EX­PRES­SIONS OF TRAVEL

Travel Junkie Di­ary has be­come a lead­ing source of in­spi­ra­tion for trav­ellers. We speak with founder Michelle Karam about her jour­neys, phi­los­o­phy and tak­ing the per­fect In­sta­gram photo.

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Michelle Karam is en route to Ni­hi­watu, the only re­sort on Sumba Is­land, Indonesia, and she’s clearly de­lighted at the prospect. “They say it’s a place where Africa meets Asia, and a place where re­al­ity is even bet­ter than your dreams!” says the Dubai-based blog­ger, online en­tre­pre­neur and so­cial me­dia favourite.

Sumba is just one of the many des­ti­na­tions planned out across the year for the founder of Travel Junkie Di­ary (TJD), a web-based plat­form where trav­ellers can tell their sto­ries and be in­spired by the ad­ven­tures of oth­ers. Karam had been work­ing in the travel in­dus­try for 15 years be­fore she de­cided to pur­sue her life­long pas­sion for in­spir­ing dis­cov­ery in oth­ers.

It was never just a side project for her. “I had a vi­sion and a mis­sion with TJD,” she says. “I re­alised there was a gap in the in­dus­try where there was not enough travel in­spi­ra­tion for read­ers, and close to no agen­cies that could con­nect the right travel in­flu­encer with the right brand.”

The blog quickly gained a fol­low­ing, thanks to its con­trib­u­tors’ vi­brant sto­ry­telling and ad­vice, and built a rap­port with premier travel brands. The next stage was ‘Travel with TJD’, a cam­paign that in­vites travel in­flu­encers and en­thu­si­asts to ac­com­pany Karam and the TJD team to a new des­ti­na­tion, work­ing with ho­tels, air­lines and other sup­pli­ers to bring the ex­pe­ri­ence to life.

At home in the world Now she’s liv­ing out her dream, trav­el­ling much of the year. In the four years since TJD was launched, Karam has vis­ited 86 coun­tries, col­lect­ing sto­ries

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