In this edition of Celebrity Travel Addicts, we speak with Tamika Bickham, the award-winning journalist, entrepreneur, and world traveler behind TB Media Group. We chat with Tamika about why travel is important to her, her favorite destinations around the world, the work TB Media Group does, and much more. Check out her favorite things to do in Greece and her best advice to fellow travelers!
You’re an award-winning TV journalist who has covered a wide range of topics, from interviewing presidential candidates to what it’s like to live below the poverty line. What are your favorite types of stories to tell?
I love to tell the stories of people, places, and organizations that often go untold. Journalism and storytelling will always be at the heart of who I am, and giving a voice to those who need it is something that is very special to me. When I was a reporter in Alabama, I told the story of a family of four who lived on less than $12,000 per year. The single mother’s story was one of resilience, optimism, but also struggle and unimaginable challenges. She lived about an hour away from where I lived in Montgomery, in an area where 1 in 3 children live in poverty. That story always stayed with me because often times, those that need us to hear them are right there in our own backyard and they deserve to be heard.
You’re also the owner and creative director of a video production company called TB Media Group. Can you please tell us a bit about it and the work you do?
Once I left the TV news business, I knew I wanted to keep telling stories. The beautiful thing about the world we live in today, is we all have the ability to touch our audiences directly and share our stories with them, whether on social media, Youtube, via our website, etc. Video is a HUGE part of that storytelling and reaching our audiences. So now, I work with small businesses, non-profits, and government agencies who want to do a better job of telling their story and NOT talking about products and services. Whether you are fundraising for an important cause or want to sell baked goods, you have to tell your story and build a connection with your audience. I help my clients identify their story, appeal to the emotions of their audience, and share their story in a unique and engaging way using video content.
How did your passion for travel get started?
That is a great question! I must say it probably started as a kid. I grew up in a home where my mom made it a priority for us to take annual trips together. Even once I moved out, went away to college, we still had our mother/daughter trips, which included Hawaii, Costa Rica, Turks and Caicos (can you tell, we are beach people?). I also studied abroad in college in London and wow! That was an incredible way to see Europe. I traveled almost every weekend. Ever since then, it’s been a way to see a new place, get together with friends, or bond with someone over a new experience.
What does travel mean to you? What makes it so important to you and what have you learned or gained from it?
Travel adds more chapters to our story. Travel naturally makes us all storytellers, and that is who I am, so it’s a perfect fit. It’s an opportunity to learn about a new place, their culture, and their people. It opens your mind, it creates space for learning and building new relationships. I think I’ve gained new perspective from travel. It’s made me more appreciative of what I have, and it’s also made me more ambitious, opening my eyes to new experiences I want to gain. We all need the mental reset and reframing that I think travel provides.
How many days/weeks do you spend traveling in any given year? What types of places do you like to visit?
I probably spend about 4 weeks per year traveling. I like to travel anywhere I haven’t been. There are definitely places I would love to go back and have been several times, but I try to make it a point to go to new places that I haven’t seen. I like to travel to beachy locations. Even though I live in Miami, I can never get enough of the water and a nice beach.
What do you want audiences to gain and learn from your work?
I want people to remember that we are all storytellers. Travel ignites that in us. Our work should too. So whatever it is that you do, you should always be storytelling. If you need help with that, of course that’s where I come in!
What are the top three destinations you’ve visited?
Wow. That’s a tough one. This summer I went to Croatia, which was incredible. I went to Greece two summers ago, so that would definitely top the list. Third would probably be Hawaii. Ugh, but that’s hard. There’s so many more that deserve the Top 3 spot!
Give us your ‘Top 5’ list for one of your top 3 destinations. Like a mini-guide or a to-do list of sorts. It can be anything from your favorite hotel, the best place to have lunch, the best sightseeing, etc.
Wow. Ok, Top 5 things to do in Greece:
- Samaria Gorge in Crete – hike 16km through the longest gorge in Europe! This is one of the most unique things I’ve done and so worth it.
- Scorpios in Mykonos – Ok. We all like to get fancy from time to time. This was one of those Miami vibes, beach clubs with a cool crowd and the most incredible sunset. Must try!
- Best restaurant – Erganos in Crete. To this day, I don’t think I’ve had a better meal EVER! I would give anything to go back to this family owned restaurant. And the prices…you can’t beat them!
- Bar hop in Athens – There a several cool rooftop bars in Athens with incredible views where you will meet locals and get a feel for the culture. You can just hop around from place to place and it makes for a fun evening.
- Greek Salad in Santorini – I mean you can have a Greek salad anywhere, but it was really special in Santorini paired with local wine. Can’t beat it.
How many countries have you visited so far?
What are your top 3 favorite cuisines?
Mediterranean, Croatian food was great (seafood), and Vietnamese!
What is your favorite restaurant in the world? What dish do you recommend there?
Erganos in Crete. Honestly, everything was incredible. I can’t pick one because we ordered enough to feed a football team. All I remember is all of it was incredible.
What is your favorite travel movie?
I don’t have one.
What is your favorite international airport?
Which city had the friendliest people?
Turks and Caicos and St. Lucia had very friendly people. It’s an island thing!
Who is your favorite travel companion?
I like to travel with my mom!
What is the best way to kill time while traveling?
Listening to music and reading.
What is the most exotic place your career has taken you?
From Los Angeles to Alabama to the sidelines of ESPN Monday Night Football in South Florida. Not sure if it’s exotic, but definitely exciting!
What is your best bit of travel advice for someone who wants to, or is about to, embark on a life of travel?
Live in the moment. Disconnect a little bit. Leave some time for spontaneity.
What are 4 things you could never travel without?
My phone, headphones, swimsuit, and business cards (you never know who you’ll meet)
What is your ultimate dream destination?
Thailand and Egypt
What is your favorite travel quote?
“Traveling — it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
Where are you headed next?
To be determined…
Tamika Bickham, Owner and Creative Director of TB Media Group, is an award-winning broadcast journalist with over a decade of storytelling and communications experience.
Tamika’s career has taken her from the sidelines of Monday Night Football for ESPN, to Los Angeles where she covered the death of worldwide superstar Michael Jackson for CNN Los Angeles, to the CBS affiliate in Montgomery, Alabama where she reported on state politics, the 2012 presidential election, collegiate sports, and her most notable, award-winning feature “Living In Poverty”, a look inside the personal stories of children living below the poverty line in the state. She landed in South Florida, where she became a reporter and fill-in anchor for the local ABC affiliate, WPLG-TV.
Over the next several years Tamika developed deep-rooted connections with the South Florida community, moving on to work with the New World Symphony, developing all of their video and digital content, and the City of Miramar where she was responsible for marketing, communications, and public relations.
In 2015, Tamika founded TB Media Group, a full-service content creation company, where her specialty is cultivating her clients’ stories, creating engaging video content, and connecting with their audiences in an authentic way. Her clients range from non-profits to government agencies, cultural organizations, and small businesses.