My Journal Recent Discoveries

You Asked, I Answered (Part 2)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016
You Asked, I Answered (Part 2)Like0

It’s always heart warming to receive so many questions about how I keep my passion alive.

How I take my photos and who is behind the lens?

This part 2 of You asked, I answered, left me realizing a lot of things about myself as well that I never put down in writing.

Mostly, inspiration.

Who inspires me the most. Then, WHAT inspires me the most.

If I could answer every question I would, for now, here are few of the questions I get constantly asked.

Feel free to ask me anything in the comments below.

Love,

Michelle

1. What inspires you the most?

People. Genuine and loyal people. Their story, their background, what they dream of when they are alone.

2. What are the things that you chase?

Volcanoes, waterfalls (best ones in Bali so far, I’m waiting to see Iceland and Hawaii) and, my best friend across the world if I had to.
Forgiveness in people. If someone has done something wrong by me, nothing will be the same until he or she says sorry.
Almost feels as if I am chasing that. Never underestimate the power of that simple word. ‘Sorry’.
After that, everything falls into place with that one word.

3. What makes you sad?

A lot of things can make me sad, some things ,I can get over it very fast (if you offer me fries) some other things, could be almost impossible to get over. I don’t make friends easily, I am friendly with everyone and love people, but I always have 1 or 2 special people in my life that I would constantly be in touch with, and, if any of them would fail me, I would be heartbroken. A month ago, my good friend left Dubai to the U.S for good, that made me really sad and a little vulnerable. Also, cruelty of animals such as dolphin hunting. elephant abuse and poaching breaks my heart too.

4. What makes you happy?

Right now? Acing a project! My job. Actually scratch that, what makes me happy is finishing and perfecting a presentation! Writing, my family of course when they are happy with me, traveling, everyone sending me messages on how TJD helped them and those who I cross their mind from time to time and they let me know, waterfalls, diving, french fries, music.
Most of all, deep conversations with someone who understands me… that to me, is everything!

5. Have you ever lived in Lebanon?

I was and am an expat for 33 years of my life. I never lived in Lebanon but my roots are from there, but the longer I am gone, the less attached I feel to any nationality I can call my own and it plays a major role to my personality.

6. How many countries have you visited?

I just marked my 87th country in Kenya.

7. Are you an aisle or window person?

Saying a window does sound so much better and I do love the window seat, but I have to say that I am an aisle person. I think I tend to favor logic and comfort more than views. It’s easier to move in and out on an aisle seat 🙂

8. Where is your favorite place to go on a short quick break?

I would say right now from Dubai is Maldives & Kenya to this question, it’s 4 hours away from Dubai, no visa required (to some for Kenya), no hassle, no pressure of doing anything at all but dive all day or go on game drives and connect with the wildlife.

9. Who takes your pictures when you travel?

Just me and my tripod, (my husband if & when he travels with me) But mostly my TRIPOD!
I do not have a personal photographer. I invested time and effort into learning how to take my own pictures. I ask strangers on the streets sometimes too!
I wrote an article about it, you can click here.

10. Do you have an influencer/blogger program available so I can sign up?

Yes, we are working with influencers and bloggers from the GCC region and across the globe in parallel with hotels and tourism boards to connect one with the other. You can register  or email us at [email protected]
In 2017, we are hosting a forum on guidance on how to make money while traveling. This will be held in London and in Dubai.

11. How do you decide where to go to next, where to go next and what unique must see’s and where to stay?

We work on a yearly calender. Our dates are set and location are set way in advance for the whole year. However, there are always last minute changes and additional trips etc. That’s the beauty of it sometimes! I decide on where to go after a lot of research and forecasting the upcoming destination. Then,most of the other times, I follow my heart.

12. Do you know how to play an instrument?

I played the piano for the longest time in high school. Music never gave up on me when I needed to heal. I have a weakness for those who play the guitar though. I’ve always tried learning but never had enough time to stick to it. I also LOVE to dance! I can dance all the time!!

13. What is the one thing you dislike the most in a person?

Ego and disloyalty. And I can sense it from miles away. It’s a huge turn off.

Travel Junkie Diary

A bohemian traveler

19 comments

  1. Jishma says:

    It is indeed a pleasure to know more about a Person who inspires you everyday … always loved your pictures and the writing and I am glad to know it’s you behind your lens itself … You have travelled so many countries and you passion makes me believe that if you work harder towards your dream , it is gonna come true … thank you for introducing us more towards you …. just a question, how do you keep yourself fit in you busy schedules ??

  2. Nazim Hussain says:

    Michelle I just read your true story with 13 answers after this I can say ur the best one .you explained clearly liking disliking and much I can guess your nature & after reading all your respect value increased much more in my heart .I am very simple kind person I will be proud that atleast m in your list even at bottom .stay blessed

  3. Saif Al Mazrouei says:

    The best travel platform there is. Huge fan of your work and integrity.

  4. Nathalie Bordeau says:

    Can’t believe you take ur own photos!! So impressive!

  5. Tarek223 says:

    Impressive how u take your own photos I always thought u travel with a photographer

  6. Looshi says:

    You posted once I will never forget, never underestimate the power of hello, goodnight and I’m sorry. Thank you for this.

  7. Joanna says:

    I always knew you would reach places. I love how you mentioned loyalty. You are one of the very few people I’ve met in my past life that remains loyal to others and to herself and people mistake that kindnesss to weakness. Stay true and bravo!

    • Travel Junkie Diary says:

      Joanna! C to?!!! I only realized it was you when I saw your email!! Thank you for the lovely words. It’s good to know how others see me the way I feel. It’s both a blessing and a curse to feel everything! Thank you for leaving me these comments. Means a lot to me. I hope I see you soon! It has been 10 years?!

  8. Dani says:

    You are killing it Michelle!!! Well done on all your success!

  9. Tanya says:

    I am in love with your soul!

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  • Let’s go somewhere far away where there is only static on our radios. Join me on the 2-7th April 2020 on our @travelwithtjd road trip journey to Iceland. Message me for details or click the link in bio 💫 #CreateYourReality #TravelwithTJD
  • Our @travelwithtjd season has started and we have started to take bookings for 2020. Join @dennisstever and I on the 2nd - 7th of April in Iceland on a beautiful road trip to explore lagoons, waterfalls, horseriding, northern light hunting, glacier hiking, Icelandic cuisine and incredible landscapes! Direct message me for more info or click the link in bio💫 #TravelwithTJD #CreateYourReality

Photo by @dennisstever
  • Leaving Northumberland and back to Dubai!
Join me tomorrow, I will be in @uterqueofficial at @thedubaimall with @louisenichol at 4pm to 6pm, talking about how I turned my passion into a reliable and profitable business on @travelwithTJD @TJDHospitality.
In recent seasons, Uturque has been championing women empowerment by hosting a series of panel talks and discussions across the globe led by women who are experts in their professional field and it gives me great pleasure to be part of it.
  • A little gem in Newcastle...
Have a beautiful weekend everyone ❤️
and thank you @visitbritaingcc @wegoarabia and @visitneengland for designing an incredible itinerary for me and for taking so good care of me during my bucket list trip.
  • Northumberland originally meant 'the land of the people living north of the River Humber'. The present county is the core of that former land, and has long been a frontier zone between England and Scotland. 
Caught moments before the tripod tumbled and turned thanks to that slight countryside breeze 😊 
I travel for that breeze :)
@visitbritaingcc @visitneengland @wegoarabia
  • Any Vikings fans here?? I’ve ticked a bucket list place! Lindisfarne – also known as Holy Island – is one of the most important places of early English Christianity. Irish monks settled here in AD 635. 
To get here, there is only one road and that is covered twice a day by the North Sea at certain time of the day. About three miles of road disappears by the high tide and you can’t leave or get there until the tide changes back and the road re-appears.
Many visitors will attempt the ‘Pilgrims Way’ the ancient route across the sands marked by wooden posts. 
June AD 793 was destined to be one of their darkest days... it was here where the Vikings invaders from Scandinavia first landed in England on the shores of Lindisfarne, and launched a deadly attack on the church and the inhabitants. You can follow @visitneengland and @visitbritaingcc to see more on North East England.
  • October has been a tough one, but things are slowly making their way back to alignment... and a road trip to the countryside helped me clear my mind! 
I’m happy to be working with @visitbritainGCC and @wegoarabia on a beautiful campaign highlighting what we search for when we travel, and, my search took me to Northumberland, the northernmost part of England. 
I’ve always wanted to visit northern England & learn more about the history of Northumbria and the Anglo-Saxon period. 
Road-tripping in the countryside the past 4 days has been an incredible experience! 
I’d love to know what is it you look for when you travel?
  • My heart is heavy. My heart is full. My heart is with you. 
Lebanon is not just a country on the map, but made up of stories of people you meet and homes you visit, food you share together, music you dance with together. 
I prayed for this day. But I didn’t expect to have my heart spoken by so many of you. 
We all may be living in different countries, geographical areas, and time zones but one thing which unites us all is that we all belong to one race which is humanity!
To the voices that resonated with me:

Thank you @eliefahed for the video

@ginoraidy I don’t know you, I don’t know your past I don’t know your future, but I love you with all my heart and soul and I will never forget you. 
I will never forget how you made us feel during the protests, being my voice when I couldn’t speak, the voice of many who had to live abroad for many years yearning to return home to stability and freedom. To give our children a chance to learn the language, to feel the warmth of the Lebanese homes and to have an identity. 
To the old man crying in relief in the corner watching as the world finally woken up. Thank you, I love you. 
To the soldier who couldn’t hold his tears when the people begged him to walk hand in hand with them. Thank you, I love you. 
To the brave men and women who stood against those against us. Thank you, I love you. 
To the mothers who left their children at home to protest on the streets for their children and mine. Thank you, I love you. 
To those far away with a heaviness in their heart because they can’t physically be there, but know that you are. We see you. Across the world. We see you. We are one and I love you. 
To @ghidafarhat who made my heart ache and spoke to truth on who we are not. 
Thank you, I love you. 
To my friends and family who has dropped everything to fly to Lebanon to stand in unity with everyone because every single soul counts. 
To the @lebaneseRedCross,  we see you, we feel you, we know you and you are Lebanon. Thank you. 
To my parents. My heroes. Thank you for giving me and my sisters a safe place to live in. Now, our generation will fight back on what’s rightfully ours and we will fight for you! #livelovebeirut forever
  • The Norwegian Vikings arrived in Iceland in open Viking ships in the 9th century and settled on this cold volcanic island in the north. 
All the energy of the world comes from the north, and you can sense it here. ‘The land of the Gods’. If you are anything like me, who is addicted to history books, fantasy worlds and photography, then you will love it here. A huge thank you to @hertziceland for supporting us on @travelwithtjd with a beast of a car the first few days because it just made our road trip so much more fun!
  • I’m lovin that bunny... (A little inside joke just because... ☺️) Thank you @dennisstever for the pic
  • “If two points are meant to meet, the universe will always find a way to make the connection... even when all hope seems to be lost - the journeys we take will define who we are and who we become. Across space, across time, amongst paths we can never predict, nature always finds its way. Trust the universe - have a little faith “ 💞 
#TravelwithTJD #CreateYourReality
  • 7 days in Iceland and it was never enough! I can happily stay a lifetime here exploring and shooting. 
On our @travelwithtjd Iceland Series, we spent a couple of nights at @radissonblu1919 exploring Reykjavik during the day and the long nights!!
The rest of the week we spent on the road in different guest houses exploring many waterfalls, lagoons, volcanic landscapes, black beaches and tasted the Icelandic cuisine. 
We have few spaces left for our next @travelwithtjd trip in April 2020! Get in touch if you like to join us 😊#TravelwithTJD #CreateYourReality