Claire is one of The Travel Women Ambassadors and a student in Boston on a mission to see as much of the world as she can. READ MORE ABOUT OUR AMBASSADORS HERE.
1. Why do you travel?
I travel for diversity. This world is so different, with so many different foods, languages, cultures, religions tucked away in the furthest corners and I long to see as much of it as I possibly can. I love meeting a person so incredibly different from you, and yet feeling as though you are one and the same, sharing the camaraderie of simple human nature. I love seeing places so wildly different from anything you’ve ever seen before; it’s like going back to your childhood, in awe of this mystical new earth.I travel for learning. This world is so different, all the new people you meet have their own stories to share, all incredibly unique. Every time you visit a new place, you see the different ways that people live, and you can learn about a new perspective of life. It’s like reading a thousand storybooks but instead of reading you’re living.I travel for humbleness. This world is so different, there is so much that I don’t know and nothing is better than travel to remind myself of that. Travel reminds you how tiny you are, how insignificant, yet, when you stare up at ancient monuments built in the name of some old guy a thousand years ago, travel also shows you how significant you can be.
2. What do you think of when you think of a woman traveler?
I think first of confidence and bravery. You must be brave to throw yourself into the vast unknown, and confident enough in yourself to know that you trust yourself in a place where you know no one else. I then think of curiosity, just as I have. The female traveler is curious and wants to see new and different things rather than the old comforts of her hometown.
3. What was your favorite travel experience?
I had been traveling all my life to visit relatives but the travel bug didn’t really bite me until a school exchange trip to Italy. When I went to visit relatives I could still speak the language, but In Italy, I didn’t understand a word. I was completely surrounded by the new, and I threw myself into it with elation. The unknown enthralled me like nothing had ever before. In addition, it was carnevale season there, and during festivities a parade float dumped a whole sack of confetti on my head. Shrieking and laughing and ecstatic with the newness of it all, it was then that I fell in love with travel and it is that carnival that is my favorite travel experience.
4. Which place(s) do you want to go next, why?
Greece, for sure. Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, every single picture I’ve seen from that country is gorgeous. Not to mention, Greece’s history goes back a couple thousand years, and I’m fascinated with Greek Mythology (there was a Greek Mythology bee in fourth grade and I still remember that I got a bronze medal, not to brag or anything…) and seeing all the temples dedicated to the Greek gods and deities and the place where Greek Mythology came from would be incredible. To see that there were people long before we ever existed who had lives that were just as important and built beautiful things that we are in awe of today – it’s like staring history straight in the face.
5. When did you start traveling?
Because I’m Chinese-American, half (actually most) of my family lives overseas, so I’ve been traveling across the world ever since I was five. I can’t recall a time that travel hasn’t been a part of my life.
6. Who do you prefer traveling with?
I’ve been on enough family vacations to know that traveling with other people can be an absolute nightmare. But if you travel with people who have the same travel style as you then it can be far better than traveling by yourself as well (and you can get nice pictures of yourself more easily!) So I’d say I like travleing with friends most.
7. Why do you enjoy photographing/writing about travel?
I love taking photos and writing about my travels because I get to share the experience I’ve had with other people through them. I hope that whatever lessons I learn can also influence others. Also I love reliving my own travels through photos and writing. I actually have a collage of a bunch of travel photos as my desktop background and whenever I look at it an my dreary work place it takes me back and lifts my spirits.
8. What is your favorite souvenir?
I was never a huge souvenir enthusiast, But my favorite is a Hawaiian lei that I brought back from my trip to Hawaii.