Impact Travel spoke to travel blogger Evelin Babos (@evelinbabe on Insta), about her favourite locations, holidays and her top tips on how to travel safely.
Hi Evelin! First of all, would you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you love travel?
I was born in Romania and moved to the US at the age of 10. I pretty much grew up in the South Florida suburbs and I was a “typical American”. As I grew older and began to make my own money, I developed an insatiable desire to explore. Growing up I didn’t do much travelling considering I was raised by a single mom. Travel funds were never a priority until I began travelling with my own money. I don’t consider myself a traveller. I have only touched about 20 countries and about 12 US states and I feel that I am barely grazing the surface. I work full time and if anyone knows anything about the US workforce, it’s that vacation and paid time off is not really part of the culture. I just know that I get very excited each time I book a flight to a new destination and I plan on continuing to explore until I can’t any longer.
“I was able to leave pieces of my heart in great cities”
Where is your favourite destination in the world?
This past summer I was fortunate enough to be able to spend three weeks in Italy where I fell in love; fell in love with the culture, food, people, myself and the desire to continue to find love everywhere that I am. Italy has a lot to offer, even if you travel there without looking for anything.
What has been your most memorable travel moment?
While I have travelled solo before, this past summer I made sure to really step outside my comfort zone completely. I decided I was going to sleep in hostels, rely on public transportation, talk to strangers and do things I have never done while travelling. Stepping outside my comfort zone allowed me to experience moments I never imagined. I met the most incredible individuals, had some critical conversations and feel that in doing so I was able to leave pieces of my heart in great cities such as Milan, Florence, Amsterdam, Rome, Vienna and more. Something I learned that is important to remember. is that most travellers you meet are all travelling for similar purposes, therefore, they are kind and respectful. Realising this was very reassuring.
“Hispanic culture lives in me somehow”
Where’s next on your list to travel to and why?
Next on the list is somewhere in Central and South America. Hispanic culture lives in me somehow and I would absolutely love to explore more of it.
Who do you travel with?
I travel alone and I have travelled with my girlfriends. We all love to travel and would love to travel more together, unfortunately, it’s not always an option.
Why do you use Instagram as a platform?
My intention was not to use Instagram as a platform. However, I should probably consider it. During my last travels, I was contacted by so many strangers on Instagram with questions about my experience. I have been told by others to focus on a travel blog as well. I would love to once I see a consistency in my ability to travel more. However, to answer the ‘why’, Instagram is the most relevant social media platform right now and I personally love it as well.
“I recommend staying in a more tourist-friendly area”
How do you achieve the perfect Instagram post?
I am still working on it. I recently bought the new iPhone so I can improve the quality of my photos but I would love to invest in a camera as well. Filters are also important and of course, the caption and hashtags are equally paramount. In addition, I feel that the timing of the post is important as well. There are definitely many factors to consider.
What’s the most awkward travel situation you’ve found yourself in?
As much as I loved Italy, I was not a fan of Naples. It may have something to do with where I stayed, but I did have an awkward experience where a local was following me for a while as I was walking to my Bed and Breakfast. Naples is known for petty theft crimes committed against tourists so I recommend staying in a more tourist-friendly area if you decide to go, instead of around Napoli Centrale (the main train station).
“Be prepared for literal life-changing moments”
Do you have any advice for travellers in general – in particular solo female travellers?
For my solo female travellers, I would say join “The Solo Female Traveller Network” group on Facebook. It is a community of women all over the world who have travelled everywhere or nowhere at all but have the desire to. It is a great platform to share experiences, provide answers, ask for tips and recommendations and perhaps even meet a fellow traveller. General advice, in general, the following:
- Pack light and ditch the suitcase for a pack.
- If travelling to warm places, leave the jeans at home and bring light flowy pants instead.
- Do research on all places prior to visiting them. Be aware of the culture, religion, do’s and don’ts.
- Check the travel advisory of each country to see how safe it may be to visit. Others will advise that this doesn’t matter as long as you have street smarts but I disagree to an extent.
- Accommodate yourself in a safe central area with nearby public transport.
- I cannot stress enough; be aware of your surroundings. Yes, it’s important to have fun but be cautious; safety first. Carry around a pepper spray if needed.
- Carry your valuables in a money belt under your clothes and don’t carry too much cash.
Whatever your reason is to travel and whatever you may be searching for, just be prepared for literal life-changing moments.
Questions by Amy Wilcockson
To follow Evelin on Instagram, search @evelinbabe.