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Interviews

Meet Aubrey Daquinag, Author of WanderLove

Meet Aubrey Daquinag, Author of WanderLove

Happy Monday, Dame Travelers! If you’ve noticed, we’re loving the opportunity to introduce you all to some of our most inspiring women in the Dame Traveler community on the blog recently. Today is no different! Meet Aubrey Daquinag – a published author, travel & lifestyle photographer and blogger. She explores slow solo travel as a form of self-love through her blog, The Love Assembly, and her internationally published book WANDER LOVE. (We’ve been obsessed with her book since its release last year!)

We’re excited to introduce Aubrey to you all today and add her name to our Dame Traveler interview series! Without further ado, here’s Aubrey!

Thanks for chatting with us today, Aubrey! Could you give our readers a quick introduction?

I was born and raised in Australia, yet being ever so curious about the world I took my love for travel and photography to start theloveassembly.com in late 2012: a travel and lifestyle blog dedicated to inspiring and motivating young women to live a more creative and curious life. 

After just 18 months of The Love Assembly being live, my work received worldwide recognition for the quality in travel content creation, partnering with Condé Nast Traveler in New York in 2014 as the first contributing Australian lifestyle blogger.

From landing my first sponsored trip with Countrylink Australia (after just one month from launching) — to collaborating with global brands like Condé Nast Traveler, Paypal, and numerous Tourism Boards and Airlines such as Cathay Pacific, Garuda, Emirates, Tourism Japan, Stockholm, New Zealand, Peru, Australia, Hong Kong and Indonesia — releasing my debut internationally published travel book, WANDER LOVE. I for one can definitely stand by saying that stepping out of your comfort zone can lead you to some pretty incredible places in life that you would have never even dreamed about!

Meet Aubrey Daquinag, Author of WanderLove

I love new experiences and creating quality content for The Love Assembly audience and for brands that align with my values and aesthetic. Following the release of my book, I have started partnering with brands and business on holding creative workshops, including STA Travel and Panasonic LUMIX cameras, as well as speaking on my experience of using solo female travel as a form of self-love.

My main message of inspiring and empowering women to Design A Life They Love has lead me to my most recent venture of WANDER LOVE CLUB, where I’m working on teaching and helping aspiring heart-centered creatives to find their authentic voice, build their brand online, and upgrade their content to share with the world.

Meet Aubrey Daquinag, Author of WanderLove

What inspired you to write Wander Love? What was the process of writing the book like? 

From the very early stages of starting my blog I knew that one of my goals was to publish a book. I saw the world through my lens and my specific curation of places that were unique, before we had so much access to places now that Instagram geo-location and Pinterest images can lead you to. 

When my publisher approached me to create a book it was purely for a Travel Photography coffee table book. But I had just come back from a 3 month solo trip to South America where the only plans I had were no plans. I arranged it off the back end of a photography and blog job that I had in Brazil and had put all of my belongings into storage. So after that, I had to pitch back to my publisher to say that it can’t just be filled with my photographs, I have sooooo much to say and share about going deeper into the philosophies of travel and what it can bring to a woman.

I structured the chapters to unfold as you would naturally get to know someone—in layers.

You’ll find the Digital Nomad Essentials where I share how I work around the world and how you can do the same, photography and packing tips and tricks, travel guides for six destinations around the world my heart has wandered to (with yours waiting to do the same), and a collection of the must-visit markets for treasure hunting around the world, plus a lesson in how to barter like a #boss. Then I eventually get deeper into the topic through travel philosophy and the life lessons it can bring.

I spent the majority of my time still flying around the world and working, but also giving myself time in each city to go to a cafe, sit in nature or the departure gates and just write – write about the destinations and tips and tricks that everyone wants to hear but also the deeper parts of travel and what solo travel gives to you if you use it as a form of self-love. This is what my message is truly about and I definitely feel that the opportunity came to me at a time when it was supposed to because the content structure and chapters just flowed effortlessly. The response has been incredible and I got the dream stockists that I had always wanted like Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and of course all bookstores worldwide. It even got picked up in its first year to be printed in a foregin edition which is super exciting!

Meet Aubrey Daquinag, Author of WanderLove

That is so exciting! Going back a bit – did you always want to travel the world? Was travel something you always were inspired by?

From an early age my family and I would go camping a lot, which was really fun. Living so far in Australia didn’t allow for much international travel throughout my teens but once I hit my 20’s I knew I wanted not only to explore, but live a location-independent lifestyle that allowed me to work online whilst traveling.

I’m not too sure where my curious nature and sense for adventure comes from (but it’s so high and I don’t think it will ever go away) as no one in my immediate family has gone down this path – even my star sign says that I’m a homebody and hate change when I’m the complete opposite and have solely based on my business and work/career around travel, creativity and the love of change.

We can completely understand that feeling! What was your first big trip abroad? Did it leave an impact on you?

I’m originally from Australia and my first big trip was to India and Bali. All that was missing was Italy for an Eat Pray Love moment, that’s for sure! Hah! A lot of my friends at the time were having their first European summers but that never appealed to me at the time.

I wanted to experience something of extreme diversity; something so different to the way I was living and to the way a typical early 20-something would travel those many many moons ago! That’s exactly what I got. But if you have or ever get to see India in your lifetime you will see that it is a photographers dream. There are so many colors, scents and sights that are beyond this world. When I saw the Taj Mahal up close it was nothing like I had expected. I had dreamt about it for so long as I was so familiar with the story behind it and how much of a romantic gesture this piece of architecture was, and had photos of it from afar. The thing is you see these photos online but when you finally visit the place for yourself and take your own photo, it’s something else. What blew me away though was the intricate details of the tiling. I didn’t expect this and it’s something that you can only really notice if you get up close and see it for yourself.

Meet Aubrey Daquinag, Author of WanderLove

Sounds like an adventure of a lifetime. In your book, you write a lot about the importance of solo travel. Could you explain to our readers why do you believe solo travel to be so beneficial and important?

My work as a travel and lifestyle blogger and photographer has led me around the world to so many incredible destinations and experiences – often solo, other times with good company. Apart from this I use the act of traveling solo as a form of self-love, which is so important for any individuals’ well being and beneficial in a women learning to be strong and independent. It’s the lens that I see it through because I see solo travel as a time to do so much introspection and become more self-aware. 

I don’t think anyone can ever explain it better than Italian poet Cesare Pavese, he says: “Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things: air, sleep, dreams, sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.”

What lessons have you personally learned through your experiences traveling?

Oh gosh, so many! This is actually the last chapter in my book, titled “Life Lessons from Solo Travel.” I’ll hit you with one from there: ‘When you become comfortable with being uncomfortable, you allow yourself to grow.’

Most of the time I am traveling for work (which is also pleasure), then an extended part on the back of a work trip for play, and to explore this beautiful world. “The great affair is to move”

Meet Aubrey Daquinag, Author of WanderLove

Thank you so much for all of your insight Aubrey! Let’s end on a light note – what is the go-to item you’re always happy you packed… and what is your number one travel hack/tip?

A hydrating mist (because planes suck out the moisture from your skin!), my camera of course, a scarf, and although not an item – a good Spotify playlist.

My number one practical tip is to always download Google maps offline when traveling solo to a new destination. It allows you to access your location even if you you’re not connected onto wifi. That way, you’re free to wander and get lost, knowing that even if you don’t remember how to get back to your hotel you can always check, just in case.


Thank you again for chatting with us! If you’re interested in following Aubrey Daquinag around the globe, give her a follow on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Youtube, and on her gorgeous website!

Interviews

Dame Traveler Jessica Ufuoma Shares Her Story & Biggest Travel Tips

Dame Traveler Jessica Ufuoma Shares Her Story & Biggest Travel Tips

Jessica Ufuoma is one of our absolute favorite travelers! An avid explorer who loves finding unique experiences around the world and sharing them with her community of travel lovers and enthusiasts, Jessica’s one of our favorites to follow on Instagram (and Twitter too!). When she isn’t traveling, you can find her at home in Toronto, Canada catching cocktail hours with friends.

Dame Traveler Jessica Ufuoma Shares Her Story & Biggest Travel Tips

Hi Jessica, could you introduce yourself and what you do to anyone who isn’t following you already?

My name is Jessica and I am a travel blogger who also has a corporate job, so I am often finding pockets of space in the year to travel and seek out new experiences. I am Nigerian and I moved to Canada about six years ago for a Masters degree in International Business and that really was my introduction into the amazing world of travel. I often use my travel platform to inspire people to go out of their comfort zone and see the world, any chance they get. Especially people like me who may not have previously thought the idea of travel was possible for them.

Dame Traveler Jessica Ufuoma Shares Her Story & Biggest Travel Tips

Why do you think it’s important for women, specifically, to explore the world?

Traveling is not just an opportunity to learn about the world, but to also learn about yourself. When I see women travel, it gives me a great sense of joy because travel is one of the ultimate expressions of freedom. Thinking back to ages ago, women weren’t allowed to go places themselves without an escort. Now, women are traveling, honing their power, learning about themselves and exercising their rights to just be. 

Dame Traveler Jessica Ufuoma Shares Her Story & Biggest Travel Tips

Did you always want to travel the world? Where do you think your curiosity for adventure came from?

I’ll be honest – no. I wish I could say I rolled out of my mother’s womb with an immense desire for travel and I have spent my whole life traveling. That’s not the case for me. I always joke around with my friends and say I consider myself a “late bloomer” in the travelsphere as I only really started traveling frequently at age 24. I watched my parents travel so much in my childhood but I just didn’t think that was something I wanted for myself. Now, I can’t imagine what life would be without it.

My curiosity for adventure came after a study abroad program and my encounter with Machu Picchu in Peru. I remember being so awe-struck seeing the world wonder and proclaiming under my breath, “I’ll travel the world”. I stayed true to my words and haven’t looked back since.

What has been your favorite destination so far and why?

I’m always biased when I answer this question because I always say Peru all thanks to the reasons mentioned above. Peru has a special place in my heart. However, Japan is one of my favorites, Kyoto specifically. I found it full of soul, full of life and very different from everything else I had encountered. It was a sharp contrast of life as I know it and I learned so much from that experience. 

What is your go-to item you always are happy that you packed? 

My go-to item has to be my Anker portable power bank. I love to stay somewhat connected when I travel and it’s such a handy little device that keeps me powered up everywhere I go. Running out of phone juice when traveling just ain’t cute! 

Dame Traveler Jessica Ufuoma Shares Her Story & Biggest Travel Tips

Do you have any tips or tricks for packing effectively?

Packing cubes! Ever since I started using them, I have been able to use my luggage space more efficiently. And oh, it gives me a feeling of being a tad organized so it’s great. Also, I have a packing mantra, “if it doesn’t fit, it’s not coming with me” so when I see that I am having too much trouble zipping up my luggage, that’s usually an indication that I have overpacked and I take items out one at a time until I am good to go. It’s mostly about training the mind too – you think you absolutely need something but when you let it go, you see how well you’re doing without it.

Dame Traveler Jessica Ufuoma Shares Her Story & Biggest Travel Tips

How do you show respect for other countries/cultures when you travel? 

It’s important as travelers to always respect the countries and cultures we encounter. One of the ways I try to do it is to do my research before I get there. I learn about the country and what the people are like. I learn some key phrases of the language (it shows I am trying). I learn the red flags to avoid. Do they have a specific dress code in that country? I want to know so I can pack appropriately. I think when you genuinely care about the people and don’t just see the travel experience as a photo-op, it shows! 

Dame Traveler Jessica Ufuoma Shares Her Story & Biggest Travel Tips

What experiences did you have on your first big trip abroad? Did it leave an impact on you?

My first big trip abroad was really my move from Nigeria to Canada. I went completely by myself – filled with a good balance of faith and fear. It was different – everything was. From the way things were done, to the way people spoke, down to the weather and what was in the air. That has been one of the most life-changing phases of my life. I cannot begin to say just how impactful that was for me. Forever changed by that experience.

What lessons have you learned from your experiences traveling?

I’ve learned so much! But one thing stands out – that the world is so big. And I don’t mean it just in terms of size and geography (there’s that) but also in terms of opportunities, people, vastness. There’s always at least one more person, one more job, one more thing. This helps me anytime I am feeling stuck, to realize that there are always going to be options available to me just because we cannot possibly run out of options in a world as big and boundless as this. 

Why do you travel?

I travel for the ordinary moments and the extraordinary ones too. When I hop on a plane, I never truly know what to expect. I mean, most times I have an itinerary so that means I have a sense of what I might experience but there’s always one plot-twist that I never see coming. Maybe it’s the new friends I made, or the new restaurant I visited due to the recommendations of the locals, or it’s the way the travel has transformed my way of thinking. Many times, we never really know until we go. So we go – to find out! 

Dame Traveler Jessica Ufuoma Shares Her Story & Biggest Travel Tips

Have you faced any struggles traveling as a woman? Can you tell us about your experience and how you overcame it?

My struggles of traveling as a woman mostly comes down to sometimes being fearful about the experience because everyone says it is risky to do so. Fear can be crippling, if you allow it to be. Many times, I feel the fear, I acknowledge it and I keep it moving. I’ve overcome the fear by doing. Doing leads to more doing and by the time I knew it, I had built enough muscle to tame the fear that would have once held me back.

Do you know any travel hacks or tips?

Pack light. Travel light. This will not only save you baggage fees, but will make your journey a lot smoother because you do not have to tote around heavy luggage. You also do not have to wait for your luggage at the luggage belt. It saves you time and money.

What are you tips to stay safe when traveling?

Research before you go. Always keep in touch with loved ones and share your itinerary with them. Talk to hotel staff and be friendly with them. Let them know every morning where you are headed – many times they give you tips on what and what not to do. Look confident, even when you aren’t feeling confident. Your posture masters. Stand tall, no slouching. 

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Book one more flight.

Dame Traveler Jessica Ufuoma Shares Her Story & Biggest Travel Tips

Thank your for sharing your story and travel tips Jessica, we can’t wait to see where you go next! Be sure to follow Jessica on Instagram and Twitter to see her photos and explorations!

Looking for more inspiring female travelers to follow in Instagram? Check out our other Faces Of Dame Traveler interview subjects!

Interviews

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Christina Lau

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Christina Lau

Originally from New Jersey, Christina Lau is one of those lovely photographers we love to see popping up on our Instagram feeds. Quite like many Dame Travelers out there, Christina is a full-time employee (working on e-commerce strategy after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology seven years ago) who works on personal content and photography part time. To offset her 9-5 office job, she’s always seeking out new adventures and planning her next trip. Sound familiar for some of you? We love Christina’s involvement in the Dame Traveler community, and are beyond thrilled to get to know her a little better today!

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Christina Lau

Hi Christina, thanks so much for chatting with us today! Could you tell us a little about your story and what you do, for anyone who isn’t following you yet?

I’ve always been a tri-state area girl, coming from New Jersey and moving to NYC for college. For years I wanted to work in fashion, hence my choice to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology. As a student there I started sharing my outfits on Instagram when it was still in its early stages as an app. Unexpectedly, I met a ton of amazing friends on the platform who were creating similar content and slowly started working with brands on content creation. Because of that community I started experimenting with lifestyle photos, and a few years later that is now my main content focus! I love being able to share everything I love about life, without siloing myself into a particular category. I do have a full-time job in e-commerce, so I’m thankful for this ongoing side project that gives me some creative balance.

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Christina Lau

Did you always want to travel the world? Where do you think your curiosity for adventure came from?

I had always enjoyed traveling with my family, but it wasn’t a main priority of mine until I had the opportunity to study abroad in Shanghai for a semester. Because of that experience, I learned to truly immerse myself into another culture and explore unfamiliar areas on my own. Having that independence for a few months in a new destination really fueled my love for adventure.

What has been your favorite destination so far and why?

It is so hard to choose, but right now I’d have to say Japan! I had extra time between jobs earlier this year and used it to visit Japan for three weeks. I immediately fell in love with everything from the overall culture to the food (it helps that sushi is my favorite kind). I think your individual experience can easily shape how you feel about a destination, and I was fortunate to stay with a close friend who lives in Tokyo. Having the opportunity to explore local spots that I may not have otherwise found, along with enough time to travel around the country, made a huge impact on my trip. I also happened to visit during cherry blossom season, which was an added bonus on top of an already amazing experience. Eventually I’d love to go back for every season of the year!

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Christina Lau

Do you know any travel hacks or tips?

Download Google Maps offline, and mark any restaurants or sights on a custom map. This will just ensure that you can do everything you’ve planned for and avoid as many navigation issues as possible. I also swear by the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card for avid travelers. The benefits for travel are incredible — I’ve already booked several flights fully on earned points!

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Christina Lau

What are you tips to stay safe when traveling?

Do your research ahead of time, and keep others updated on your location/plans. Save any important documents in a separate place, i.e. online or in your phone. Overall, stay aware of your surroundings and follow your instincts just as you would at home.

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Christina Lau

What was your first big trip abroad? What experiences did you have? Did it leave an impact on you?

The first trip that really had an impact was a family vacation to China while I was in high school. This trip inspired my choice to study abroad in Shanghai years later, because I knew that I hadn’t truly appreciated the experience with my family. It was my first time visiting a country outside of North America, and I was nervously distracted by culture shock the entire time. Looking back, we had some incredible experiences that included walking along the Great Wall of China and watching the stunning light show on Hangzhou’s West Lake. Throughout high school I visited a few other countries with my family and started to understand the value of travel. I feel very fortunate that I was able to revisit China with a new perspective in college — I hope to go back again soon!

What lessons have you learned from your experiences traveling?

Be open to unfamiliar experiences (with your safety in mind, of course), talk to the locals (respectfully!), and understand that not everything will go as planned. The best trips can come out of spontaneity! 

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Christina Lau

Why do you travel? What do you seek each time you hop on a plane?

I travel to fuel my curiosity and learn more about the world around me. I’m a naturally active person and rarely spend full weekends at home. There is so much to learn from travel, whether that means taking a day trip an hour away or flying halfway across the world. It reminds me that there is so much more than what we know from our daily lives. Travel keeps life exciting!

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Christina Lau

Why do you think it’s important for women, specifically, to explore the world?

Along with providing adventure, travel fosters community. I really felt this when I traveled alone and made friends with some awesome women from around the world. Travel allows for connections that you may not otherwise make while at home. It challenges your perspective and opens up your mind in a way that nothing else can. 

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Christina Lau

Have you faced any struggles traveling as a woman? Can you tell us about your experience and how you overcame it?

There aren’t any specific moments I can remember, so fortunately, not really. I typically have safety in mind when I travel, and this was especially true when I took my solo trip to Portugal. It was my first time traveling alone to another country, but thankfully Portugal is a relatively safe destination. During that trip I made sure to introduce myself to other female travelers in my hostel. I ended up making new friends as a result, which made the trip even better! For other female travelers, I’d recommend always telling a trusted person your location/plans. My mom still never fails to ask me for my itinerary before a big trip. In general, trust your gut and don’t be afraid to say no. 

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thank you to Dame Traveler for including me in this series! I’m glad there is a platform like this for women to connect about all things travel, and I’m so thankful to be a part of it.


Thank you so much for chatting with us Christina! We hope to see you out there somewhere in the world some day. Be sure to follow Christina on adventures via Instagram… and thank us later!

Looking for more inspiring female travelers to follow in Instagram? Check out our other Faces Of Dame Traveler interview subjects!

Interviews

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Olga Chagunava

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Olga Chagunava

Olga Chagunava is a London based travel photographer creating romantic, lush captures of landscapes and intimate moments from near and far. Olga (who you may know as @LiolaLiola on Instgram) is a true citizen of the world. Born in Germany, she called seven other countries home before settling in the United Kingdom. After following @LiolaLiola on Instagram and YouTube for many years, we’re very excited to share her story with you!

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Olga Chagunava
The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Olga Chagunava

Hi LiolaLiola! Could you tell us a little about your back story?

Since I was a child, traveling was a big part of my life. I was born in Germany and grew up in seven other countries. London has been my home for the past twelve years. Last year, I quit my full time job at YouTube/Google to pursue my dream to travel and explore the world through photography and videography. 

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Olga Chagunava

Amazing. Did you always want to travel the world? Where do you think your curiosity for adventure came from?

I can’t imagine life without travel. I’m so used to it, I find it strange when I don’t leave London at least once a month, even if it’s escaping the city to the countryside! I believe that’s because of the fact that during my childhood I was always on the road. 

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Olga Chagunava

So, what has been your favorite destination so far and why?

I always find it so difficult to answer this question. There’s no such thing a favorite destination, in my opinion. Different destinations offer different experiences and it all depends what experience you crave at this moment of your life. 

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Olga Chagunava

I really love Georgia, partly because it’s a wonderful country that has so much to offer. From breathtaking landscapes, delicious food and the most welcoming people – I’m partial because I’m ⅓ Georgian and I have a huge sentiment for this country. 

Queensway, Australia has my heart, especially Byron Bay. There’s something truly magical in this place. It’s hard to explain what exactly. Maybe it’s the ocean and nature. Maybe the feeling of freedom and never ending summer. I guess you can only understand it, when you go there and feel it yourself. 

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Olga Chagunava

I’m forever in love with English countryside. Wherever you go, it feels like you are taken back in time and you are stepping in sort of magical fairytale. Yorkshire and Cotswolds are my favorite. 

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Olga Chagunava

All of those sound so dreamy. Where did your first taste of adventure begin? Did it leave an impact on you?

My first big trip was to Brazil in 2008. I used to train in capoeira (a physical discipline and movement originating in Brazil, quite like a martial art and dance form) and I was very lucky to be taught by a capoeira master, Mestre Caboclin who is originally from Fortaleza, Brazil. He founded Capoeira Ceara school in London and invited his London students to join him on the trip to Brazil to train in capoeira with local teachers and masters.

I remember how fascinated and excited I was during that trip. Everything was so different compared to what I knew before. I had never been outside of Europe before, so it was a true adventure for me. While training in capoeira with local students we had a chance to explore Fortaleza, Salvador de Bahia and Canoa Quebrada. I remember how amazed I was by hospitality and kindness of people in Brazil. I would love to return to Brazil and explore more of this beautiful country. Hopefully soon!

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Olga Chagunava

What lessons have you learned from your experiences traveling?

That regardless of culture and religion, we are all the same. Love, happiness and peace are universal languages. 

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Olga Chagunava

Alright, this is a hard question. Olga – why do you travel?

Traveling is good for your soul. It makes you humble, it makes you kinder, it makes you seeing the world differently. The more I travel, the more compassionate and less judgmental I become.

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Olga Chagunava

We so agree. As a woman, why do you think it’s important for other women to explore the world?

There are two things that girls should remember, when traveling, especially solo travelers. 

The world is not that scary as it is being portrayed in the media, but always use common sense and intuition. Trust but double check. Don’t be scared of traveling and exploring the world, but make sure you put safety first. 

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Olga Chagunava

Do you know any travel hacks or tips?

To avoid jet lag, drink lots of water before and during the flight. Switch your clock to the time of your destination, this way you will be able to adapt to the timezone quicker. Try to avoid airplane food, as it contains lots of sodium and chemicals. Instead bring your own food. If you can, right after reaching your destination do something active –  maybe a yoga session, a quick run or a swim. This will make your blood floating and make you feel good. 

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Olga Chagunava

Amazing tips. Is there anything you’d like for other Dame Travelers to know?

I can’t wait to get my copy of The Dame Traveler book!

The Faces Of Dame Traveler: Meet Olga Chagunava

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story with us, LiolaLiola​​​​​​​… we look forward to seeing your adventures to come! Be sure to follow her on Instagram and YouTube so you won’t miss her epic travels.

Journal

I Push Past Limitations – In Travel And In Life

In theory life begins when a person is born. I think I started it twice, maybe even more… maybe it starts every time I leave for a trip. Ever since I was a child I have been determined and stubborn, a bit rebellious and a breaker of the rules. These traits were fundamental to forming who I am today. They are especially important because they had led me to the success in my life right now. Because I push past limitations – in travel and in life.

The first lesson I learned in my life is this… when you understand that you just have one life, you understand that in reality there is not a second one waiting.

I realized this in October almost 8 years ago, when I had a motorbike accident. My fall from that scooter, together with my boyfriend of that time, took away from me the use of my legs and the life I knew until that day. 

I will not deny that there were moments of sinking into pain and depression, but somehow I found something inside of me that gave me the opportunity to recreate myself.

When I was hospitalized for nine months, I lived right in those difficult moments. The boy in my life at the time was no help indeed, he left me the day I told him my diagnosis and that I could no longer walk.

I immediately understood that love is not like in movies and fairy tales. In life ,there are no Prince Charming who saves you… but you must save yourself. 

I had to live with this heartbreak for a while, but it forced me to learn to rely solely on me. So, little by little, I became more confident. Every day, more capable of something and more resilient. To this day my motto is: “Nobody does your best interests but yourself.” This applies to everything… in life, in work, everything.

Months later, I also met friendship and then love, both in the same person… but I was different from how I had always been. During those months, there were only questions in my head about life, its value and what I wanted from it. 

I think I found the answers in small things that I began to savor once I left the hospital. Those trivial aspects that we forget about in everyday life. The heat of the sun, the butterflies that lean on us, the feeling of the wind in our hair… 

I remember very well when I went out again for the first time and I remember how deeply connected I felt with nature, with the outdoors. From that moment I think that my incessant desire to travel was born.

Once I left, I immediately started traveling with the love of my life, my husband today. 

My goals today are to go beyond the limits. I do it for myself, to remind myself that despite the wheelchair… I decide and set most of the limits. 

Yes, because I believe that traveling and landscapes have the power to change us. Anyone who has seen the dawn on the Ganges, the clouds of Machu Picchu, the dust of Sigiriya and much more knows what I’m talking about.

So, Dame Traveler… discover yourself, reinvent yourself and love yourself for the uniqueness that you are and represent. And after having done this, share with those who love you, as you love yourself.


Thank you for sharing your inspiring story Giulia. You can find more of her adventures on Instagram and on her blog – pushing beyond limitations and exploring the world.

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