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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Follow @ traveljunkiediary
  • The trips we host on @travelwithtjd on our polar journeys for the past years has been one of the most exciting experiences of my life and I’m so incredibly grateful for everything I’ve learned, experiences, felt, seen and for the people I’ve met on our trips! 
Our season starts this September with different groups traveling with @dennisstever and I to Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland! 
We have also released our travel dates for 2020 and with new destinations too and new experiences. I hope you can join us!! Click the link in my bio to learn more or follow @travelwithtjd for updates!
  • Lebanon in summer is all about exploring. Found this new hip beach bar on the coast of Byblos. The graffiti on the wall, the hanging hammocks in the water and the vibe, makes this place one of the cutest beach clubs I’ve seen so far. I love my beautiful home 🇱🇧
  • The last time I switched my laptop on was 5 days ago. The last time that happened was exactly a year ago. My phone is most of the time misplaced far away from me, my camera is still in my bag, my mind is switched off and I’m surrounded with love 💕and music 🎶. So happy to be back in Lebanon on my official summer break.
  • Home sweetest home ❤️
  • I love the the 3 AM version of people... Honest, vulnerable and real.
  • I have some sort of mental block this morning... which is a good thing so... Happy Thursday ☀️
  • This is a (long) thank you post... To my teachers.
Thank you for showing me my true strength... Not only physical strength, but more importantly mental strength.
Thank you for allowing me to let go... Whenever I feel I need a break from the world, your shala is the first place I run to... and when I’m away, it’s the first place I think of when I practice on my own, miles away. The sound of my breathing alone, takes me back to the exact spot where I place my mat... and I’m fully transported back to the stillness and awareness. 
Thank you for giving me a safe place to seek connection & allowing me to breathe... when I’m at my most vulnerable, you’ve made it ok for my tears to roll down my face in Savasana or during a posture, open up and just be me without any judgement. 
Thank you for offering so much of yourself to allow me to grow through my practice... Thank you for teaching me the true meaning of yoga, how to practice not only on the mat, but off the mat too... Yoga is a natural state of mind and not whether or not you can touch your toes. 
The light in me honors the light in you. Happy New moon 
Namaste 
Michelle 💫
  • I’m still going through the photos I’ve taken during my trip to Menorca. Still can’t believe how beautiful the island is!
  • Last couple of days at work before heading back home 🇱🇧. What are your summer plans? Anything exciting?
  • Your memory feels like home to me.
So whenever my mind wanders, it always finds its way back to you 💫
  • Someone at work asked me the other day what my goals were... I told them to be happy. To be really really really F**** happy. What’s yours?
  • How much time do you spend planning for a trip? I still can’t get over the beautiful sunsets I’ve been lucky to experience on the island. I’ve also written two blog posts on guides to Menorca and what to watch out for prior booking. 
I do usually spend a lot of time on research for my trips, months in advance and, for this specific trip, it was a little challenging finding a place to stay that matched what I was exactly looking for. 
The search engine that worked well for me was @wegoarabia - as for flights, I didn’t have too many options from Barcelona but it worked out well. I mixed it between hotel stay and private villa stay for my 10 nights. Booked a car and took it really easy at the end!