Off-the-Beaten-Path Nomad Vita Zakhu(@mywalkintheworld)

Every week we track down a great travel Instagrammer, and this time, it’s Vita Zakhu's (@mywalkintheworld) turn. Catching the travel bug in college, Vita has set foot on more than 20 countries and wow us with more than 300 photos on Instagram, making my travel bug itch!!! Genuineness is Vita's first and foremost policy, and you can no doubt see her sincere smiles and honest comments on places she's been to. You don't want to miss such bona fide soul!

Occupation: Digital Marketer

City you call home: Currently New Orleans, but recently home was Brisbane, Australia and before that it was San Francisco, California!

Can you tell us a little about yourself? I was born in Ukraine, but have lived most of my life in the Bay Area, California! I am forever thankful that my mom pushed me to study abroad in my freshman year of college in Florence, which allowed me to catch the travel bug. I have now traveled to 6 continents, 20+ countries and lived in 4 countries! 

The first Instagram photo you’ve ever taken? It was so long ago, but I think it was a vase of flowers!

The best advice you have for becoming a popular Instagrammer? Always be kind (on top of writing interesting captions and capturing beautiful photos!). When you are engaging with people, commenting, sending direct messages or replying to them, be kind! People notice when you go the extra mile and they can tell who is truly genuine!

Can you name a few of the most instagrammable places that you have been to? 

  • Italy: the quaint shops, cobblestone streets and cones of gelato are endless inspiration. Plus, for all the history buffs it’s a paradise being able to see the Coliseum, the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo’s original David.
  • Basically all of Australia: Sydney Opera House, The Harbor Bridge, Great Ocean Road, Great Barrier Reef, Uluru and all of Tasmania!
  • New Zealand: there’s more sheep than people in this country and wide open spaces make up the country! There’s plenty of photo opps during adventure activities like repelling into glow worm caves, wandering through geothermal pools and climbing ancient glaciers.
  • Thailand: There are so many gorgeous temples – white temples, colorful temples, temples embellished with gold. The architecture is just stunning there plus I love the natural features like the beaches of Phuket, the coral reefs around Koh Phi Phi and tropical jungles of Chiang Mai. 
taking in the sunset golden hour at Uluru

Tell us what your ideal luxury travel is like! If I travel luxury, like in Bali where it’s pretty affordable, I just have to stay at a hotel with an infinity pool! I’m kind of obsessed with those.

What's the first thing you do when arriving a new city? Find some delicious food to eat which is preferably something the place is known for! 

fairytale in City Park, New Orleans

Most embarrassing moments in your traveling? Forgetting my ID going through security! After traveling so many times, you would think I wouldn’t make a mistake like that haha!

What are your travel essentials? Deuter Backpacking backpack, Kathmandu jacket and a small bottle of Lush Dry Shampoo!

Favorite hotel: The PayoganVilla Resort & Spa in Ubud, Bali. This is probably the nicest hotel I have ever stayed in – huge bed, beautiful outdoor shower and bath, delicious buffet breakfast and an infinity pool that looked out into the jungle!

Favorite airline: Qantas! When I walked on the plane I thought I was in business class because the seats were so nice and spacious! The service was great too – great flight attendants, great food, unlimited drinks and you get Lindt chocolates at the end!

Aisle or Window: I love the window so I can see where I’m flying over!

How do you deal with jet lag? I try to stick to sleeping at the time I am going to so I can get adjusted, but if all fails, I watch a lot of movies until I fall asleep.

Your "happy place" to visit? They’re all beach towns! Growing up it was always Half Moon Bay (or the hiking trails around it). Then, Santa Monica Beach during sunset and most recently it’s been Byron Bay or Noosa in Queensland, Australia. 

sunrise at the twelve apostles on the Great Ocean Road

What's your pet peeves when staying at a hotel (or taking a flight)? I don’t have too many pet peeves, but I would say I hate finding hair on my bed sheets when I check in!

Favorite outfit for traveling: I am all about comfort for travel. It usually involves black leggings, running shoes, a plain t-shirt and sweatshirt when it gets cold on the plane.

Any packing strategy? I try to pack minimally because I hate carrying heavy bags. I like to pack things I can mix and match so I can have options. I have statement pieces but I also love my black t-shirt I can pair with jeans, a maxi skirt, under a cardigan or on its own depending on my mood!

Travel destinations on your bucket-list? I have SO many, but I want to see all 7 wonders of the world (I have 4 left!) and celebrate festivals where they’re most celebrated like St. Patrick’s day in Ireland, Holi in India, Chinese New Year in China.

Favorite restaurant (or cafe) in New Orleans: There are so many! However, the happy hour at Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar can’t be beat - $.50 oysters and $3 drinks!

Three must-do when visiting New Orleans? 

  1. Walk around Jackson Square and the French Quarter
  2. Eat Beignets at Café du Monde
  3. Go to a jazz show at Preservation Hall

One DON'T when visiting New Orleans: Don’t forget to eat all the food – try all the Cajun, creole and fresh seafood you can fit in your belly!

What’s your dream destination: Antarctica and Iceland. For some reason both are very cold areas, but I don’t think I’ve been that far in either direction! I’d love to see the Arora Borealis and also check off the last continent!

What's next? I am flying to Washington D.C to see the cherry blossoms, then hopefully Mexico and exploring more of the South!

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