At Women’s Travel Fest, we’re always in awe of the inspiring travel leaders who offer their experience, wisdom, and vast knowledge on how to create the life you want. This is why we’re honored to feature an amazing interview series on past and current speakers.
We were excited to speak to Timathea Workman, an avid journal writer and founder of Mejo. World, which publishes travel writing journals. She encourages people to follow their dreams, step out of their comfort zones, be curious, and discover what they are capable of.
She loves sharing creative ways to use journal writing as a tool to enrich every travel experience and create the trip’s best souvenir. In fact, she’s going to lead the Journal Writing Program at the Women’s Travel Fest this year, so do join in on that!
Enjoy this installment of 10 Questions with Timathea Workman!
Timathea is an acclaimed writer, traveler, photographer, and educator.
What inspired you to start traveling?
Would you believe that my inspiration to travel was sparked by the story of Adelaide, a kangaroo with wings who kissed her family goodbye and flew to Paris in search of exciting adventures? So many of the books I read as a child, like this one by Tomi Ungerer, or Mary Poppins (who traveled through the sky with only a carry-on,) Peter Pan, Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, A Wrinkle in Time, filled me with the desire to explore uninhabited islands, bright cities, remote mountains, or museums filled with art and human history.
It seemed accessible, especially combined with the fact that my dad and aunt had both been pilots, so I had grown up around airplanes and the stories of where they had flown.
I love the relationship between travel and books; each one inspires the other. The more I read, the more places I want to visit, and the more I travel, the more I want to write about it.
What’s your favorite destination and why?
Can I say the planet Earth? Haha! But really, how can I choose between the orange-pink sunsets of the Antarctic, where whales slip through the ocean’s surface between massive blue icebergs, or the soft red sands of Wadi Rum, where the magnetic field calms any sense of anxiety?
Or between windswept moors of Devon where the wild ponies play in the rain and the reef around Bonaire filled with so many colorful fish and coral that it looks as if a rainbow has exploded? It would be like choosing my favorite child.
How has travel impacted your life?
Travel has expanded my comfort zone, increased my tolerance, deepened my curiosity, and made me certain that kindness is a superpower.
What motivated you to pursue a career in travel?
I want to see the world we live in. I want to understand the different ways humans live and express their creativity, values, and laughter. I want to see the beautiful creatures we share this planet with.
Then, I want to inspire people who are able to travel to experience it themselves. I hope my writing and photography also enriches the lives of those who can’t travel so they feel as if they’ve been there, too!
What current project are you excited about sharing with the world right now?
I’ve been bringing foldable solar lamps to people around the world who don’t have access to electricity. It’s been one of the most fulfilling projects I’ve ever been involved in, and I want to do more of that.
I’m writing a book about journal writing and starting a YouTube channel about my experiences with #vanlife, both projects I’m very excited about. I’m also leading a trip to South Africa for Damesly in August, coaching writing at a castle in the UK, and leading a Mejo.World trip down the Nile in Egypt.
She loves to explore the natural and cultural treasures of this world and write about her adventures.
What advice would you give to others who want to travel the world?
Don’t hold back. If you want to travel, figure out a way to make it happen on whatever level you can. There is so much good in the world, so much beauty to see. Don’t listen to the people who may try and hold you back; you’ve got this.
Look for kindness, and you will find it. Step out of your comfort zone, and you will expand it. And most importantly, keep a travel journal; you’ll have the best souvenir when you get back home!
What drew you to the Women’s Travel Fest community?
I love that there is a community of women who like to travel as much as I do, make their own paths, follow their own adventures, and break the rules imposed upon us by society. It’s an inspiring support system.
What’s your favorite memory of a past Women’s Travel Fest event?
I was blown away by Alice Min Soo Chun’s presentation last year about her invention of folding Solar Puff lamps and hearing the difference she is making in millions of lives of people around the world with them. She completely changed how I view my own travel.
I went to Uganda twice this year to give over 60 lamps to families without electricity to help keep them safe at night and allow their children to do homework without toxins from kerosene or wood smoke after I heard her speak. Now, I never go anywhere without as many lamps as I can fundraise for and fit in my suitcase, and am incorporating them into the trips my company, Mejo.
What’s your all-time must-have travel essential? Something you can’t travel without?
My US Passport. It’s one of the strongest passports in the world, opens doors to over 188 countries, and is recognized by almost all countries. I have friends who live in other countries who are not allowed to visit as many places, including the US, and they don’t have the freedom to explore the way American citizens do. I am incredibly grateful for it.
And a journal (of course!) It always becomes my favorite souvenir of the trip and takes me back to moments photographs can’t capture.
And the last question – are you team carry-on or checked luggage?
Carry-on baby! I’ve learned to pack just what I need and not one item more, still leave space for gifts, and never again have to wait with fingers crossed at baggage claim to be reunited with my luggage.
Want to know more about Women’s Travel Fest? Read About Us here. We look forward to welcoming you to Playa del Carmen, Mexico, February 16-19, 2024! And watch out for news on the 2025 conference destination!