Since I started this Woman of the Week series, I’ve learned from so many traveling women who hold amazing jobs that allow (or cause) them to travel. When I saw Greta share a bit about her work online I immediately asked if she’d let me interview her. It’s probably the coolest job I’ve ever heard of someone doing! Read on for a bit about what it is our latest Woman of the Week, Greta, does for work and what travels means to her.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF?
My name is Greta Francesca Lori and I’m half Italian and half Ethiopian. I am an independent consultant in wildlife conservation, based in London and specifically focusing on ending the illegal wildlife trade. Travel, exploration and a profound love for the natural world have always been a part of who I am since I was a very young girl! I currently have my own consultancy, and work with various international organizations and NGOs in a variety of wildlife conservation related projects globally.
WHY DO YOU TRAVEL?
I travel because it always strengthens my purpose in life, it expands my horizons, centers me, teaches me and reminds me that we are just a small droplet in an ocean of incredible lives, cultures, traditions, and history; but also, that our small positive impacts can truly bring about change.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK AND TRAVEL?
I believe that the most important aspect is discipline, learning how to manage the time we dedicate to working and the time we dedicate to fully immerse ourselves in travel will allow us to not be overwhelmed. Sometimes work and travel are also entirely inter-connected, so it is important to rest, listen to our bodies, and explore accordingly.
WHAT’S THE BEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED FROM YOUR TRAVELS?
That getting lost and simply following your instincts can lead you onto the greatest adventures. When we let go of trying to control everything, and simply live in the moment, travel can reward you with experiences that change your life, leading you to meeting incredible people and living moments that you look back on and realize shaped you into a greater version of yourself.
SHARE ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL MEMORIES.
I have so many, so this is always the most difficult question! But I think one of my all time favourites would have to be getting lost in Havana, Cuba over 8 years ago, when it was still virtually impossible to contact the outside world. Me and my best friend sat on a bench on a hot summer’s day, people watching in Vieja (old) Havana, and I remember thinking that it honestly felt like we were stuck in the 1930’s, the disintegrating buildings, people’s attire, the music in the background, and dancing on the streets. The breeze on our sweaty faces was so comforting and the only thing that reminded us that it was reality and not a dream.
I walked up to a street vendor, who was selling all sorts of random goods, and there was a stand of newspapers and magazines, like it was the daily news. I instantly recognized the yellow cover of the National Geographic magazine, I picked it up and realized it was a virtually untouched copy from 1942, one of the first colour prints in history of the magazine! My heart stopped and I looked around and for now second was unsure if we really were in year 2011 or 1942 – and that was an incredible and inexplicable sensation! The power of travel is truly unmatched!
IF YOU COULD SHARE ONE TRAVEL TIP WITH OTHER WOMEN, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
It would have to be, to always follow your gut. As women, sometimes people try and discourage solo travel or exploration – especially when visiting challenging destinations, culturally and physically. I think the most important tool you have as a woman is to learn how to say no, but also how to keep going when everyone else says No. It’s important to learn how to listen to your inner voice, and never feel pressured to do anything that you yourself are not 100% certain about. Once you have established a very good relationship with yourself, you will be able to travel the world without a fear or doubt in mind, because you know your instinct is guiding you to experience what is meant for you!
Happy travelling! There is truly no greater wealth in the world, than that of traveling the world!
THANKS FOR READING GRETA’S STORY!
Looking for more interviews? Head to our Woman of the Week archives for the full library.
I’ve also created three freebies to help you plan your next adventure:
- 50 Practical Travel Tips from Solo Lady Backpackers (a 6-page PDF)
- 20 Tips for Sustainable Travel (a checklist)
- and 30 Jobs to See the World.
After you join the mailing list up, you’ll have access to all the freebies, AND get the password to the Global Directory! The directory will connect you to my recommended resources for each country and tons of travel topics. All blog posts I recommend are written by traveling ladies. From logistics to inspiration, the Global Directory will help you find the info you need no matter where you’re going.