Interviews

Interview with Dame Traveler Martha Huynh

Your favorite place in the whole wide world?
I have so many favorite places, but if I had to choose one apart from Edinburgh it must be Annecy in southeast France. There’s something magical about this beautiful town, and I just can’t quite seem to find the right words to describe it. Just go and see for yourself and you’ll be left speechless too, I’m sure!

Annecy 1

The moment you realized you fell in love with travel…
I’ve been very fortunate with the opportunities to travel often growing up, but as the youngest daughter in my family I must admit I was slightly “overly protected”, and certain things and destinations were still a bit confined. I think the moment I truly fell in love with travel was when I moved abroad by myself to study in Edinburgh and I became the ‘boss lady’ of my own itineraries, haha. It changed my perception of travelling, and growing to become more independent has undoubtedly triggered my wanderlust to a greater extent.

China 2

Who or what inspires you?
I’m very inspired by authenticity, and people who “just do it”. I also find a lot of inspiration from TED talks and books as well, e.g.: “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” is a favorite that I always recommend to my family and friends. It’s a life-changer!

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How has travel changed you? What growth experiences have you learned from it?
How has travel not changed me would be an easier question to answer I think. It’s taken me so many thousands miles outside my comfort zone – both physically and mentally. I grew up in a small town in Norway with the typical ‘small-town mentality’, but travelling and living abroad has really opened my mind and my heart with its immense power to change my perspectives on life. Continuously being exposed to cultural contrasts has made me more considerate of others and even deepened my appreciation for the ‘little’ things in life. Just being able to freely cross country-borders makes me feel so lucky to have what I have, considering what’s going on in today’s world!

Where has travel taken you so far? Where to next?
So far I’ve been to Australia (Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra) America (New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Texas) France, Monaco, Spain, The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway (my homeland), Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the whole of United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and Vietnam (my parent’s homeland)… and now I’m currently in Ningbo, China.

Next up are Taipei, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo and Bangkok!

What does being creative mean to you?
To think outside the box, and act accordingly.

What are some ways in which you make travel happen?
I really love this quote, and I always keep it in the back of my mind: “Travel while you’re young and able. Don’t worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be.” Sometimes travelling can of course be difficult to accomplish, especially when you have many obligations in life. But at the end of the day I think it’s all about how you set your priorities, because if you want something bad enough you’ll find a way to make it happen! Not to mention how surprisingly cheap travelling can actually be if you just plan a bit ahead.

How has exploring the world impacted your life?
Exploring the world has not only enhanced my cross-cultural awareness in all kinds of ways, but also my self-awareness. It certainly has made me more fearless. I’m saying more ‘yes’ to things i.e. stepping out of my comfort zone every day here in China – and genuinely in the belief that anything and everywhere is possible! It sounds really corny but it’s given me the ‘I can make it happen’-attitude, which is very inspiring and motiving.

What’s your best advice for aspiring travelers?
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

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Follow more of Martha’s adventures on Instagram

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