“I tend to overthink things. Normally, when I travel, I always research things before I go: I book an Airbnb weeks in advance and I look for the best restaurants, stores and cafes to visit. Planning is something I enjoy a lot, but you can’t control everything. Traveling naturally helps me to let go of the need to control things. I noticed that when you go with the flow, the universe tends to gift you these unexpected situations. And those are the ones that make your travel most memorable. This trip, for instance, I booked a day before I left with no plan but to spend time on the beach. And I now see that because of my lack of plan, not in spite of it, I ended up meeting so many interesting people here in Tulum (Mexico) and have had a great time. Another thing traveling has taught me is that a lot of the things I worry about back home don’t matter as much as I think they do. In a way, life comes into focus when you travel. You realize your work, your home or your friends do not define you. It’s a little reset. You can go anywhere you want to go, by yourself, and do whatever you want to do.”

“We used to travel a lot when I was young. My mom is from Egypt and my father often traveled internationally for work. They made sure to prioritize travel in our lives. Every other summer we’d go to Egypt and stay with my grandmother for two months. Now, I try to do at least one big international trip every year. What I don’t like that much about traveling nowadays? I find myself taking different photos than I did when social media wasn’t that big. I’m often thinking about the next photo or story I’m going post on Instagram, and that puts me in a future state. For instance, when I was traveling in Argentina, it took some time to get into it. I struggled to relax and enjoy my travels, but that’s not what it looked like on social media where I was only posting happy pictures. This curation made it seem like a completely different journey than the one I actually experienced. I still need to figure out how to balance that pressure. I love photography, but when you try to chase the Instagram moments, you’re not as present. And I’d rather put my energy into engaging with people. Since all of the best memories I’ve made, were because of the people I’ve met – the conversations, the connections and the shared experiences.”