Life online had a chance to talk to Natasha Sand, on her take on travel as a unique travel Instagrammer. She is indeed a travel bug and makes a point to make a move every few months. Being half Sri Lankan and half Norwegian, she spends the summers there and the winters in Sri Lanka. Based in Unawatuna, she claimed that her freelance work gives her freedom to travel anywhere. Here are her responses to our questions.
How did you get into travelling and why?
Natasha – Living in Norway, and being half Sri Lankan, meant that ever since I was 6 months old, we have been coming to Sri Lanka every year, so I’ve grown up with travelling. I travelled even when I was in high school and moved to New York to do my degree and went to Australia through the exchange program. I can’t stay in one place for long or at least used to, but now I have been living in Sri Lanka while going to Norway during their summer.
What made you want to Instagram your travels?
Natasha – I have always been very visual so I always make it a point to take photos wherever I travel. Also, I have a very creative group of friends who are in photography, fashion and web developing from whom I tend to get influenced by, so 5-6 years ago I started to Instagram my travels.
How do you decide on which places to go to?
Natasha – These days it’s mainly based on social media. If I see a photo of a place on Instagram that gets my attention, I decide that I should try to make plans to go there. I also tend to go to less commercial locations and places that are less frequented by people, such as Madagascar, which is on my list of places to go next. Though it’s much heard of, not many have been there.
How do you manage your time and expenses as a frequent traveler?
Natasha – There is a site called http://www.skyscanner.net where you can search for affordable plane tickets that I check on to book a flight. I plan 4-6 weeks ahead and tend to go during the off-season, such as when I went to Morocco. Even in Sri Lanka, you could do off-season. There are certain countries you cannot travel during the off-season but in most cases, you could. Since I work freelance, I could go on a trip mid-week and catch up over the weekend. I also try to take public transport. In Sri Lanka, transport is expensive so I take public transport and use the money saved on a good boutique hotel.
What kind of traveler would you say you are?
Natasha – I don’t go to very touristy areas. Like when I went to India, I didn’t go to Taj Mahal. Rather than going to see statues and paintings, I like to explore the city, the market, the street and small shops to see people and lifestyles. I could spend an hour outside a tea shop having a chat with a local.
What do you always have with you when travelling?
Natasha – I like to write notes on each place and write up a story, so I make a point to take a notebook and pen. Other than that, I take a book, portable charger, universal plug, camera and sometimes my own bedsheet and pillowcase just in case I decide to stay longer.
The travel timeline you have in plan for this year -
April – India
May – Maldives
June – Arugambay for the surfing season and then Norway for the summer
Things you make a point to do in every country you visit -
Natasha – I make a point to talk to the locals and try the local cuisine, like the street food.
A list of all the countries you have visited
- Sri Lanka
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Rome, Italy
- Barcelona, Spain
- Paris, France
- Nice, France
- London, England
- Ericeira & Lisbon, Portugal
- Puerto Rico
- Costa Rica
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
Top ten places you have been to?
1. Sri Lanka
4. Puerto Rico
5. Costa Rica
Follow Natasha's travels on Instagram:
By: Melanie Senanayake