Travel Lens: Julia Nowińska’s World

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By Christine Blau

Julia Nowińska has lived just about everywhere—from the Netherlands to the United States—but this peripatetic editor always finds her way back to her roots, and the place where she was born: Warsaw.

“I really do feel like a local here,” Julia says. “Ask me where is the best coffee shop or club in town, and I will tell you.”

Julia’s nomadic lifestyle inspired her to pursue a career in travel journalism. Now the lead editor at National Geographic Traveler Poland, one of Traveler‘s many international editions, Julia ensures the magazine puts sustainable tourism front and center while continuing her life-long love affair with the world and all that’s in it.

Here’s a look at the world through Julia Nowińska’s unique lens:

Christine Blau: When and how did you join the National Geographic family?

Julia Nowińska: I wrote my first freelance story for National Geographic Traveler Poland in the summer of 2010. It was about Nollywood, Nigeria’s burgeoning film industry.

What’s been your favorite “Nat Geo Moment” over the years?

There have been many of them, but, for sure, the possibility of meeting amazing people—and interviewing them sometimes in very unexpected places—is one of the highlights of the job.

Warsaw, Poland’s largest city, and its capital, is located along the Vistula River. (Photograph by afagen, Flickr)

I remember with particular fondness my interview with Bangladeshi Nobel Prize-winner Muhammad Yunus, which was conducted on a train from Krakow to Warsaw, and the five days that I spent with Reinhold Messner—the first man to ascend all 14 “eight-thousanders” (peaks higher than 8,000 meters)—at his castle in South Tirol, Italy.

Where do you call home? Why, out of every place in the world, do you choose to make your home there?

I have a nomad’s soul, so I feel at home wherever I am. But after traveling, I always come back to Poland and Warsaw, where I was born, to recharge and get new ideas and inspirations before heading off somewhere again.

When someone comes to visit, where’s the first place you take them?

Saska Kępa, a district on the opposite side of the river from Warsaw’s city center that hides unique restaurants, cafés, and boutiques along its tree-shaded streets. Tourists rarely get here, but they should. Most of the neighborhood was spared from bombing during World War II, so you can admire villas from the beginning of the 20th century—some of which are real architectural gems.

It isn’t only me that feels this way.

Original Article: Travel Lens: Julia Nowińska’s World