Nathalie Segelborg is a Swedish blogger that I came across and I especially like how she has a correlation between traveling and mental health which I strongly believe in. I’m glad to have her apart of the Know Thy Traveler series and to hear her perspectives.
What is your name?
My Name is Nathalie Segelborg, My friends back home call me Natta, but since that is hard to pronounce correct in english, my nickname overseas has become Nat.
Where are you from and where do you currently reside?
I was born in a small town called Eskilstuna in the heart of Scandinavia, Sweden. I have been moving around quite regularly for the past 2 years and currently I live on Rottnest Island in Western Australia.
What do you do for a living?
I’m currently a Barista, back home I was a Pastry Chef/Baker. I have picked up a few different stray jobs during the past 2 years so that I can keep traveling and living abroad.
What countries have you traveled to and which was your favorite?
I’ve been to 19 different countries and picking a favorite country is like picking a favorite child.. pretty much impossible! But I really loved South Africa, Thailand and Australia
Do you prefer to travel alone or with someone and why?
It depends on the occasion and my mood! I think I prefer to travel solo because I find it easier to connect with others when I’m on my own, I also don’t feel obliged to do things i’m not in the mood for and can take spontaneous decisions without having to talk to anyone else before making them. It also makes you grow in ways you wouldn’t have to do when you travel in a group.
How would you describe your life before you started traveling?
Before I started traveling I couldn’t find joy in the simple things. I lived for partying on the days I didn’t work in the bakery, I had my own apartment and everything you ”should” have as a young adult, but I was never happy. I was depressed, lost and I didn’t know what I wanted out of life. Life was very hard for me before I started traveling.
How has traveling changed your life?
It has turned my life around completely, I am a lot more confident in myself and what I do. I have also found new hobbies and things that interest and excite me in life and I have re-discovered my passion for writing again! And in my change for the better, I discovered that I also have a desire to spread my knowledge about depression and mental health in an attempt to try and help others who are in the same situation!
What is your favorite aspect of traveling?
It’s definitely when you get to interact with strangers (that sometimes becomes friends) from all over the world! It opens up your eyes and broadens your perspective on the world we live in. I’ve met people from all over the world and each and everyone has had something to teach me. I have had to eat up my own prejudice assumptions more than once, which I am grateful for as it has in its turn allowed me to grow as a person! Another favorite aspect for this pastry chef has been being able to eat signature pastries from all over the world!
Where is your next destination?
I don’t know! I’m thinking New Zealand or South East Asia, but I haven’t decided yet!
Have there been any moments while traveling when you felt in danger or uncomfortable? How did you get away from it?
I have been very lucky and have managed to stay out of dangerous encounters most of the time! I’d say the time I felt most uncomfortable was when my hostel roommate in the bed below mine, whom I’d only said hi to previously that day, out of the blew asked me if I wanted to have sex with him. I was going to bed early and it was only the 2 of us in the room. When I said no he asked me if I was sure and when I said Yes, I’m sure he turned around and went to sleep. He didn’t bother me in any other way and accepted my no, but it still made me feel very vulnerable and uncomfortable.
What pre-cautions do you take for the safety of your property and yourself?
I do quite a lot to make sure I’m safe while I travel! For one, I have photo copies of all my cards and my passport in an email sent to both myself an my mother in case I loose anything, along with insurance numbers and copies of my visa (when I need one). I also have 2 code padlocks with me to protect my things, One for my Suitcase and one for my smaller bag, sometimes the hostel/hotel has a security box and then I always put my valuables in there and use one of my own locks for that. For my personal safety I always make sure someone knows where in the world I am. I also, as some say ”pay for safety”, meaning that the few occasions I am out partying or arrive late to a location, I will call an Uber or Taxi to get me safely to my accommodation instead of walking to decrease the risk of something happening. I also download offline maps wherever I go and plug in headphones to hear the directions instead of taking out my phone every few minutes to try to figure out where I’m going, this way it looks like you know where I’m going and can pass as a local instead as a confused tourist/traveler. I also make sure to have good insurance so that if something happens, I am mostly or fully covered by insurance!
What advice would you give to someone aspiring to become a frequent traveler?
JUST DO IT! That’s the best advice I can give you, the rest you will figure out as you go! To become a frequent traveler you have to start traveling! You don’t have to go away for a year or indefinitely straight away, start with a few days or perhaps a week or two to dip your toes in this world. You do not have to be rich nor someone special to travel, as long as you WANT it and are willing to put in the hard work required to keep travelling. I am 100% you will figure out a way! It starts with believing in yourself.