Friday, December 27, 2013

Interview (13) - let me introduce you to Valerie

My name is Valerie Parisius and I’m following my heART by traveling around the world and see how far I would go if I tried to make a living with the illustrations of my diary.

It all started with my creative recovery journey through South East Asia. The intention was to travel only for 2 months and now I've been on the road since 2011 keeping a travel diary which has been living a life of it's own from selling postcards to holding exhibitions wherever I go. In my travel diary I keep a daily meditative private practice of writing and drawing which has been helping me to heal as an artist and grow as a person 

What was your inspiration or the event/idea that made you want to travel?
I always had a fire in me burning to see more of the world and to live abroad. After a long recovery from sickness I felt like I had nothing to lose and decided to pursuit my dreams and to feel passionate about life again.

What was your first travel experience?
I was born on a small island in the Caribbean (Curacao ) and went to Holland to study. I also lived for some time in Shanghai and London but on my fulltime travel journey Bali was my first stop.

Have you ever felt lonely travelling (solo)?
I don’t feel lonely when I am alone but when I arrive at a new place and I see groups of for example other travelers having a great time. I tend to feel a bit lonely as it kind of feels like being the uncool kid without any friends in High school.  It feels a bit intimidating to reach out but once I gather enough guts to open up I realize that there are a lot of kind and interesting people out there with stories to share. It gets easier with time but it always feels like a little obstacle to me. The rewards are big as I feel you bond much easier while traveling. I made some dear friends along the way.

Do you have any fun stories of things that happened to you that you realized even at the time “This never would have happened if I had been traveling with someone else?”
The great thing about traveling solo is that you don’t have to take anyone’s needs into consideration. You can listen to your own intuition and have the complete freedom to leave or stay as long as you want to. You end up flowing with your natural rhythm and discover what you really want and what makes you happy without compromising.

What was your best travel experience?
I was staying at a beach house in Koh Samui where I painted on the beach every day and danced there every night alone. I didn’t speak to anyone for 3 weeks. I never felt so content and connected to nature and to myself.

What are your future travel plans?
I want to see Latin America and Hawaii in the near future and see how those vibrant and colorful places will influence my art and my journey.

What would you tell women who are looking to travel alone but worry about their safety?
Once you start traveling you will find out that it looks much scarier from the outside. It’s often about using your common sense and taking care of your belongings. Start in a place that is traveler friendly such as Thailand and you will soon catch the travel bug as well.

Couchsurfing..what do you think about that?
I think it’s a beautiful initiative to experience a country in a different way and to meet new people. I haven’t used it much as I prefer to have my own personal space and when I come ‘home’ I want to recharge and not entertain anyone..

How do you pay for a life of travel?
I draw in my diary and I sell my illustrations online. I also have my own Jewelry line that I produce in Thailand and different creative opportunities that come my way on the road such as designing Logo’s , murals etc.

Tell us about the best food you have ever eaten on your travels?
It’s hard to choose but I loved Singapore’s black pepper crab, buttermilk prawns in Kota Kinabalu and homemade mango pie in Pai.

What is the most breathtaking view you have ever witnessed on your travels
The most breathtaking view was on South East Asia’s highest peak , Mount kinabalu. The feeling is amazing when you see sunrise and the shadow of the mountain casts a perfect triangle on the landscape.

What do you miss about your home when you go traveling?
Apart from my family and friends I do miss little things such as the things you gather to make a home a home as there is only so much things that you can carry in your backpack. In the beginning you don’t miss it at all as there is so much to see and experience out there but after two years I am appreciating all the little ‘normal ‘ stuff that you take for granted.

What item will you always carry in your backpack?
I always carry my diary and my camera.

What have you learned from travelling?
I learned that whenever you have to choose always choose the one thing that makes you feel excited. It’s important to keep the adventure, wonder and magic alive in in your life. I also learnt the importance of letting things go for other great things to come into your life.

Who inspires you? What other travellers do you look up to?
Caspar Diederik my dear friend of , who tells visual stories with the most beautiful videos, has inspired me to live my legend and that anything is possible as long as you are passionate about it.

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