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Meet Nastasia Yakoub, a former nurse turned full-time traveler, entrepreneur and photographer with an ambition to inspire and empower women. Born into a strict Chaldean-Middle Eastern household and community where females are expected to embrace a life of marrying young and neglecting any personal ambitions, Nastasia’s mission to represent and empower women stems from a desire to break the mold.

At the age of 20, Nastasia took a leap of faith and moved to Chicago to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing at Loyola University, supporting herself entirely as she began her new life full of opportunities and challenges. Soon after, Nastasia embarked on her first solo trip to South Africa to volunteer at an orphanage in Cape Town. Her experiences there sparked her love for the world.

Defying cultural norms, Nastasia went from being totally isolated from the world, simply because of her gender, to traveling to over 50+ countries, many of which were solo adventures.

Nastasia started the @dametraveler community in 2014 after noticing a need for a strong female travel community and people strongly resonated with her message. Today, Dame Traveler stands as the first and most well known and respected female travel community on Instagram and has been featured in the Washington Post, Travel Channel, AFAR, Travel & Leisure, VOGUE, Forbes Travel and more.

She has gained loyal readers who admire her passion and creativity through her incredible following online. Today, @dametraveler has reached over 405,000 followers on Instagram and over 95,000 on her personal account, @nastasiaspassport. Needless to say, she’s inspired thousands of women to step outside their comfort zone and see more of the world. Her next endeavour is to expand the Dame Traveler brand outside of web and social.