Venturing into the world and exploring new destinations, stepping off the airplane at a unique location, the desire to discover refreshing landscapes and cultures, seem to be all pieces of the puzzle referred to as wanderlust.
One of the individuals who seemed to have fully embraced the inner impulse to explore the world is Aninke van Antwerpen, avid traveller, blogger, and a person passionate about the planet. Originally from South Africa, Aninke has always wanted to get out there, see the world, and she seemed to have been lucky enough to do so.
the Jupital was offered the opportunity to interview Aninke about her passion for travel and her aim to change the general mindset about travelling abroad while inspiring her readers through her stories.
the Jupital: What triggered your passion for travel and what are the rewarding aspects of it?
Aninke: Foreign places, cultures and exotic food have always attracted me. My travels started when I relocated to the USA to work as an au pair for two years. This experience changed me completely and broadened my horizons. After I finished my studies I set out again. Waking up in a new city, grabbing a coffee and starting to explore without knowing the outcome is a delightful feeling. The ultimate reward though is to experience everyday things as if it’s the first time.
the Jupital: What countries have you visited so far and how do you select your destinations?
Aninke: I’ve been to the USA, most of Europe, including the UK, Scandinavia and Iceland, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand, Egypt, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, India, Nepal, most of the Caribbean and French Polynesia. I select destinations from my bucket list, however sometimes a place comes up and research turns into destination. My palate, weather and festivals also play a role.
the Jupital: What were the highlights of your most recent trip?
Aninke: My most recent trip was to India and Nepal. The people of Nepal are incredible, by far the friendliest and warmest people I’ve ever met. Seeing the Himalayas was breathtaking; Nepal is such a peaceful country. My stand out moment was with the children from Orcha, a village in India. My eye caught 4 children playing on a tree swing and I immediately wanted some pictures. These kids touched my heart instantly. As I walked up they all said “Namaste”, which is the greeting in India and Nepal and translates from Sanskrit as “I bow to you”, “my soul sees the divine in your soul”. The children were beautiful and respectful and allowed me to take some lovely pictures. They looked joyous and content with life and all they desired was chocolate, which I bought for them. They had a genuine innocence about them and made me think of how wonderful the world may look through their eyes.
the Jupital: What do you enjoy most about your travels and what’s next on your bucket list?
Aninke: Every place and every person I meet along my journeys may influence me in a way. With every trip, I learn more about myself and gain new perspective. Learning about different cultures, the food and wine is always a highlight. Travelling gives me an adrenaline rush, especially when I’m somewhere completely foreign. I have many friends from Brazil and I love the culture and music, so next year I am planning on being there; I am also thinking of taking a trip to Japan.
the Jupital: What motivates you to keep travelling?
Aninke: I see life as a book and every destination as a page. Breaking the daily routine and challenging myself offers me an opportunity for gaining new perspectives and self-discovery. Besides creating memories for a lifetime, travel is enabling me to experience new customs, different ways of living and values, making me a spiritually richer and more resourceful person.
To learn more about Aninke van Antwerpen and her travels around the world you may access: http://www.seasonedava.com
How may exploring foreign cultures shift perceptions about the world?