Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Ime Umoh
The Black Expat: I Left My Dream Job In America To Travel Across Africa
Anyone familiar with Ime Umoh on social media would know that he’s one of the dopest content creators in the game. He’s widely known for the striking images and videos he captures on his drone – showcasing the beauty of countries, particularly Africa. He managed to obtain an opportunity of a lifetime by trusting his instincts.
Leaving Behind the Dream Job In America
Nov. 16, 2018, is a day Umoh will never forget. It was the day he packed what was left in his apartment, put in storage and said goodbye to Corporate America to explore the world.
“I was at the height of my career working at Facebook in Menlo Park, California. It was my dream job, but I started feeling that there was more to life,” Umoh told Travel Noire. “At the same time, I realized that I hadn’t seen my father in Nigeria in two years, so I took a few months off and stepped away from Corporate America.”
His original plan was to take three months off from work and return to the States to work in tech again. But about a month into his trip, he felt a sense of freedom that he never had before, and there was no way he could go back— and he didn’t.
Umoh wanted to document his journey, and he was determined to share his story visually. He purchased a DJI Osmo pocket camera and a drone, and didn’t travel anywhere without them. It turns out that following his passion and instincts, opened doors that he didn’t see coming.
“I just finished up a project for a nonprofit in Egypt, and now I’m here shooting for a travel group in South Africa,” he said.
As Umoh reflects on the more than two years since he made his decision, one thing that sticks out for him is the concept of time and how it’s too often taken for granted.
“The only thing that you can’t get back in life is time. You can get back money, your car, your possessions, but time is something that you can’t get back […] It’s the most valuable thing we have.”
That’s why his message to anyone contemplating a move abroad is to just go for it.
“That’s obviously not going to come overnight, and it will reveal itself in different ways, but for me, I would tell people that the time is now to make sure that what you’re doing is impactful and make sure that what you’re doing is going to help others in the long run,” he stated.
Umoh added that challenges will come up along the way. The first year of solo travel was difficult emotionally because he wanted to have someone around to share the sunsets and experiences. All that has changed as he’s currently dating someone who values travel like himself.
Black Men Who Drone
With lockdown restrictions from the global health crisis, Umoh said he didn’t travel as much, which allowed him to listen to his audience more.
Through social media, he connected with his now-business partner, Jarami Bond. They have launched a community called “Black Men Drone” to connect the world’s largest community of Black drone hobbyists and pilots.
I’m glad to be able to use my gifts to inspire the Black community and also future travelers,” said Umoh.
You can follow more of Ime’s journey on Instagram.