Zipkick Blogger: Allison Foat from Cape Town Diva



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Zipkick Blogger:  Allison Foat from Cape Town Diva

allison 11- Where was the first place that you traveled that made you think WOW—travel is amazing (think history book come to life or …..)

I was 15, in France on my first ever trip out of South Africa for ballet training in the South of France and Paris. One morning in Cannes (we stayed at the Hotel Splendide, I’ll never forget it), I broke open a flaky croissant (my first one ever) at breakfast, sitting on the balcony overlooking the most divine views of the town and the sea, and knew that travel would have to be a big part of my future.

2- If you had unlimited resources, where would you go and what would you do?

That’s an easy one- I’d probably be perpetually exploring, seeking out interesting destinations I’ve never been before, focusing on ethical/sustainable tourism. Eco lodges tend to be very expensive so unlimited resources means being able to stay in environmentally friendly places on a regular basis. And of course I’d fly biz class everywhere, and forever escape ‘economy-knees-and-neck-spasm syndrome!  Having unlimited resources also means I’d be able to share my good fortune, and take others along who have never been able to experience travel.

allison 23- What were you afraid to do and how did you find the courage to overcome it?

Travelling solo was initially very daunting to me, but the only way to overcome the fear was to do it, over and again. Initially I travelled on my own because firstly I had two small children and my husband had to stay to be chief babysitter, and secondly it was too costly for both of us to travel together anyway. My first solo trip was 2008 to Barcelona and the digital universe then was so limited – nowadays we have apps and brilliant resources that help us find out everything before we touch down in a new place, so the fear of the unknown is dispelled and what lies ahead is excitement and anticipation.

4- What apps do you use regularly that make your life easier?

Google maps, TripAdvisor,  Gogobot, Voice Map

5- What place do you wish more people have seen?

Cape Town for starters :0)   I wish more people could travel in general-it’s so out of reach for too many. I’ve had amazing experiences in almost all the places I have visited and always hope others get to experience them too.

6- Best advice you have been given and by whom?

‘Life is short. Seize the day. Explore more’ – me to myself. 

allison 37- When were you surprised by the kindness of strangers on a trip?

In Tokyo. If I pulled out a map or stood about looking and feeling confused, someone would stop and ask if they could help. It was a daily occurrence and often saved the day for me in terms of getting lost, as I tend to do, fairly often.

8- What inspired you to travel for extended periods of time or live in a new country?

Years ago I went to live in New York for a year to pursue my pro ballet career. Since then I’ve gotten married, had two sons (now 22 and 17), and work in Cape Town as a publicist, so have not been able to travel anywhere for longer than a month which is fine for now as I enjoy a great job and we all know that it’s not easy to earn well off blogging and travel writing. A mobile office however allows me pursue my travel passion and keep working, and I’m feeling really liberated by that: business as usual, just with different views- be it daily in my home town to anywhere in the world. I try spend at least 2 to 3 weeks in any new destination to really feel the vibe and be inspired. Jetting in and out of a place leaves no imprint on my heart. I want to ‘feel’ a place and I need at least 10 days to achieve that.

9- I am a zipkick blogger because…. I am a connector and love to hear about what people are experiencing and to share travel stories. And also because Scott Eddy invited me at TBEX. Lucky me to be able to have met him.

Bio: I’m a Cape Town based travel and lifestyle writer, former ballerina, and head publicist at DIVA PR. Passionate about animal rights, the environment and ethical tourism.

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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