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I’m so excited to introduce you to Nadine from Curls en Route for this travel blogger interview!
Nadine is an Egyptian curly-head who decided to quit the norm because it just doesn’t suit her. She ditched her 9-5 as a magazine editor to pursue her dream of becoming a full-time digital nomad and to inspire aspiring travelers to embark on their own solo adventures.
How long have you been blogging for? Why’d you decide to start a travel blog?
I’ve been blogging since 2018. My decision to start a travel blog was not something that happened overnight. It’s an accumulation of experiences I’ve had over the course of a year and a half. Three trips, in particular, worked as triggers to the conception of Curls en Route.
The first was my very first solo trip which was to a Nubian village in Aswan, Egypt. The second was the 4 months I spent in Europe later that year; I went to France for my Erasmus program, and I traveled around Europe throughout my time there.
The last trip was to Sinai in Egypt, a place that I consider heaven on earth and where I feel spiritually connected to.
When I went to Sinai, it was my first trip after I came back home from Erasmus and needed to heal my travel bug, and there I figured out that I want to do this forever.
Do you have any tips for new travel bloggers/aspiring travel bloggers?
Join Facebook communities for bloggers and travel bloggers and engage in collaborative learning from the very beginning.
In these groups, I got to learn a lot of things I wish I knew when I first started.
And the endless support and sense of community will constantly encourage and motivate you to keep going and to remain active and consistent.
What’s one thing you wish you knew before you started traveling?
I wish I knew I’d be that hooked, and it would be that life-changing; I would’ve started solo traveling much earlier!
Why do you love to travel?
There are many things I could say like the adrenaline, meeting new people, the food, and getting to know different cultures, but to me, I know it sounds a bit over the top, but traveling literally makes me feel alive again.
If I’m feeling down or stressed, a trip would easily turn my mood upside down.
What’s your best and worst travel experience?
My best travel experience was definitely my entire Erasmus experience with its good and bad. I also loved my solo trip to Bali; so much beauty, spontaneity, and great memories on that trip.
My worst travel experience would have to be when I got really sick on my very first solo trip. I loved that trip, and it was one of the turning points in my life, but I got really sick; I was alone and in a simple village, and it was physically intense and unpleasant.
Do you prefer solo travel or traveling with other people? Why?
Solo all the way. There are many ways solo traveling has changed my life, but my favorite thing has to be that when traveling with others, you have less tendency to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people unlike on a solo trip.
What’s your favorite place you’ve ever been to? Why?
Bali and Italy are my top two favorite destinations so far. Bali has everything I could ever ask for; nature, adventure, nightlife, good food, you name it.
I had the time of my life there, and I have many stories from that trip! As for Italy, well, it simply exceeded my expectations.
I visited 5 Italian cities and thought that by the end of my trip I’d be able to pick a favorite and I couldn’t; each reflected something I loved. I also connected with the place instantly and felt that I was back home.
What’s your biggest travel tip?
Always put on a smile and travel with a positive mindset and everything will fall into place. Panicking and stressing out will never solve any trouble you may face.
Is there one specific thing you like to do, see, or buy in every place that you visit?
Oh, I have many different traditions. I like going to high viewpoints to take aerial shots of the city, and I like to buy souvenirs that I could place on my travel shelves (I even have things like metro tickets and confetti hung up there.
Another thing I do, but not everywhere, is that I get piercings on special trips! Yes, piercings!
I got my first one in Prague when I went on a road trip with my Erasmus friends, then the second one in Bali (my favorite destination), and the third one in Cape Town when I went to celebrate my 24th birthday.
Is there one particular food that you’ve tried while traveling that you loved? What food was it and why do you love it so much?
Definitely, so many favs since I’m also a foodie at heart! But if I’d have to name a few, I’d choose gelato.. I’ve tried gelato, of course, back home and I’m a big fan, but nothing can compete with Italian gelato.
Also, trdelnik in Prague was so delicious! And last but not least, madeleines and palets bretons remind me of my time in France.
Plane or train? Each has its thrill.
Hotel or hostel? Hostel
City or nature? Both.
Popular site or off the beaten path? Off the beaten path
Suitcase or backpack? Depends on the destination.
Fast travel or slow travel? Both.
Professional camera or iPhone photography? Both plus my GoPro.
Warm or cold weather? Depends on my mood. I’m more of a winter person, but I definitely love me a beach vacation.
All photos used throughout this post are courtesy of Nadine.