Let's welcome Nastasia Yakoub - a labor and delivery nurse turned full-time travel blogger, who has leveraged her passion for travel and photography by founding Dame Traveler. The travel bugs mixed with her bloodstream when she was just 20 years old. South Africa was her first solo trip. Now, she takes pride in visiting and living in 65 countries.
When asked about the advantages of travel blogging; she humbly speaks that meeting people from different cultures and ethnicity is the best part of travel blogging. She further added that probably she whispers 'thank you' 100 times a day to be in this position
Italy is her favorite country, and she has gone back there every October for the past 7 years. Bhutan is her dream destination, and she would like to plan a trip to this beautiful country sometime soon.
A quick intro about yourself?
Nastasia Yakoub, a Labor & Delivery nurse turned travel blogger, has leveraged her passion for travel and photography by founding Dame Traveler. Dame Traveler is a curated women's travel blog and community where female travelers can inspire and connect with one another. Her eye for stunning visuals has helped her build and curate the popular Instagram account, @dametraveler with over 600,000+ followers since 2013. As she manages a large network of travel bloggers as well as creating her own content on her travel Instagram account, @nastasiaspassport, her community continues to grow.
From backpackers in Peru to artists in Berlin to storytellers in Morocco, Dame Traveler celebrates the diversity and bravery of women from around the world who are not afraid to think (and live) outside the box.
The revolutionary Dame Traveler Instagram account was founded by Nastasia Yakoub, who was born into a strict Chaldean-Middle Eastern community where women are expected to marry young and put aside other personal ambitions. But at the age of twenty, Nastasia embarked on a solo trip to South Africa to volunteer at an orphanage in Cape Town, which sparked a love of world travel. Recognizing a void in the travel industry, she founded Dame Traveler, the first female travel community on Instagram.
What are biggest advantages and disadvantages of being a travel blogger ?
Adv: I'm just an ordinary person who has been given extraordinary experiences and I think I whisper 'thank you' 100x a day to be in this position. I've traveled to over 65 countries and the people I've met along the way and the places I've seen with my own eyes, I still have to pinch myself.
Disadv: While it may sound like a dream to travel the world, it doesn't come easy. Being a travel blogger requires a ton of sacrifice, hard work and dedication. Specifically in the social media world where things are changing on a daily basis. Also, the road gets lonely when traveling almost full time solo so it's always nice to take breaks in between trips to find some stability in life and to spend quality time with friends and family back home.
What's been your favorite destination so far ?
Italy is my number 1 favorite country. I have gone back every October for the past 7 years, I especially love the South of Italy (Amalfi Coast and Puglia.) There's something special about Italy that just resonates with me and I love it.
What inspired you to start your travel blog ?
I used to be a Labor and Delivery nurse and injured my back while on the job. My solo trip to South Africa inspired me to start a blog for solo female travelers as a hobby and it slowly turned into a business.
What's your dream destination on your bucket list?
Bhutan! I want to experience first hand how they live and to understand how they prioritize happiness and peace above all.
What do you miss the most when travelling ?
My friends and family, iced coffee from my favorite coffee shop and of course, my favorite city in the world, New York City.
How many countries have you travelled to & how long have you been a travel blogger for?
65 countries, 5 years.
Who takes all of your travel photos while travelling ?
Either friends that I'm traveling with or a stranger. I frame the shot and they snap it. I've never had an "Instagram boyfriend or husband" lol.
What is the hairiest situation you have gotten yourself into while travelling? Did it change your travel behavior?
I was photographing the hotel Le Pigalle Paris a boutique hotel and approx $8,000 worth of my camera gear and laptop were stolen from my hotel room. The hotel handled it extremely poorly with zero empathy and the French police were also zero help. As a solo female traveler, feeling left alone to deal with something like this, I felt violated for a long time and what was once my favorite city in the world, quickly turned into a sore memory. The experience has made me more cautious and I now lock all of my gear in the safe and have bought insurance for it.
What is the most luxurious place you have stayed at? What was it like/where?
The Conrad Hotel Maldives, home to the world's first underwater restaurant and villa! It was a unique experience taking a sea plane to a resort that was located on its own island and staying in an over water bungalow.
What key "life lesson" message do you have for everyone based on what you have learnt from what the gift of travel has taught you about life?
Travel is ultimately a tool to help the growth and expansion of one's mind and soul. We connect with others around the world and realize we're all the same to the core. Traveling in a way, makes the world a more connected and beautiful place for everyone and creates a sense of belonging.
Reach her :-