Nicole Eddy is a young traveler and blogger from South Africa. She explores the world with unbelievable desire and enthusiasm, capturing her adventures on YouTube, where she shares her passion and inspires others to follow their dreams and make them true.
Here are highlights from our conversation.
Hi, Nicole, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Nicole Eddy: I’m a 23-year-old South African, born and bred in Cape Town. I have spent my life at the beach being immersed in salt water, following in my dad’s and brother’s footsteps, and as a result of the never-ending beach days, I have come to grow a deep love for surfing. Since my brother and I were kids, my parents have always taken us on family camping trips all around the South Africa, from the bush to up the coastlines. This instilled in me appreciation, love and respect for nature and environment and my father always encouraged me and my brother to look at our surroundings, no matter how familiar they are, with a fresh pair of eyes.
From these trips, I would manage to express, how I felt, a lot better by putting pen to paper and since I was little, I used to write about our family’s travel stories; sadly a school and the sport took all my time and I wrote less and less. However, since 2013, I have found my love for writing about my adventures once again through my blog. As my studies officially ended in December 2015, I am now in my first full year of full-time blogging as well as starting a YouTube channel to visually capture my adventures!
PHOTO CREDIT: NICOLE EDDY
Adventure and travel is definitely in your blood; could you tell us when you began to travel and what inspired you?
N.E.: As mentioned above, I have been traveling since I was a kid. As for me, traveling is not about hopping on a plane and heading across the seas; traveling is a day’s road trip to somewhere, anywhere, it’s going camping at the campsite half an hour away, it’s taking a hike. My traveling started in Southern Africa, which is where my love for traveling on my own continent stemmed from, and my first international trip was to Mauritius with my grandparents when I was 10. If I stay in Cape Town for too long, I start to feel suffocated, as beautiful as it is, and so changing the scenery is a way for me to regain inspiration for my writing, take a breather and experience the world, one small part at a time. I use my travels and new experiences as an inspiration to create.
I use my travels and new experiences as an inspiration to create.
PHOTO CREDIT: NICOLE EDDY
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So what is your favorite part about traveling?
N.E.: I think that I mainly love the feelings that come with experiencing something new and exciting, like seeing new places and people for the first time, the mishaps, but most importantly the growing as an individual does when he or she travels.
You learn to deal with situations on your own, gain independence and ultimately do a lot of self-growing.
You travel a lot, but is there still a place, city or country, which is a high priority on your wish list?
N.E.: Indonesia and the Maldives. I love the tropical type of holidays, sadly I have done very few, so I have completely romanticized it all up in my head
What about the top 3 places you have visited and what was special about your time there?
N.E.: Canada. We only experienced Calgary and Banff however it was pristine and there was one national park after another with no sight of human interference around. Coming from South Africa, we don’t often get to experience snow-tipped trees, frozen lakes, and falling snowflakes so it was as if I was in a magical Winter Wonderland.
The other place that I loved was Zimbabwe, despite their political and economic situation, which is very visible when driving through the dilapidated cities that not long ago used to thrive, the people there are the most pleasant, the wildlife is great and it is just beautiful, especially Victoria Falls town and the national park that surrounds the falls.
My third place that I really enjoy would probably have to be London. It has this great energy, where everyone seems to be stuck in the grind of 9-5, but so motivated as they move through the city. When I’m there, it often makes me want to work in the corporate world and have an awesome little apartment there, and dress in clothes similar to those worn by Jessica Pearson in Suits…but then I remember that I cannot walk in heels. I also then remember how much I love the sunshine and my slip-slops.
Let’s talk about health. What do you do to stay healthy during traveling?
N.E.: Not too much to be honest. I’m sure as I start to travel more frequently, I’m going to have to prioritize this however I am still in the honeymoon phase of traveling, so I love a little treat here and there. I do try and stick to having fresh juices and a lot of healthy snacks, as I tend to always get sick when traveling, so making sure that my body has the right amount of vitamins and fresh products are important for me to enjoy the trip. We hardly ever sit still when we travel and are always indulging in some sort of physical activity as those are the things that we enjoy doing most so that obviously helps.
You probably try out a lot of different food when you travel! What was the strangest thing you tried?
N.E.: I tried crocodile sausage and deep-fried Mopani Worms in Zambia. The croc sausage wasn’t too bad, but those worms…never again
For a full mindmap behind this article with articles, videos, and documents see #travel
How do you learn about a culture and meet locals without speaking their language?
N.E.: I think it is important to do some homework beforehand, learn basic words and responses in their language and read about, what is considered rude or impolite to avoid sticky situations, but also as mutual respect. Obviously, the longer that you are in a place, the more it helps with understanding the associated culture, but staying in a hotel, greatly reduces your chances of becoming involved in a culture, instead look for local accommodation, a backpackers or even a smaller locally run hotel.
What do you do when travel starts feeling repetitive and routine? How do you make each destination exciting?
N.E.: Fortunately, traveling hasn’t quite gotten to that point for me yet. Long hours at the airport can really dampen the mood, but then again I just have to realize, how lucky I am, that I even get to experience the world through air travel. But for me right now, every place is exciting!
PHOTO CREDIT: NICOLE EDDY
I agree, travel is a wonderful thing, but it can be stressful as well. Can you give us some advice on how to handle stressful situations while traveling?
Always be on time.
N.E.: It eliminates so much unnecessary travel stress! Make sure that you have all your backup documents and passport details printed out in a folder that you take with you, as you never know when immigration officials or border control want to see them, especially traveling on South African passport. Just relax, whatever happens, so take it all in.
Finally, what is your next destination?
N.E.: I’m currently on route to Austria, Obertauern, for a week of snowboarding with The Ski Week.
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