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Storytelling Travellers London Recap

On May 18th, Heidi participated in Hub Dot‘s Storytelling Travellers panel. Eva from Hub Dot recaps the event:

Some of us travel to relax, others to escape and sometimes, travel is forced upon us. So why did Hub Dot host an event called the Storytelling Travellers?

This month’s theme here at Hub Dot is Journey. We believe that it’s on your travels, commutes and adventures that you discover something breaking anew within you. Often, travel can be a means to express a wish to run away. But when we share stories of travel in retrospect, really, there’s a common light at the end of the tunnel. Travel means a wish come true. To arrive.

Here’s a few moments we wanted to share with you from London with quotes from each storyteller.

“It is -45 below zero outside and inside the tent. There is no need for espresso. It is a bright sunny morning, after a bright sunny night since the sun never sets on the arctic at this time of year.”

Christina gave us a glimpse into what it feels like to be a polar explorer. It’s very, very cold and very, very brave.

“I hopped in a car to Barcelona for the first time and discovered the work of Gaudi. It inspired me so much that I now travel to cities around the world drawing iconic architecture and translating these designs onto a collection of clothes for those that move – like this.”

Laurie, who at this point was pointing at the most beautiful leggings man has ever seen, has turned her passion for painting and travelling into a fashion business she loves.

“One of the things that I found in the mountains was the spontaneous child in me that had been squashed for so long.  I have gone from hiding in the back row of events to be on stage.”

Not only did Sarah backpacked Europe at six months pregnant and was refused entry to the Eiffel tower at eight months, she also jumped off a mountain to conquer her fears.

“First, my phone died. Then, my camera. Then, the replacement batteries for that camera.  After 48 hours, I was without a single digital device. What I did have was a notebook, coloured pencils, markers and pens.”

Margaret shared with us how the lack of technology on her trip in Petra made her approachable. She sketched and she saw the things around her. Not just with her sight and a desire to capture the moment for a future memory. She really saw them.

“The stories there seemed to just fall from the sky. One of my favourites is about my cleaning lady. She would come to my house almost every day, go to the living room, draw the heavy velvet curtains, shut the door, turn on the tv and for the next hour practice her bollywood dancing.”

Heidi gave us an insight into what it was like to be in Afghanistan as a foreign correspondent and how even in troubled times, there’s always common ground to be found in moments of true human joy.

“There’s about 5,000 planes in the sky at any given point. I like to think of them as time capsules of human connection. Plane tales. Two years ago, on a plane from London to San Francisco, I took an empty notebook with me and did a social experiment.”

As your Community Dot, I decided to share this story of crowdsourcing true stories. 33 people wrote in the book and it left me feeling that there’s still faith in humanity, even at 33,000 feet in the sky.

“I was desperate to spread the word about my wonderful mother, so hand wrote 60 postcards – one for each year of her life – with a message on about her and with my email for people to get in touch. Never could I have imagined what would happen next.”

Rachael shared with us a story of losing her mum and celebrating her life by leaving postcards scattered all around Paris. Would you believe that one of them was a NYC ballerina who she flew out to see very shortly after they connected? That’s what we call Dot Alchemy at its top level – sheer magic.

“I remember the night before… mom sewing money into the inside of her jeans. I didn’t want to go without my dad. I still recall that last image of his face through the dirty bus window, blurred through my uncontrollable tears…”

Maja’s story of escaping Sarajevo under siege left the room in floods of tears. Her parents and sister were there too to support her. It was one minute that truly changed us. Maja, thank you for your bravery. We wish that some of our tears took some of your heartbreak away.

“Cooking with strangers dissolves cultural barriers. Food has a story to tell and the kitchen door, like no other, opens onto friendship and good cheer.”

Natacha shared with us why it’s best to travel on an empty stomach and her adventure of writing her award-winning book (one of two in English!) on the unique Laotian cuisine.

“There are so many exciting trends happening in the world of travel. It seems like everyone wants their Eat Pray Love moment by now.”

Nadia shared with us what travel trends 2016 brings and we learned that 3G travel is nothing to do with mobile internet.

“But standing here tonight isn’t about the past or revenge or recrimination or finger pointing.  It’s about the beginning of an incredible journey…”

Debs shared a very personal story of what made her world turn upside down and why feeling like Dorothy caught up in a twister in Kansas means the beginning of true self belief.

“We went to Kuala Lumpur, and explored Angkor Wat in Cambodia on tuk tuks. We also ventured to Tokyo. We walked through bamboo forests and temples. We hiked the Great wall of China.”

Debbie showed us that backpacking has no limits – she did all of that with a four month old baby, a four year old and her husband. She showed us that when you kill the ‘what if’, you make space for the ‘now’.

“When I came home from Guatemala, I picked up the phone to social services and asked if I could put myself forward to be a single adopter. At the time, only Guatemala was an option.”

Fiona’s story showed us that no mountain is big enough to climb when you put your entire heart into climbing it because you simply know it will be the best destination of your life.

Thank you to our storytellers! Here’s to the next arrivals, and not the next departures.

And speaking of the best destination for your stories… some of the Storytelling Travellers stories will appear soon on the Piazza as our #DailyDots (your daily doses of inspiration from within our community), so stay tuned and find them through my profile.