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Photo Source: Gugu and Instagram
Travel means something different to everyone. To some its a physical escape from their current environment, a quick suspension for the hum drum and monotony that can come with our regimented schedules. To others travel is an opportunity to quiet the noise from our busy lifestyles and to hit pause on all the mental stimulation that comes from grinding.
To Gugu and to many others, travel is an opportunity for personal growth. Get to know Gugu, this week's TCT, as she shares with us her best piece of travel advice, her next travel destination, her travel journey thus far and more.
Tell us about yourself! Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do? What inspires you to travel?
My name is Gugu (pronounced like the goo-goo dolls lol) I’m a wellness and travel enthusiast on a mission to help people strengthen their mindsets so they can live authentically confident. I love to share my travels and how anyone can find more purpose, gratitude, self love and self growth through all aspects of life. While traveling I have gained more confidence and my hope is that those who are a part of my tribe can learn to do the same.
As a Zimbabwean-Canadian, traveling was always a part of my life. I really pushed myself out of my comfort zone when I moved to South Korea in 2018 and this excelled my love for traveling even more.
This is why I started ‘The Mindful Passport’ because it combines my passion of traveling and wellness together. The goal with this page is to be vulnerable, open and transparent with what growth looks like and how I combine that with my passion for traveling.
What does the act of traveling mean to you?
To me traveling is a combination of freedom and growth. Having the freedom to explore and experience a new location, culture, and food went really hand in hand with my growth. My growth was in the ways in which I viewed the world, I was introduced to different cultures and a different way of life to what I was always used to.
Travel and living abroad hasn’t always been the easiest and sometimes you just have to let go of expectations and go with the flow. I think that’s the best thing about traveling though, freedom from expectations and I am so grateful that I am able to travel and see this big beautiful world.
What is the biggest life lesson traveling has taught you?
It takes courage to step outside your comfort zone and put yourself in new locations, situations and environments. No matter how far you go, if you go solo or with a group, the biggest lesson that I’ve learnt through traveling is that I have so much more resilience than I used to believe.
In 2018 getting the courage to move to South Korea alone was definitely the biggest decision I made. It was a scary one but also filled with excitement and of course fear.
On top of that, I was also placed in a rural city and I truly thought I was the only Black person and the only foreigner. It took me a while to even go outside during the day, other than for work, out of fear that I would be discriminated against since this was the first time some might have seen a Black person.
But what I learnt about myself from traveling abroad was that I can truly overcome much more than I thought I could before. With every small step, from going to the grocery store and speaking Korean to meeting new friends, my resilience and confidence grew exponentially. I can’t wait for all the adventures ahead and with COVID being so scary I’ve taken the chance to explore my own city.
Share with us your best piece of travel advice?
There’s so much I would want to share with traveling but the biggest thing I can say is don’t be afraid to put yourself in fear. If it’s just taking a small trip and building up your courage to take larger trips, stepping into fear will make you realize that you can do it.
We honestly tend to play different ‘what if’ scenarios in our heads out of fear. What I’ve learned is that on the other side of fear is opportunity and we tend to be so scared to put ourselves out there but when you do it you’ll realize that YOU are capable of the things that you didn’t think you could do.
So my advice would be to go out there, and do what makes you scared!! Be smart and safe of course lol
If you had a ticket to go anywhere, right now, where would you go and why?
Ouuu I like this, the first country that popped into my head is Kenya. I loved seeing Black content creators exploring Kenya this past year. I really want to explore more African countries as a whole because of the vast diversity within the continent. I think there's so much beauty, culture, food, architecture etc that I would love to explore it for myself and share that with my community. I think people saying “I want to go to Africa” doesn't do our beautiful continent justice because there is just so much diversity with all the 54 countries.
Where else can folks find you?
I’m mainly on instagram and slowly growing my tiktok page (gugumpofu_)
Here are some more of our favorite travelers and their gorgeous shots.
Ellee is in the building - and this week she's showing us what it means to be a globe trotting Travel Crush. This native New Yorker has climbed the pyramids of Egypt, took her whole life in her hands on the swings in Bali, and she's still pumped for more challenging, new adventures. Read on for her tips on having magical experiences without breaking the bank, her favorite hack for buying cheap flights, and how she stays in villas without the hefty price tag.
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