"South Africa will always be one of the most special countries to me. Eight years ago, I was knee-deep in nursing school at Loyola University and had a dream to volunteer in Africa.
"Having never travelled solo before, I began searching for people and friends to join me on this trip, only to find that no one would actually commit to it, especially on short notice.
"So, one day while I was sitting in Anatomy and Physiology class, I impulsively booked a flight to Cape Town, South Africa... so there was no way I could talk myself out of it!
"I hopped on a flight and joined 12 other volunteers from all over the world for three whole weeks, to give back and reconnect with myself.
"Being a sheltered girl from Michigan, moving to Chicago was a feat in and of itself, but the notion of travelling to Africa alone was just terrifying.
"But I did it anyway. I cried tears full of fear on my way there, but happy tears on my way back because I was so proud of myself for pulling it off. I felt empowered and I wanted more.
"This was the very beginning of my love for solo travel and it became the inspiration for my idea to start @dametraveler. It’s crazy how one impulsive decision could drastically change one’s life.
"To think that I may not be telling this story now if I didn’t impulsively book that flight in class that day is mind blowing to me. Sometimes, you just have to listen to your gut instead of other people’s opinions, you never know where it may lead you."
The Dame Traveler community has been so successful that Nastasia now has a book out, Dame Traveler: Stories and Visuals from Women Who Live the Spirit of Adventure.
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