HOLR recently got to know Toronto-based traveller Naomi Cocco in a Q&A. We asked about some of the tips and tricks she has picked up while travelling around the world and got inspired by her recommendations for our future travels.
What experience first sparked your passion for travelling?
My parents were flight attendants, so I literally grow up travelling since I was a little girl. I still remember landing in Paris from the cockpit, it was night and the Eiffel Tower was shining… a magical experience. I grow the passion for travel ever since. I think it’s inevitable once you start travelling you can’t stop. You learn so many things, not only about the world but also about yourself and it’s the coolest feeling ever.
When did you start capturing your travels in a more stylized way?
I always liked to take pictures when I was travelling however it’s since 2018 that I actually started to care more about my style and feed. I remember back then reading some blogs and I found out about Lightroom and that was definitely a game-changer.
Do you have any tips or tricks for capturing a captivating landscape photo?
When capturing landscape photos, it’s all about perspective. Sometimes you can’t even recognize the location when you see pictures online because perspective changes everything. And definitely try until you get the perfect shot even if it takes more time.
What is one of the most memorable places that you’ve been to?
There are lots of wonderful places I’ve been to and it’s hard to decide. Definitely Africa is been one of my favourites, safaris are incredible and exciting. On my list of memorable places, there is also Rio de Janeiro. It definitely stole my heart, the vibe in the city is unbelievable. As well Petra in Jordan it’s another one of those places that can take your breath away, a 10000-year-old city hidden in the desert! I can’t really decide the world is a wonderful place!!
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How do you decide where to go, eat etc. when you get to a new destination?
When I travel to new destinations I always check on Google and I read the reviews when deciding where to go eat and places to visit. If it’s my first time visiting, I always try to read as much as possible and then I decide. Sometimes touristy places don’t really worth the visit, sometimes I trust suggestions and I find hidden gems.
What’s the most off the beaten path spot you’ve been to?
When I was travelling in Iceland, we decided to rent a car cause it’s the best way to visit the island. There is a spot in the middle of nowhere where you can find a plane wreck. It’s a little creepy but suggestive at the same time.
How did you discover it?
I heard about this plane wreck and I wanted to see it. There is no sign, so we were going back and forth looking for it and we were stopping people down the road to ask for directions but not everyone knew about it. Finally, we discover that the plane wreck was a two hour walk from where we parked the car as it was not possible to drive till there and we couldn’t even see it from the street.
What’s a valuable lesson you’ve learned through your travels?
The number one most valuable lesson I learned while travelling is that not everything is going to go as you planned. Things happen, and there nothing you can do. The best way to react to unexpected events is to be positive, be patient and don’t focus on the negative, everything is going to be ok!
I also learned that sometimes we have a wrong perception of certain countries and we should never judge without knowing them.
What places are on your bucket list?
On my bucket list I have so many countries but some of them I can’t really wait to visit. Polynesia, Fiji Island, Peru, Japan and Australia are on the top!
What culture have you experienced that’s left a lasting impression on you?
The culture that left a lasting impression on me is African culture. There are so many amazing things that I still remember. Not only the country but also the people, it’s incredible to see how happy they are with little things, they always smile, they are super friendly and send you positive vibes! There is so much to learn.
Location-Specific Travel Tips:
What’s your favourite spot that you travelled to last year?
The favourite spot I travelled to last year was Hawaii.
If someone had 24- hours there what would you recommend they do?
It’s definitely not possible to visit Hawaii in 24 hours, however, if you have 24 hours in Hawaii, I would recommend you go and explore the island for the full day, rent a car and drive around.
What area would you stay in?
I stayed in Waikiki because it’s close to everything but it’s really personal. Waikiki is a little crowded, if you prefer quiet places, I would suggest Kailua or Lanikai!
Where would you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner?
The best place for breakfast is the Hawaiian Aroma Caffè! Not only it’s really good but also super cute.
For lunch or dinner, I would recommend the Duke’s Waikiki and Hula Grill Waikiki!
What’s a must-see off-the-beaten-path spot?
Stairs to Heaven however it’s illegal to climb so I was not able to go there.
What’s the best place to grab a drink?
House without a Key!
What’s the best place to have a coffee?
Hawaiian Aroma Caffe
What activity would you choose to do for fun?
Snorkelling, sunset sail, submarine adventure.
Where’s the coolest photo to take a photo?
What museum or art gallery would you go to?
Museum Pearl Harbour Memorial