we got to play and laugh with for a bit as well!
Do any big challenges or turning points come to mind through this DreamJob that you have turned into opportunity for your career?
A good portion of the trip I would walk around to random people and just try to make them smile. This was a lot easier then I thought it would be. Most of my days now are spent on the computer placing and managing ads on Facebook for small companies. Although I love what I do and am super grateful for the opportunity to make money while I travel, my life would just be a lot more complete if I was putting smiles on people's faces every single day. I'm not sure how I will do this but I know there is a way!
What's next for you?
What's next for me is a lot of marketing and a bit of filming our travels. My brother started a company called "Passport Heavy" where we show the world what it's really like in places like Panama, Colombia as well as a bit of Thailand.
Building "Passport Heavy" to the point where people are fully aware of what the world really has to offer in the present day is the end goal.