Nomad Spotlights: 11 questions With Lukene

Lukene Sotomayor

Lukene Sotomayor

Traveling and living in different cities of the world has been a part of Lukene’s life since she was just a month old! From Mexico to Guatemala, then back to the big cities and small towns of Mexico, touring various neighbouring countries, and now in Canada – she’s just finishing her anthropology and film studies before heading to her next destination.

 

We talked to Lukene and asked her questions to get to know her a little better. Here’s what she had to say about her experiences, favourites and personal insights.

 

Where is home for you? 🏡

Lukene: I don’t think there really is only one place I can call “home”. Throughout the years, I have had very deep and confusing discussions inside my mind trying to solve this question in a personal way. Nowadays,  I have a clear mind and thoughts around this question. Someone smart once told me “home is a feeling” and I could not agree more.

Home could be anywhere, and it does not have to be one single place. We can have homes in different countries, places, hearts, persons. Home in my opinion, should be anywhere we go. We deserve to feel part of this world and comfortable in different groups and societies despite their cultures being different to ours. 

 

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Lukene: Free-spirited, big dreamer and determined.

 

What is your favourite quote?

Lukene: “My heart feels at ease knowing that what was meant for me will never miss me, and that which misses me was never meant for me” – Iman Al-Shafti.

 

What’s your first-ever travel memory?

Lukene: Travelling with my family to El Salvador 🇸🇻 on a Mexican beach.

 

Where’s the best place you’ve woken up?

Lukene: In a bamboo village in the middle of the tropical jungle.

 

What’s the best meal (not from your home) you’ve ever had from around the world?

Lukene: Hummus from Tel Aviv smiling face with hearts

 

Do you have a story about a moment of connection with a local from your travels that you’ll never forget?

Lukene: Yes! I was at the beach near Baracoa, Cuba with a bunch of other friends and people, I felt like isolating myself for a bit as I needed my own time and peace while walking on the sand along the coast of this virgin beach. I then saw this man for like the fourth time, who was selling fruit he collected from the trees near by. With my friends I kept speaking in English because we were an international group, but I decided it was a unique time to speak Spanish (finally after a few hours!) and approached the man, who also approached me and so we talked for a long time. He is a senior who was severely affected by a tropical cyclone that happened a few months before I landed in Cuba. He lives in a rural area near by that beach and because of his age and physical health, he couldn’t work much, plus he lost his crops and house that had to be rebuilt. He told me stories about his daughter who he seemed very proud of and I asked as many questions as he allowed me to.

Perhaps he faced many challenges in life, but he kept smiling with an attitude of lightness and fluidity. He is an example of looking at things without fear and overcoming them. He then allowed me to give him some of the belonging I brought to the beach and he was the happiest when he saw them. I unfortunately don’t have any pictures with him, honestly I can’t remember if his name was Miguel or Manuel, but I have a picture of his face in my mind that fills my heart every time I feel down or devastated. I only hope he is doing well and he keeps enjoying that beautiful beach.

 

Tell us a little bit about the time you faced your biggest challenge while on a trip. How did you build up the courage to face it or what drove you to not give up and keep going?

Lukene: I’d say the most technical “issue” I had while traveling was when some women in the subway of Athens pickpocketed me and took my passport with visas in it. It obviously was something to feel worried about, but I grew up with a dad that reminded me in time of crises, “always keep calm”.

So my lovely friend Chelsea helped me calling my embassy while I was making sure I had everything else. We went to the embassy and it was “Greece National day” so the Mexican embassy decided to celebrate with them and close the offices. I had to call and ask what documents I needed to get a new passport to keep traveling. I had to go to the police station and get a report, gather documents and finally got a new passport the day after. The visas were other thing and solved them eventually.

The point here is that yeah, this sounds scary, just take my example and be extra careful. But if it happens, then it happens and all you what to do is to first and foremost: STAY CALM. Things always get solved and you need a thinking and clear mind to face this challenges. Then just keep on top of things and keep thinking positive 😃

 

What’s the top thing that’s still on your travel bucketlist that you haven’t done yet?

Lukene: The list is endless, but one of the top things is surfing and camping in Cabo Polonio in Uruguay 🇺🇾. 

 

What does joining With Travel Community mean to you?

Lukene: It is a chance to make travel a shared passion with others.

It is an opportunity to build a community of like-minded people globally.

 

Read more interviews we did with our other Nomads and get inspired!