Nancie Lee's love for photography and travel are reflected in the essence of Aperture Of My Soul. Seeking out this world's unique beauty, she shares it at every opportunity. She inspires others to adventure boldly on their journey through her photography. Her passion for travel is contagious. "The world is too big to live small -- Get out there and explore!"
Nancie was kind enough to spend time answering our questions below.
TA: How many years have you been traveling and what got you hooked?
Nancie: I started traveling around the age of 6 with my family in the back of the family station wagon. Traveling to Mexico as child and experiencing a different culture planted the travel seed in my soul.
TA: Do you specialize in a particular type of travel?
Nancie: I don't specialize in anything specific, however I definitely have the road trip warrior spirit. I love the adventure along the way to the destination. Historic sites, ruins and monuments are always part of my itinerary. I use my annual National Park Pass frequently.
TA: What is the best vacation you've ever taken?
Nancie: The most satisfying vacation to date was a week I spent photographing waterfalls in Ontario, Canada on the Niagara Escarpment. I could have stayed for weeks. Waterfalls are such a beautiful force of nature.
TA: What's one place you've always wanted to visit?
Nancie: One place?? haha An African safari is high on my list. Kenya and the Serengeti.
TA: What's one thing you ALWAYS pack when you travel?
Nancie: My Nikon is my constant companion. I can't imagine going anywhere without a camera. Photography helps me share the world with others - through the "Aperture of my Soul"
TA: If you could only give a traveler one piece of advice, what would it be?
Nancie: Don't go somewhere and expect it to be like home. I feel people miss out on the authenticity of new places, because they look for things that make it feel familiar like home. Be brave, really allow the culture of a destination change you.
TA: Where was the most unusual place you've ever stayed?
Nancie: I traveled to Brazil to do volunteer work in a favela (slum). I had a small apartment on the side of a hill overlooking the town of Nova Friburgo. It was my first extended trip overseas, so everything was different and unusual. Having a shower with an electric heating unit on it was unusual! Who puts water and electric together? I hiked down the hill to the grocery store and rode the short bus back up the hill home. I didn't go outside at night, because the local drug dealers hung out at the pay phone 1/2 a block away. Brazilians love their music! Sometimes, they loved it blaring all night long! It was my first most unusual experience, but it was fantastic. I wouldn't trade it for the world.
TA: What is the best piece of travel advice you've ever been given?
Nancie: The best advice I received was on my first cruise. Departing from hot Miami, I drank a lot of iced tea before we boarded the boat. During our first dinner, I had to leave the table twice with sea sickness and go to the cabin to lay down. When I returned to the table the third time, a waiter came to me and put his hand over my glass and told me to stop drinking liquids. I didn't have any food in my stomach and that is what was making me sick. Sure enough, after I ate I felt much better. I made sure I always had some food during the day and I didn't suffer that horrible sea sickness again.
TA: What is the most beautiful and affordable city you've ever visited?
Nancie: Sedona, AZ is high on my list of most beautiful cities. Nestled between the expansive red rocks makes it feel like a secret place. Nature is the focus every where you look. Visitors spend hours hiking and biking the numerous trails .It has a wide range of accommodations from high-end spa resorts to affordable average hotels. Meals are reasonably priced, as well.
One thing to experience while you are there are the energy vortexes. There are maps that show their locations. It can be a time of connecting and reenergizing. There are guided vortex tours, if you want a deeper spiritual experience.
TA: What's one way people can get the most out of their cruise experience?
Nancie: Cruises are a fantastic way to see multiple places in a short amount of time. When planning a cruise, I research each stop and decide the one 'must see' attraction or experience. What is this destination known for? After that, I list the other things I would like to do. Since time is limited in each port, not everything is possible.
Choosing varying 'must see' attractions like a waterfall hike at one location and a historic city tour at another will give your cruise a wider variety of opportunities to experience the culture of that destination.
TA: What are the best places to travel solo and why?
Nancie: Since I travel solo most of the time, I don't think in the terms of best places. If I want to go, I go. At the same time, safety is always my first priority. If I don't feel comfortable in a situation, I don't stay.
If you are traveling solo, be aware of your surroundings. If I'm out photographing early in the morning, I make sure my car can drive straight out of the location. I keep my camera out of sight of passing cars. I'm always aware of what is happening around me.
Have a good idea of where you are going, the route and nearest towns for services. Getting lost in an unfamiliar area is stressful. Planning ahead can help a solo traveler keep on track and feel more comfortable.
TA: What's something that other tourists do when traveling that drives you crazy and why?
Nancie: Noisy people in a hotel hallway. Letting their door slam at 4am. The lack of courtesy toward others makes me a bit crazy in any situation. It doesn't cost anything to be kind.
TA: What's one piece of advice you'd give to travelers your age?
Nancie: You're never too old to go on an adventure. Don't let your 'perceived' age rob of you of a dream that your soul desires. At the end of it all, our memories are our most valued treasures.