A Chi-Chat with the Wanderer and Photographer “Coucla”

Interviewed by: Farah Ahmed 

“I am a Woman on a mission to Explore the World,”

It is every woman’s dream to travel freely around the world and have her own memories, but unfortunately women in our society are limited with their mamma’s phrase “Travel when you get married” But what if you didn’t get married, will this limit you? The amazing travel blogger and documentary photographer Alia Refaat, known as “Coucla”, is one extraordinary motivation for all women to pursue their dreams.

Coucla’s First Destination: 

The amazing explorer will take us on a tour of how she started it all, and how she felt about travelling to more than thirty three countries. If it wasn’t for Coucla’s parents, she wouldn’t have gotten over her fear to solo travelling. It started with India at 2005 when she found out the amazing effect travelling had on her soul, which helped her capture more exceptional photographs. Since then, her wanderlust made her explore more.

The Three Favorite Destinations: 

“I am a woman on a mission to explore the world,” she says. Egypt, Asia and Peru are Coucla’s three favorite destinations. She had a five-year period of climbing and diving all over Egypt; six consecutive years exploring Asia’s Buddhism and Hinduism culture, and lastly a trip to Peru in 2017 where she reached the summit of three mountains and learned about plant medicine.

“I enjoy appreciating different cultures, introducing myself to strangers and challenging myself by registering to new activities,” Coucla says. No doubt that meeting different cultures is tempting, but all travel bloggers meet this strong barrier: the different language. Coucla told us her secret communication weapon, “Smiling at people is my secret. A portrait travel photographer would understand when I say this. It’s not easy to stand in front of a beautiful face and ask them to stand still to take their portrait.”

Coucla’s Special Tips on Travel & Photography: 

Wrapping Coucla’s experience, she gives us her ultimate advice to travel and photography freaks. One must be courageous, curious, flexible and has strong social skills to overcome the fear of new experiences. A travel blogger must be comfortable with his/her company and settle in quickly. As for photography matters, try to determine your kind of pictures, making sure of your lens choice, and never delete any picture.

“Traveling solo gives you the absolute freedom to do whatever you want; when you want,” Coucla says. So feel free to stop and take pictures. Talk to random people; they will share their experience with you, and you might be following each other footsteps.


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