Interview with Nastasia from Damé Traveler

This past summer while I was on a shopping tour my client recommended an instagram account for me to look at. That instagram account was Damé Traveler run by Nastasia Yakoub. to help bring women from all around the world together to share their common passion of travel. 

How did the idea for Dame Traveler come to be?
I started traveling in 2010 and it was the moment I caught the travel bug that I discovered my true passion for the world. Photography, my other passion, introduced me to a community of travel photographers on Instagram where I shared my own travel photos on @NastasiasPassport. I began noticing tons of fashion and beauty blogs/Instagram galleries and a lack of women's travel blogs. After experiencing the excitement of my first feature on Travel + Leisure's Instagram account, I was inspired to start my own community of lady travelers - Dame Traveler.

 I began to share my new account and hashtag #dametraveler on my other social media accounts and began interacting with lady travelers by searching hashtags such as #travel, #paris, #airport, etc. I also posted scenic portraits of myself from my own travels as well as friends and family.  Before I knew it, more and more ladies were hashtagging #dametraveler  and I continued to interact and support my fellow lady travelers as the community grew.

 

Where did you go on your last trip?
My last trip was a spur of the moment visit to Barcelona and Montserrat in May 2014!
I took my mother along for the ride and it was a wonderful time. We explored the city and discovered hidden gems such as the Turó de la Rovira that had 360 degree views of Barcelona.

We also spent a lot of time in Montserrat, a Benedictine monk mountain retreat about one hour North West from Barcelona by train. We hiked the various trails and sipped wine at sunset. It’s truly one of the most peaceful and special places I have ever visited. 

 

What is your favourite destination and why?
Italy. My heart will always flutter at the very thought of the beautiful country.
My husband’s grandmother was from Naples and we decided to get married there on October 13th, 2013. We celebrated with 40 of our closest friends and family on the Amalfi Coast of southern Italy. We wed in the Amalfi cathedral in the small fisherman’s town of Amalfi and danced the night away at Hotel Caruso in Ravello for the reception. It was truly blissful.

 

What is your main goal for Dame Traveler?
My main goal is to inspire ladies to travel more, experience more and be more. 
It brings me great joy to connect with the lady travelers of the world and to support them in every way possible. 

What do you see for the future of Dame Traveler?
I see an even bigger community of lady travelers coming together for the greater good and making it our mission to make this beautiful world a more connected, peaceful and unified place. I see many more creative collaborations and projects in the near future as well as a possible excursion bringing the community even closer together by traveling together!

 

What is your favourite quote and why?
“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”
This quote has always been my favorite. We now live in a world where perfection is portrayed on almost everything we see from blogs to magaznes. But the truth of the matter is that we live in an imperfect world and it is easy to forget the power of kindness. We all laugh, cry, suffer and rejoice regardless of what type of life we lead so we mustn’t forget how fragile we all are, we are in this world together so we might as well make the journey a peaceful one.

 

What was the last song that you listened to?
Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machine. It is my dream song.

 

What is your local city and what are your personal recommendations for that city?

Chicago, Illinois!
I moved here from Michigan for nursing school in 2008 and I am head over heels in love with this city. I could write a book on all of my favorite things to do in this city but I will keep it simple for now ☺

Start your morning by grabbing a cappuccino from La Colombe Coffee in the West Loop. Head over to the Gold Coast after walking along Michigan Ave and take a stroll down Oak Street to do some wonderful window shopping. Head over to Lou Malnati’s for some famous Chicago style deep dish pizza. Then head up to the 95th floor of the John Hancock Tower and grab a drink at the Signature Room while admiring the glittering city along Lake Michigan. Spend a couple of hours at the Museum of Contemporary Art and then head over to the famous Gibson’s Steakhouse for dinner. P.s. if you can squeeze in some time to visit the Lincoln Park Zoo, do it! It’s beautiful and not to mention free!

Enjoy and happy travels xoxo

To follow Nastasia's story you can visit her site or follow her on instagram at @dametraveler