In this edition of Celebrity Travel Addicts, we have a chat with Nathalie Basha, the award-winning travel journalist behind The Travel Muse! We discuss what sparked her love of travel, a powerful story she covered that reaffirmed why exploring the world is so important, the goal of The Travel Muse, and much more. Check out her favorite travel destinations and find out where her next adventures will take her!
My passion for travel started when my parents took me to Europe at 21 years old – to Paris, Rome, and Greece. I met my fiancé in Greece, and after that we went together to Tanzania. That solidified it!
This depends on my work schedule. There was a period of two years where I was sent on a reporting trip nearly every month. But the company I worked for as a journalist recently folded, so my traveling has slowed way down. Now, all I have is two international trips on the horizon – this is the nature of journalism! It’s erratic.
Depends on my mood! I went to Asia for about seven years straight, so now I’m on a Europe kick. I can get down with anything if I’m in the mood for it – jungles, beaches, cities. One of my favorite trips of all time (not a work reporting trip, for vacation) was to the French countryside, where I even stayed in a 17th century chateau. It was ah-mazing!
The Travel Muse is a narrative account of my life as a travel journalist. I take my audience with me on my professional reporting trips, personal trips, share with them my travel inspirations and tips, and lessons I learned along the way. My journey is what’s unique – I stared as a traditional TV reporter, and made the successful jump to a digital travel journalist at 31 years old. There’s something fresh in my take on traveling, coming from my background. I have been on both sides of the travel journalism game – as a struggling self proclaimed travel vlogger, to an on-staff travel journalist with a major digital company.
Oh man! So many lessons there. Stay true to yourself, believe in yourself, and be super duper clear in your goals. You can’t manifest anything if you don’t know what it looks, feels, sounds, smells like. Also – ask for the things you want. I got my job as a travel journalist because I pitched the role to the company that wanted to hire me as a regular journalist. I have a career video on my Youtube page that breaks this down!
I did a story on the culture of Hawaiian hula dance, and how the application of it in San Quentin State Prison helped reform a man serving a sentence for murder. His name was Upu. I will never forget our interview and how transparent and open he was, and how much he respected the culture of hula. It reaffirmed my belief that exposure to other cultures and mindsets is so healing, because it humanizes everything. To this day, the story is among my favorites.
I want my work to spark a desire to learn more about the world. I want someone to watch one of my stories and come away wanting to know more, then get online and start digging to teach themselves. And if that pushes them to then buy a plane ticket and get firsthand learning experiences about other people, cultures, and places – I have done my job well.
Easy 🙂 Spain, Turkey, France! All incredible countries in their own ways.
I talk about Spain A LOT on my platforms. Here are my top 5 tips for Spain:
I’ve never counted – 30? I care less about the number and more about the connections I make with the culture. I’d rather visit way less countries but have a deeper understanding and spend more time in the few I’ve visited.
Anything Middle Eastern (Lebanese food!), Italian, and Thai…so good.
In Bordeaux, France, I went to Michelin starred restaurant Logis de la Cadène. It was so absurdly delicious, my friends and I started laughing mid-meal.
Oh my GOD I have to pick one?! Raiders of the Lost Arc is the ultimate, although I also adore Chocolat and Midnight in Paris.
Istanbul is pretty gorgeous, and I had a lovely layover in Doha! Holy shopping.
Hands down, New Zealand. Queenstown and Auckland. I love them.
My fiance, Evan!
Watching movies and reading books. I could not do long haul traveling without them. My kindle is my lifesaver because I can do both in one device.
Georgia (the country). Whoa, that was an experience! I was so uneducated on that culture and the people before I went there. It is so steeped in culture and history – did you know modern wine making was born in Georgia, 8,000 years ago? Neither did I, till I went there and met the winemakers.
Travel is the most enriching experience of your life. Document the hell out of it, but then put down your phone and take it in. Also, remain flexible and practice deep breathing – something WILL go wrong, and you’ll have to pivot. Travel is a great lesson in learning how to roll with the punches.
Great walking shoes (Clarks consistently makes my favorite), my Kindle, sleeping pills (lol honest truth), and my camera.
Oh lord. This is so hard to narrow down. Dying to do Morocco, Cuba, Buenos Aires, and the south of France….
“Traveling leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
Hopefully – if all pans out – Jordan and Peru!
I’m The Travel Muse! I’m a professional travel journalist who followed my passion after an unfulfilling life in TV reporting. You can find my travels, professional work, behind the scenes, and life story on my website: www.nathaliebasha.com