We talked to Tania and asked her some interesting questions in order to get to know her a little better. Here’s what she had to say about her background, some memories and personal insights.
Where’s home? 🏡
Tania: I always say ‘anywhere I lay my hat I call home’ so it changes constantly really. I was born, though, in Pretoria, South Africa.
What’s your first-ever travel memory?
Tania: Well, I have so many first travel memories so it’s hard to answer this. The first time on a plane for me was when I was super young and accompanying my dad. who’s a pilot. I remember my first local flight was from Johannesburg to Durban to Cape Town, then back to Johannesburg that same night! The first time I flew overseas was to Singapore. The first time I flew on my own was to the Netherlands straight after school.
What’s always in your bag, no matter what kind of trip you’re on?
Tania: My essential oils! I take them with me everywhere. They are like my first-aid kit; there is an oil for just about every ailment.
Where’s the best place you ever woke up?
Tania: In a beautiful beach bungalow in Zanzibar.
What’s your favorite mode of transportation and why?
Tania: If it’s to explore a new city, most definitely my own two legs. Walking is the best way to explore 🚶♀️. If the distance is longer, I either take the local bus or train.
What’s the best meal (not from home) you’ve ever had from around the world?
Tania: Pad Thai Pak.
Do you have a story about a moment of connection with a local from one of your trips that you’ll never forget?
Tania: Sure, I do! I was sitting on one of my favorite beaches in Thailand when this old lady selling sarongs came towards me. I didn’t need a sarong so I politely declined her offer. Nevertheless, she sat beside me and sparked up a conversation. It was a very comical conversation as her English and my Thai were both very poor, so a lot of gesturing and laughing took place. The Thai people are very friendly by nature and always want to share. She then pulled out a bag of mangoes, the green bitter kind, and shared one with me! After we finished eating, she got up and went back to walking along the beach, attempting to sell her sarongs with a big smile on her face. I’ll never forget the Thai lady who decided to take a short break from work and spend time with me.
What’s a cause that you’re passionate about?
Tania: I’m passionate about anything and everything that has to do with the environment 🌱, mother Earth 🌍 and how every individual can make little beneficial efforts in their daily lifestyle.
Tell us a little bit about a time when you faced your biggest challenge while on a trip.
Tania: On my way to Portugal last year, I was flying with Kenyan Airlines via Nairobi. The flight departed about 40 mins late, but I had about a 90 min layover at Nairobi, so no worries. As we approached for landing, we went lower and lower and lower … then all of a sudden the captain went into full power and we ascended again. I thought, okay, we missed the approach, we’ll will turn around and try again. But we just kept going, we didn’t turn around. After about 10 mins, the captain announced that we did indeed miss our approach and had been redirected to Mombasa airport 50 min away, where we would land, refuel and fly back … at that stage I realised I missed my flight. There was absolutely nothing I could do but sit back and enjoy the extended flight.
After our detour, we finally made it to Nairobi by 9 am. I queued with most of the other passengers and got told I could get on a midnight flight via Amsterdam to Lisbon. To make a long story short (quite a few other interesting events took place), I arrived at Lisbon airport tired and ready for my 4 hr bus journey to Lagos, waiting patiently at the conveyor belt for my luggage … that never came. I think by this stage, I was in zombie mode so I just made my way to the lost luggage counter to report the incident and get a case number. I made my way to the bus station only to find out that the pre-booked bus ticket I bought was a non-changeable ticket (even though I had emailed them form Nairobi explaining my situation). By now, I just felt super drained and exhausted, and I started to cry.
What drove you to not give up and keep going?
Tania: I realised, I made it this far, I only have one more stretch to go. With that in mind, I bought a new bus ticket and with 2 hours to spare and lightweight hand luggage, I went around to go explore. I came across a small market and found this little crystal stall, picked out 2 crystals that felt right to me. I also found a little street cafe and enjoyed an ice-cold beer. I felt so much better after my body, spirit and mind were recharged. In the end, I made it safely to my final destination for my one month visit to Portugal. My luggage arrived 4 days later, and I had an amazing month there.
In the end, everything always works out. We just have to keep going and try to see the silver lining in every moment.
What does joining With Travel Community as a Nomad mean to you?
Tania: It means that I can share my passion for being spontaneous and open to new adventures with other people. Showing fellow travelers the authentic beauty of a country and its people is my goal.
Read more interviews we did with our other Nomads and get inspired!