The modern world offers us a countless number of possibilities to pursue our passions, as well as to get to know new people or to explore the farthest corners of our globe. All these make it easier for creative people to follow the path which really suits them, and in this way to find a dream job, an occupation which will not only bring them real fulfillment, but also the willingness to realize the next plans, which seemed to be impossible to implement at the very beginning.
As many of my interviewees have mentioned each person has a story to tell, a story which may not only purge the heart and clear the mind of a story teller, who decides to share his or her experiences with a wider audience, but it may also influence the readers who can undergo real catharsis, especially when they can relate to a given situation or a certain problem. Even if one doesn’t have a chance to experience full catharsis while reading a given interview, one can sense lots of different feelings and emotions, the ones we wouldn’t very often even suspect ourselves of.
The phenomenon of a digital nomad is a totally new notion for me, despite the fact that this is the way in which my today’s interviewee works – Estella – an avid traveler, a journalist and the author of a StoryTale blog, who professionally deals with writing and describing the stories of women, who decided to speak out about the issues which are truly important for them and their readers. A man’s life is a never-ending story consisting of ups and downs, moments of happiness and moments of sadness… These are the stories which my today’s interviewee shares on her blog, but not only.
Passion Piece: Could you tell my readers a few words about yourself?
Estella: I’m a freelance journalist and a video editor. Traveling the world to collect stories, being a digital nomad has been the best decision so far. I also run a blog that shares stories from women of all backgrounds to empower and inspire. I believe in the power of telling a story and the changes it can bring.
Passion Piece: You are a freelance journalist and a video editor. How did you start your adventure with journalism?
Estella: It all started with my last year of university. At the time, my major had nothing to do with journalism. Not knowing what to do after graduation, I took several journalism classes to fill the credits. Surprisingly, I fell in love with the subject and have been pursuing my career in it ever since.
Passion Piece: You decided to set up your own website StoryTale. How did you come up with such an idea?
Estella: During my journey around the world, it’s not hard to see gender inequality is sadly still prevailing in this century in different countries, even in the first-world countries where gender equality is often praised.
I have worked with other publications. Out of boredom in this quarantine time, I decided to make my dream come true and start StoryTale as a platform to encourage girls to make the change they wish to see.
StoryTale is a place to share stories to give every woman a voice and a way for them to write about issues they believe is important to the world.
Passion Piece: You call yourself a digital nomad. What does it really mean?
Estella: It means I don’t have a stable base, prior to the pandemic of course as now I’m also safely staying put back home to fulfill my duty as a global citizen. Being a digital nomad means you have a greater freedom in the location of your work. I could be in Bali enjoying the beach life or hiking up the mountains in Pakistan if I want.
My work isn’t limited to where I am. I can perform all the tasks wherever I am. Although admittedly the time difference between me and my employers can sometimes be a nightmare, it hasn’t stopped me from living this lifestyle.
Passion Piece: Where do you find the women whose stories you present on your blog?
Estella: For now, mostly I found them on forums and groups expressing their views and I would ask them if they would be keen to be interviewed or be featured on StoryTale. I’m trying to expand the reach so I could reach more everyday women as a lot of times the women featured on StoryTale for now are bloggers.
Passion Piece: Whose story moved you the most?
Estella: Everyone’s story is touching in their own way. Throughout my journey I realized that everyone has a story to tell and everyone impacts me in a different way.
It’s hard to pick one that moved me the most but I remember there’s this one story a guy sitting next to me on a flight told me. He was well into his 60’s when we shared a long-haul overnight flight from Europe to Asia.
He told me he had been working as a journalist for 30 years, traveling to Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria etc, before they were torn apart by the never-ending wars and even after the wards broke out. He loved his job so much and was crazy about it until his then-wife fell ill of cancer. They moved to Greece because it was her favorite country. She beat cancer once but unfortunately it came back 6 years later. And this time, she didn’t win the game. She passed away peacefully in their white house in the small island off the South of Greece. It’s been over 20 years since his wife passed away. Till this day, he still hadn’t had the courage to go back to Greece, to stand in front of their house, to enjoy their sunset.
It was an overnight flight so the lights were dim and most people were asleep. What struck me the most about this story was how he sobbed and cried in front of me, a total stranger he’d just met 2 hours ago. He told me he never opened up to a stranger like that before. In fact, he rarely opened up to even his friends.
His story moved me because of the amount of trust he put in me, how he confided in me to tell me his most intimate story. I admired his work because we were both avid travelers and the fact that my mum was also going through her cancer treatments at the time just made this story really personal for me.
Passion Piece: You are a born traveler. Is there a destination you’d like to recommend to my readers? Why?
Estella: Ethiopia and Pakistan. I could recommend all those popular destinations which are, granted, also very breath-taking. But I would like to recommend some lesser known destinations because that’s where all the hidden gems are.
Beauty is in the eyes of its beholder. If you are willing to find the beauty that lies within each country, you will. In Ethiopia and Pakistan, I was greeted by the most welcoming people and saw the best of nature. From the desert and highlands of the fall at the beginning of the Nile in Ethiopia to the sky breaking mountains in the Himalayas, those countries were way more than what’s advertised on TV. It’s probably not even remotely similar to the image most people have about them.
Passion Piece: What else do you deal with besides traveling and creating content for your website?
Estella: Maintaining my relationships with friends and family. It can be really exhausting to meet new people everywhere you go. But if you don’t, the days are longer because it’s lonely to be by yourself. It’s important to find the balance and to find what’s comfortable for you. And it’s important to keep in touch with family so they know you are safe and share fun things with them about your life.
Keeping relationships when you are always alone can be difficult, but the effort you put it in is really worth it.
Passion Piece: What are you truly passionate about?
Estella: Making the world a better place. I know that I’m privileged in the sense that I get to travel the world without worrying much. And I understand that not everyone has that privilege. My power may be small, but I would like to do something with my power to make the world a better place for others.
Passion Piece: Where do you see yourself in the nearest future?
Estella: Home. I’m not going anywhere until this pandemic settles. I believe it’s our responsibility as a global citizen. However, when this settles, I would love to explore South America as I have heard so many good things about their nature and cultural heritage.
Passion Piece: Which motto would you like to share with my readers?
Estella: “We blame society, we are society.”
Passion Piece: Thank you very much for this truly inspiring conversation and I wish you lots of new stories to share on your blog!
Let’s not be indifferent towards other people, stop and listen to the stories they’re willing to share with you. People’s stories are never a waste of time, we never know who can change our lives. And you? Are you ready for such changes?
See you around!
Photos by: Estella