Omar Samra

Omar Samra, Chief Guanabana | Founder & CEO

--> this means I'm responsible for vision, strategy, product development, PR and B2B account management.

Here for the full story:

My name is Omar Samra, I quit uninspiring jobs and start companies during financial crisis' and name them after exotic fruits. I also specialize in dragging myself and heavy objects to high and cold places. When I'm not working 12 hours a day, I'm on a mountain somewhere, climbing something snowy and stunning or hanging out with the remote tribes of West Papua. When I'm working, I'm playing ping pong, foozball or designing some of the funnest journeys to the world's most inspiring places for anyone out there looking for the extraordinary!

After graduating with a degree in Economics from the American University in Cairo, I moved to London then Hong Kong to pursue an investment banking career with HSBC. It was interesting and challenging work but quickly I began to realize there is more to life than sitting behind a desk for 15 hours each day. Talks with a dear friend inspired me to purchase a bicycle and travel around Spanish Andalusia alone for 2 weeks. The experience made me realize how passionate I am about travel, exploring the world and my own personal boundaries. My life was never the same again.

Adamant to repeat the experience, I began planning for a longer, more involved trip and in December of 2002 I embarked on a 370-day journey across Asia and Latin America, visiting 14 countries. It was undoubtedly the most incredible year of my life and sparked many future trips and expeditions, especially mountaineering ones which had been one of my biggest fantasies since I climbed my first mountain in Switzerland at the age of 16. After returning to the bank for a couple of years and earning an MBA from London Business School in Entrepreneurship, I set out to fulfill another of my childhood dreams and on the 17th of May 2007, I succeeded in becoming the first Egyptian and youngest Arab to summit 8,850m Mount Everest. Post Everest and until early 2009, I worked for Actis, a leading emerging markets Private Equity fund learning first hand from top CEOs what it takes to run an extraordinary service business.

Two years later in May of 2009, at the heigh of worst financial crisis the world has ever seen, as I was climbing a mountain in the depth of the West Papuan jungle, I decided to finally marry my passion for travel, exploring and sharing the experience with my career. Against the advice of many, I returned from holiday, handed in my resignation and began this beautiful journey.

I have spent over 3 years on the road, visiting over 80 countries and over 200 destinations. My curiosity still knows no bounds and that makes traveling something I cannot live without. I have always been passionate about sharing those experiences through my writing, photography and speaking. However, what better way to do so than facilitate the means for people to embark on fascinating, truly unique journey’s of their own. I find this a true joy and that is why WILD GUANABANA was born.

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