1) Hi Eva, and congratulations on being a globelle gal in focus! Where in the world could we currently find you?
I'm in Monteriggioni, an hour away from Florence in Italy for a friend's wedding. I will soon be heading to Cinque Terre and Amsterdam for the remainder of my trip before heading back to New York!
2) What inspired you to first start travelling?
Two things really: my overwhelming innate curiosity and the opportunity to go to school and play sports outside Poland, where I was born and raised.
3) What's been your favourite place to visit, and why?
You can imagine it's impossible to choose just one, but I can say that I've been really enjoying my trips to Mexico in recent years. From it's magical beachside spots with beautiful nature, to the large cities and capital which have amazing energy, it's always a lot of fun to visit and experience this rich culture firsthand.
4) Who would you say has been the most influential person to your travels, and why?
As cheesy as it sounds, I would have to say my mum. She has always supported me in my need to globe trot and to this day, she joins me for a trip every year. Since we both like to explore new places and we travel well together, I take her on a mother-daughter getaway for her birthday each summer. I think the fact that she and my dad gave me the freedom and resources to run around the world and shape my own experiences influenced me tremendously. As a result of this, I learned to be resourceful and travel independently from an early age.
5) What is the worst thing that's happened to you on the road? How did you deal with it?
I've been quite lucky during my travels, but during my first solo trip to Brazil, the favela uprisings were in full force in Rio de Janeiro. I was about to make a stop there for a few days after exploring Sao Paulo, but I was advised to reroute and not put myself at risk.
I decided to book a same day ticket to Florianopolis, an island in Santa Catarina. I didn't know a soul there, I couldn't communicate with locals and I relied on friends of friends of friends for dinner plans. They didn't speak any English but they were gracious hosts. I guess things would have turned out worse had I gone on to Rio, but at the time, it all felt a bit shaky! Since then, I have learned Portuguese to make sure I manage wherever Brazilian travel uncertainty may take me.
6) Obviously life on the road is about fewer possessions and more moments, but what is the one thing you can't travel without?
My iPhone charger! It juices up my camera, my map, my mirror, flashlight, guide and occasionally it's a phone too (HQ: crucial!)
7) Since being on the road, you've started your own initiative, Travelle (great name!). What inspired you to do this?
The inspiration behind it stemmed from the early days of when I started to extensively travel for work. Despite all the experience I had with moving around, I came to realize that business travel is a very different animal. Especially when it comes to preparing for trips, managing my days while away and navigating new destinations.
In the first months of my new job, I was really struggling to maintain my quality of life while away from home. I was constantly scrambling to get organised, knowing that while away my usual routine would be put on hold. I didn't know how to find a manicure for where I was heading next, whether or not I'd get to work out, and if I needed to bring all my beauty products or if the hotel would have me covered.
My body suffered. I discovered that minibars are often packed with junk food, room service menus don't always have good healthy options and when I was in a hurry, I ended up eating whatever was in front of me. The frequent flights also wrecked havoc on my digestion, skin and my sense of style as I didn't know how to find the balance between looking sharp and staying comfortable. I just ended up feeling like a slob!
Getting things down took a lot of effort, time consuming research and experience. I want to share what I've learnt with other women and for Travelle to serve as a resource to improve women's lives while on the road.
After all, how we travel, is how we live these days. So let's travel beautifully.
8) What do you hope to achieve through Travelle, and how?
I hope to be the go-to resource that ladies turn to the moment they book a trip. Over time, as the website continues to grow, they will be able to learn about what to wear, which beauty products and snacks to buy and how to pack them, and how to stay healthy and fit while on the fly.
To date, we have had a very positive response and desire to continue growing the platform through collaborations. We're also planning a number of events with partners in fashion, beauty and hospitality for Fall 2015, and in time we will be working on an e-commerce section and co-branding initiatives for women's travel related merchandise. We are also working on establishing affiliations with hospitality groups that cater to women like us who consider the airport our second home.
9) What does your day to day role with Travelle involve?
I'm the sole founder and creator, which means I do everything that involves the running and operations of the site. I'm a writer, editor, event planner, marketer...it really is a party of one! I'm constantly on the lookout for contributors and interns, their support and inspiration is indispensable! (HQ: if you're feeling inspired and are interested in being involved with Travelle, see below!)
10) What does travelling mean to you?
I consider myself a nomad, and travel is something that defines me more than enriches me at this point. I'm never in one place for more than a few weeks at a time and I wouldn't have it any other way.
11) If you could offer one piece of advice to those travelling for the first time, either as part of a group or solo, what would it be?
Regardless of whether you travel alone or with a group, always make an effort to spend time with locals. Even if it means simply initiating a conversation with the taxi driver or receptionist at your hotel. You are guaranteed to learn more about where you are from people who live there than any guidebook! (HQ: Preach!)
12) And finally, how can globelle gals get involved with Travelle and in touch with you?