Introducing the “Passport to People Series” where I’ll take you around the globe, via inspiring, creative souls I’ve met while on my travels!
Meet Solen Yucel, the energetic food-travel blogger from ‘Eatravels.’ I first met Solen one fateful night in Agra, shivering on our hostel balcony since Northern India was experiencing an unusual bout of cold weather at the time (it had hailed earlier that day!) We chatted away both being bloggers and passionate eaters. A week later as I walked into a cooking class in Udaipur, I saw her beautiful face beaming a smile at me from across the room. Five hours of cooking under the watchful eye of a fierce Indian matron cemented our bonds for life. We capped a day of indulgent feasting on a rooftop watching the sun melt into Lake Pichola as we shared stories over multiple cups of chai. A few months later, I saw her again in Vietnam as she’s on a tour around the world with no end in sight! This woman is living the dream! She left a stable job and has been meandering around the Asian continent for the past seven months. She’ll soon be heading off to South America for the second part of her journey where she hopes to take up residence. We caught up with her to get her views on traveling…
Why hello again Solen! Thank you for taking the time to catch up with me! What are you listening to right now?
Wonderlust king by Gogol Bordello. Whenever I listen to it, I am good to go.
What your go-to place for travel inspiration?
Travelfish, matador network and various personal blogs.
The key to a successful trip is…
Not over-planning. When you have a not so flexible itinerary there is a very good chance that you will be missing amazing places that you didn’t know they have existed.
Cool cool. So let’s get down to the fun stuff! You, unfortunately, have been condemned to die. But fortunately, you get to have any meal in the world before you go.
A full course Turkish breakfast with simit. Have you ever seen a proper Turkish breakfast? It is mind-blowing!
Besides the basics, what’s the first phrase you try to learn in the local language?
How much? 😀
If you were exiled to one country for the rest of your life, where would it be?
Greece… I am always be a big sucker for the Mediterranean lifestyle.
Mhmm eating all that yummy Greek food! Now, what’s the most important skill you’ve learned on the road?
I took classes for open water diver’s license in Thailand. Diving may be the best skill I gained along with learning how to bargain in Asia.
Signature accessory while traveling?
Oh that’s so embarrassing. I have a waist bag for my phones and documents I need to keep under my hand. It used to have a plastic bottle on the side but I got rid of it and stop looking like a retired old lady finally.
Best foreign curse word… go!
Figlio di puttana! Curious? There’s always Google 😉
You have just won a trip around the world! List twelve cities on your flight path.
Rome, Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro, Lima, Cusco, Quito, The Galapagos Islands, Easter Islands, Auckland, Sydney, Manila.
What do you “know now” that you wish you “knew then”?
I wish I knew earlier that travel is a matter of courage not a matter of money. (This quote is stolen from Paolo Coelho)
Memorable advice from a stranger?
It was the day after New Year’s Eve of 2014. I was outside to have coffee early in the morning. The streets were empty as everybody was recovering from the new year parties. I saw an old man walking his dog and when he approached, I greeted him saying “happy new year” he hold my arm, looked into my eyes and said. “Be happy my dear… Be very happy” This is the best advice I ever got from a stranger.
How do you cheer yourself up on a bad day?
I don’t force myself to cheer up. I accept that bad days are also a part of the wonderful package called traveling.
Ain’t that the truth! Thanks for the wisdom Solen and best of luck on seeing the rest of the world! We’re excited to find out where you’ll end up 🙂
Be sure to check out her blog and social media!
Travel blog: Eatravels