Meet our new ambassador Mina. Mina lives to travel and experience life, she views the world as her oyster to explore, experience and protect in every way possible. Currently she is spending time in Cambodia, promoting eco-tourism and teaching the young girls how to survive in nature. She is an avid adventurer, travel guide, photographer and model with a passion for the outdoors. Her mantra is #followyouradventure and she truly lives by that, always finding the next place to see or person to meet. Here’s a quick intro so we can all get to know Mina a little better.
What drives you to travel so much?
Simply put, to unplug, discover the unknown and expand my horizons. In my early 20’s during a solo backpacking trip through Europe, I realized there was a vast difference in the way people lived their lives in America than in Europe. In America people tend to live to work, whereas in Europe, people tend to work to live. In my mid 20’s when I moved from the Washington DC area to the other side of the country where I resided in Los Angeles for 4.5 years, the difference in the mentality of way people went about their lives became surprisingly more prevalent. This piqued my interest to pursue a further understanding of how our surroundings and the culture we are raised in shape who we are. I travel because I have this deep innate desire to evolve to be the highest me I can be in order to best serve the natural universe and the human race, and I truly believe fulfilling this calling isn’t possible without first educating myself on becoming a world citizen.
Do you usually travel in groups or by yourself?
Most of the times I’m solo but that’s not to say I don’t enjoy also traveling in groups. The one challenge I’ve come across though is finding others operating on the same frequency. Most people aren’t too keen on playing chicken with 18 wheelers to bypass traffic on highways on a two wheel 100cc motorcycle.
What’s the best & worst part of traveling by yourself?
Best part of traveling alone, the freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want. Worst part, not always being able to experience magical moments with people I care about.
Do you plan your trips differently if you know you will be by your self?
When I’m by myself I tend to typically be more free spirited, seeking new places to explore and allow myself to go with the flow rather than having an actual plan. When I’m organizing and leading group adventures, more detailed planning and preparation is involved and a strategic itinerary is usually followed in an environment I have explored multiple times. When traveling with friends, we usually have a destination or region in mind to explore and that’s about as far as the planning goes.
Are there any pieces of gear you don’t travel without?
A $2500 camera broken three times, GPS watch, first aid kit, good book, and solid pair of hiking boots.
What is the best place you have traveled over the years?
This is a tough question to answer. Personally I think what makes a destination memorable and great are the people and culture, and it’s not until I’ve returned a few times that I get an appreciation and understanding of both. Havasupai Indian Reservation and Cambodia are two places which have continuously pulled me back over the last couple years. But if we are talking about outdoor adventure and landscape, I have yet been to a place that’s been more geologically diverse and scenic than the western part of the states. Keep in mind that I’m only 14 countries deep though and there is still a ton left for me to explore.
How do you fund your travels?
Initially I started with a small savings. As I followed my passion of traveling and searched for the purpose of my life, I found myself positioned in a niche market where opportunities arose through social media, as well as the expansion of my network. By partnering with organizations and people who align with my vision and ethics, I have been able to fund my travels by providing brand and marketing consulting, product and services development and implementation, content and media production, and becoming an ambassador for the organizations and companies I believe in the most.
What is the number one tip you would give women traveling by themselves?
Don’t be afraid to take risks but listen to your gut. Step out and seek experiences that are unfamiliar. Staying grounded in uncertainty is the key. Take stock of what makes you afraid and distinguish irrational fears from legitimate intuitions.