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Photo Source: Naomi and Instagram
We are back with one of our most inspiring TCT's yet! Meet Naomi, cancer survivor, full time traveler, as well as Founder and Editor-In-Chief of The Cultured Collective. After Naomi's battle with cancer she began to live the phrase "life is short." Naomi quitting her corporate job to work on herself and find a career that supports her travel passions is an example to us all that our dreams are in arms reach if we just take that leap.
Tell us about yourself! Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do? What inspires you to travel?
My name is Naomi V, a kicka** West Indian, colon cancer surviving August Leo. I am one of the co- creators of The Cultured Collective, which is a super fun online travel and lifestyle platform.
My parents are 2 amazing hardworking immigrants from Haiti & Dominican Republic that gave birth to me in the US. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to really grow up around my community that’s why at a young age I always knew I was going to be a traveler so I could learn more about my people.
I have always been a little bit of a traveler, a few trips here and there. You know the story... You work these miserable 40 hour a week corporate jobs and you save up your vacation time so you can escape that miserable job for a week or two. You’re happy to be away but as the vacation comes to an end you dread having to go back to that office. Once you get back from such a magical vacation in a beautiful country, naked on a beach, you spend your day daydreaming about how it felt and you long for the next vacation. Pure torture right?
Well, as I mentioned above I am a colon cancer survivor, 5 years now. At the age of 29 I lost half my colon to cancer which was a small price to pay to be able to still be here enjoying life. I am super thankful and grateful to the man above.
I would always hear that quote “life is short, don’t put things off”. I would even post that quote sometimes, but I don’t think I really understood weight of that quote until I went through my cancer journey.
After I came out of it, I told myself I was no longer going to just post that quote or just tap the like button when I saw it. I was going to live it, embody it. If that quote was a person, it was going to be me.
I decided to quit my corporate desk job. I got online and learned a few skills that would give me more leverage and make me more attractive to employers. I went online and looked for remote contract positions that would allow me to work from anywhere and have never looked back since. No more waiting for my vacation time to come around. Now I work from these countries and live in these countries I only used to vacation. Best decision I’ve ever made!
What drives you to continue creating travel content?
I don’t even know if I’m consciously creating travel content anymore. I think it’s all unconscious behavior. I legit am just always super excited about what I’m blessed to experience so I just want share it with people and show them what they could experience when they travel.
Your fits are always on point! Are you a travel fit planner or are you a throw it all in the bag and make it work kind of girl?
Thank you! So, yes I try to plan a little bit depending on what country I’m going to. I’ll try to get things that match the culture a little, but my go-to is usually just bright colors because bright colors always look amazing and make my melanin pop in images.
Which do you prefer, solo travel or group travel?
Definitely solo travel now. In the beginning I was a little scared to travel alone so I would travel in groups, but found limited my travel at times. Once you get used to traveling and you know exactly what essentials you need to make sure you’re safe, then solo travel becomes more comfortable. And honestly it’s less of a hassle to just grab your own bag and just go.
How many countries have you visited and which destination was your favorite? Why is this destination your favorite?
I tried to go back and count all of the countries. I even pulled out my passport but I lost count after 15 lol. I definitely visited more than 15 countries. The one that I still think about to this day, is the Maldives. I spent two euphoric weeks on a private island in my own private villa and I never wanted to leave. If you have never experienced the Maldives, please go! I promise you will thank me.
Where else can folks find you?
I would say my website: www.theculturedcollective.com.
Covid definitely slowed us down a little on traveling and writing but we’re definitely going to pick back up soon and share more of amazing experience with our travel community.
I am actually currently live in west Africa so I plan on exploring a lot of the different beautiful countries in the continent of Africa.
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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