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NATALEE BAILEY: Embracing the Thrill of Exploration

Dream. Travel. Discover.


There is a unique breed of travelers whose passion transcends mere sightseeing; it is an enthusiastic pursuit, a calling to immerse oneself in the unknown, to embrace the unfamiliar, and to celebrate new experiences. This personifies Natalee Bailey who stands out as a source of encouragement for the intrepid adventurer.

 

Natalee embodies the essence of true exploration, overcoming the unexpected and allowing each adventure to shape her in profound ways. As she continues to crisscross the globe, her journey serves as an inspiration for others to embark on their own adventures, one destination at a time.

 

While Natalee indulges in world travels, professionally, her expertise is in the Oil and Gas Industry, where her primary focus lies in process safety. In her expert capacity, Natalee dedicates herself to the crucial task of preventing industry accidents, contributing to the safety and sustainability of her field.

 

Recently, in an exclusive interview with VBD Magazine, Natalee shared her insights on her transformative journey, destinations that hold a special place in her heart, and tips for adventurers. Let us be inspired by Natalee’s bold spirit as we pack our bags and allow the adventurous spark within us to lead the way into the world of travel and exploration.


 

TRACING THE START

As a child in rural Jamaica, Natalee found herself submerged in books, captivated by the tales of distant lands. “I read a lot and dreamed about visiting these distant places mentioned in the books,” Natalee states. Her love for reading continued throughout high school in Jamaica. After graduating, Natalee studied Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at Florida A&M University, followed by a Master of Business Administration degree at the University of Texas.


It was during her undergraduate years that a postcard of a floating market in Thailand sparked a profound curiosity within her. “The owner of the postcard told me that I could buy anything there, from an elephant to curry powder, a spice she knew I was familiar with. I was fascinated and vowed to visit one day.”

 

And visit she did, five years later, setting foot into Thailand and fulfilling her promise to herself. “As I wandered that very market, I was mesmerized by the bright colors, exotic fruits, and old women cooking and balancing in tiny canoes. This trip moved me so much that I vowed to start seeing the world. It also ignited my love for photography, and lately, flying drones and taking beautiful aerial pictures. My photos allow me to relive these experiences and share them with my friends through visual storytelling.”

 

ADVENTURE AND CONNECTION

Natalee’s travels have fueled her passion for adventure, nature, and connecting with people. “I enjoy going off the beaten path to see how the natives live instead of staying in the tourist areas. Getting soaked in the icy spray from a glacial waterfall in Iceland, hiking in Machu Picchu, Peru, and balancing in a canoe in a jungle stream in Adjarra, Benin, are some of my favorite memories where I felt most happy, most at home, and most free.”



AROUND THE GLOBE

With around forty countries under her belt, Natalee finds it challenging to pick favorites. However, some destinations hold a special place in her heart:

· Iceland

“I love Iceland for its wild beauty, safety, volcanoes, waterfalls, and icebergs. I have actually taken two solo camping trips around Iceland and had the time of my life. This is the place to go if you love nature and solitude.”

· Thailand

“The people in Thailand are incredibly friendly, and the cuisine is simply delightful. I also find Thailand appealing for its affordability, offering inexpensive massages, stunning beaches, and a vibrant cultural experience.”

· Turkey

“I love to eat, and I would give a Turkish breakfast a ten out of ten. As a Christian, I enjoyed visiting the old churches here, such as Ephesus and Laodicea. From riding over the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia in a hot air balloon, dipping in the clear waters of Adrasan Bay, or looking at the vast tea plantations in the Black Sea region, Turkey captured my heart, and I can’t wait to go back.”

·  Ghana

“Ghanaians are the most hospitable people, and my favorite dish ever is Kelewele (spicy fried ripe plantains).”


SHAPING LIFE

Traveling has transformed Natalee in profound ways. “It made me more open-minded, compassionate, and tolerant. It helped me to get rid of many stereotypes about other nationalities and religions.”

 

Through her adventures, she learned that happiness does not come from owning things but from a mindset. “Travelling teaches you that the average person is good and helps you to develop unlikely friendships. On a solo trip to Morocco, I ordered a taxi to take me to another town 8 hours away, with a stop in the middle. The driver showed up with his wife. They spoke not a word of English and I spoke no French or Arabic, but with gestures, I had the best day with them. We stopped several times to take pictures, buy the sweetest oranges, and consume a delicious lunch, through the use of gestures.”



TIPS FOR ADVENTURERS

Natalee shares travel tips on her Instagram page to offer insights and recommendations to her followers. For those embarking on their own journeys, she offers the following invaluable tips:

1. Don’t be afraid to go alone; don’t wait on others to enjoy new places.

2. Prioritize safety; choose accommodations with good reviews and avoid risky behavior such as drunkenness, trying drugs, or bringing strangers to your room. Don’t post where you are until after you leave.

3. Figure out how you will communicate. Download translation apps and get a local SIM card. You may find WhatsApp helpful in most cases.

4. Be open-minded and have fun.



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