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My name is Natasha and I am an artist. I find inspiration in travel. The locations which speak to my soul are historical and from the ancient period. Ask Me Anything.

Natasha Lj Filipovic
May 17, 2017

I find inspiration in beauty and for me, true beauty has some mystery to it. Ancient civilizations are definitely mysterious as we, as humans, yearn to know what happened before our time on earth. That is in human nature. So far, the most inspiring places that I visited have been Pompeii, Petra, Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and Cairo.


Natasha Lj Filipovic says:

This AMA will end May 19, 2017 4PM EDT

Reason you believe this topic would be a great choice for an AMA:
I am personally interested in travel especially to places which have a deeper meaning for modern civilization.

Reason you believe you will be a great host to speak on this topic:
I visited the places where I felt awe and admiration for ancient peoples. I find it useful in my everyday life.

Have you ever hosted an AMA before?:
No

May we contact you via phone?:
Yes

What number may we reach you at?:
+38163605265

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Conversation (109)

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What spawned your interest in traveling to historical sites?

May 19, 1:10AM EDT0

It must have been the usual questions, who are we?, where do we come from?, what's our cultural heritage? and similar questions. The anwers can be found in historical sites where you can see how people before us lived and how they contributed to the civilization we have today.

May 19, 6:24AM EDT0

Have you learned anything that is applicable in every day living?

May 18, 8:54PM EDT0

In my case, yes, because I use my experiences in the creation of my art. I got influenced by aesthetics I encountered through travel and that is a part of my conscious and unconscious mind now, so I use it all the time when creating something or even evaluating something for myself, for work or for others.

May 19, 6:26AM EDT0

Do you prefer to stay in hotels or hostels?

May 18, 6:12AM EDT0

I prefer to stay in hotels and have access to the swimming pool for example, it is a big deal for me and I also love to have a balcony or a terrace where I can drink my morning coffee, the one I prepare myself. In my opinion it is best to have the all inclusive option as it actually saves money.

May 18, 10:58AM EDT0

How many different locations have you visited altogether?

May 18, 1:06AM EDT0

I haven't counted them yet, but the total number could be around 20, but as they say: "I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list" :)

May 18, 10:58AM EDT0

What was the strongest culture shock you've ever experienced?

May 17, 8:56PM EDT0

It must be women wearing hijabs that cover even their eyes in Dubai. Also, women wearing burkinis to the beach and swimming in them. I respect their culture, but it was a cultural shock for me. However, I must admit that they did not mind me wearing a bikini right next to them. These women are actually friendly and open minded.

May 18, 11:00AM EDT0

What is the most dangerous place you have been?

May 17, 6:54PM EDT0

Must be Egypt since I went there after the revolution they had and also Jordan which is really close to Syria. I visited Jordan and Jerusalem at the moment when the war in Syria was starting.

May 18, 11:01AM EDT0

Do you study history when you are not traveling?

May 17, 4:55PM EDT0

No, I must admit that I am too lazy for that, as I prefer visual stimulation although I love reading books in general. I am not a fan of history books, but I appreciate reading facts from a website rergarding history as well as watching documentaries.

May 18, 11:03AM EDT0

Are you interested in archaeology or paleontology?

May 17, 11:50AM EDT1

Yes, I am, definitely, that is why I always choose travel to archaeological places. I am more interested in archaeology than in paleontology though as I find greater stimulation in learning about ancient civilizations and people than in plants and animals that used to exist.

May 17, 2:19PM EDT1
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Have you made any lasting friends in other countries?

May 17, 8:11AM EDT1

It's difficult to answer that, but I suppose I have, though the woman is originally from my own home country, but we met in Austria where she worked as a painter. Now, I am developing the documentary project about her life and career as she is a very inspiring woman.

May 17, 2:26PM EDT1
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What do you typically bring with you on a trip?

May 17, 7:57AM EDT1

I brings lots of clothes as I love to make nice photos wearing different summer clothes, like skirts and dresses. I am like any other girl regarding that and I almost always wear high heels or wedges :). I also take my camera and film everything which has aesthetical and/or historical significance. I also bring some notepads where I can write down the ideas I get as well as inspiring books like those written by Murakami.

May 17, 2:29PM EDT1
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Are you conservative or do you idealize ancient values?

May 17, 7:41AM EDT0

At the moment I admire the ancient values of ancient Egypt as women were equal to men back then. There were different social classes and women did not have to be virgins before marriage (unlike the situation in ancient Rome), they could have had various boyfriends before getting married, but once they got married, they were considered some sort of deity. Also, ancient Egyptians wore remarkably looking makeup, both men and women and shaved all of their body parts. Even today, they look exactly like people in the paintings dating from that period as well as sculptures. Here's a link to the rights women had:

http://collectiondevelopment.library.cornell.edu/mideast/womneg.htm

I am also pretty much conservative myself as I tend to conform to the traditional family values.

May 17, 2:45PM EDT1
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What does your travel inspiration inspire you to do?

May 17, 7:28AM EDT1

Well, right now, I can say, it inspired me to do this and share my experiences with you. Also, travel inspires me to write scripts for my visual art as I am a filmmaker. More precisely, I am still in film school, but I am working on various projects even now. I come back from my trips full of impressions and I often think about what I saw and did when I was far away. Travel puts you in some dream state of mind and it lingers on for as long as you live. It also makes you feel happier. Moreover, travel has inspired me to move abrod and live in another country and I plan to do that after I graduate from film school.

May 17, 2:58PM EDT1
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What country is the most different from ours?

May 17, 4:19AM EDT0

I think that may be Egypt because people in Cairo live as traditionally as possible. Most women wear hijabs, even though they do not have to. They swim wearing burkini's and, surprisingly, they understand that tourists can wear bikinis as it is a part of their culture. They welcome people from Western cultures and you can feel comfortable there. There are many poor people in Cairo, but they are genuinely happy. They have smiles on their faces and they are hospitable. There is an interesting fact: square meter of an apartment in the most exclusive neighborhood can cost up to 800 dollars. River Nile is considered as the source of life there and people like to live as close to it as possible. Another fun fact is that you can see KFC just across the Sphinx!

May 17, 3:18PM EDT1
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What country is your favorite that you have visited?

May 17, 4:00AM EDT0

My favorite country that I have visited so far is Germany. I had a great time in Berlin where my uncle is an opera singer. I saw many beautiful parts of this cosmopolitan city and it reminds me of New York, just in Europe. There are many theatres there of various kinds, their film academy is very reputable and people are friendly. It is fun to spend time there and I might move there soon as I am fascinated with the level of culture they maintain and support.

May 17, 3:27PM EDT1
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What types of history are you most interested in?

May 17, 3:54AM EDT1

I am mostly interested in history related to customs people who lived centuries before us had. I love to visit museums and archaological excavations. Ancient cultures fascinate me and I am greatly influenced with their aesthetics. After all, we are all descendants of people who lived before us and that is what makes history so intriguing.

May 17, 3:37PM EDT2

Im really a fan of anything history!!! Can you tell me if you felt goosebumps or extreme astonishment? Like your heart fell down to your toes? I always feel this sensation when I watch or visit a place connected to ancient events.

May 16, 10:50PM EDT1

Yes!!! That is exactly what I felt when I visited Pompeii. Seeing Mount Vesuvius from the excavations of Pompeii was a fascinating experience. I am attaching the photo here. Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii

May 17, 3:44PM EDT2
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Have you considered guiding others on trips to sites like this?

May 16, 8:19PM EDT1

I think I still have to gain much more experience regarding travel before I can serve as a gread guide to other people. Of course, I would love to share my enthusiasm with like-minded and open-minded people!

May 17, 3:46PM EDT1
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Do you like to bring souvenirs home with you?

May 16, 7:52PM EDT1

Yes, I do, there is one thing I always bring home and that is a fridge magnet. It reminds me of my trip every day and makes me relive all the great moments I experiences while away from home. I also like coffee mugs as I enjoy drinking coffee, so having those with depictions of life from the places I visited is an amazing experience in itself.

May 17, 3:49PM EDT1
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Do you ever mix it up and visit other locations to keep it fresh?

May 16, 3:00PM EDT0

Yes, I do, but I must admit that I am a little bit lazy when I reach a hotel resort. I love to enjoy the pool side and the bar, chill out listening to music and drinking ice coffee, nescafe frappe by the pool or at the beach. However, I love to visit all locations I ca because that gives the ultimate spice to life!

May 17, 4:17PM EDT0

Do your friends share your interest in travel?

May 16, 2:55PM EDT1

Many of my friends love travel, but some of them have a limited budget. I am traditionally oriented so I love to travel with my mother at the moment as I am not married or anything. My family is all I have.

May 17, 4:20PM EDT1

"My family is all I have." - Ditto.

May 17, 4:40PM EDT0

Do you travel with friends or family or go alone?

May 16, 2:50PM EDT1

Dr. Brianna, I travel with family, usually with my mother, who is an MD, a specialist in neuropsychiatry. I am a student of filmmaking and a media manager, so we share the interest in culture, we are both interested in people and what their motivation has been through centuries. My mother is my best friend and nobody can understand me as good as she can. She also takes the best photos of me and I am a bit vain when it comes to that, like many girls. My mother means the world to me, but that might change for the better once I get married.

May 17, 4:24PM EDT1
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Is there anywhere you want to go that you haven't been able to visit yet?

May 16, 2:19PM EDT1

Yes, I am sorry that I haven' had the chance to visit Syria before the war. I know that Damascus was an amazing city. I love the Middle East in general.

May 17, 4:25PM EDT1
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Do you prefer any other countries' culture to ours?

May 16, 12:59PM EDT0

No, I think that the American culture is the best because of the values it promotes. I am a patriot and a cosmopolitan and I believe in equality and freedom. The only thing I am sorry about is that people are not so free as they were in the '60s and the '70s. The world has changed a lot and nobody seems to be safe anywhere.

May 17, 4:27PM EDT1
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Do you watch travel television or the history channel?

May 16, 12:11PM EDT1

Yes, I do, I also love to watch wild animals. Once I graduate from film school, I plan to travel the world. I am free spirited and I love everything the world has to offer. I think that people are as rich as they get to know other cultures.

May 17, 4:43PM EDT1
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Do you prefer to travel light or prepare for everything?

May 16, 7:20AM EDT0

I definitely prepare for everything. The only thing I don't carry with myself is an armchair lol. I love to take my stuff with me. My secret guilty pleasure is that I take coffee with me and the first thing I do in the morning is make myself my own cup of coffee and drink it on the balcony.

May 17, 4:45PM EDT0

Are there any locations you've visited more than once?

May 16, 7:03AM EDT1

Not yet, but I think that I will go to Egypt once again this year. I am fascinated with this country and their culture and they are very hospitable people.

May 17, 4:54PM EDT1

What's the longest you've ever stayed in one place?

May 16, 5:39AM EDT1

I am not originally from New York and I spent a month there. Two weeks in Manhattan and two weeks in Southhampton. It was a wonderuful experience as I stayed near the Metropolitan museum.

Last edited @ May 17, 4:55PM EDT.
May 17, 4:55PM EDT1

Love the Met, and the Mets! :)

May 17, 6:04PM EDT0

Do you know any languages other than English?

May 16, 5:02AM EDT1

Yes, I speak Croatian really well, I also studied German, Italian, Spanish and French, so I understand these languages at last. I plan to improve at speaking also.

May 17, 5:01PM EDT1
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Do you like to eat food from ancient cultures?

May 16, 4:28AM EDT0

Hahaha, yes, I do, pizza is my favorite!

May 17, 5:04PM EDT0

Do you collect ancient artifacts or other items?

May 16, 4:12AM EDT0

I brought this home from the Sahara desert when I visited Tunisia. It is not ancient, but it has been there since a long time ago. It is a crystal desert rose and sand. I cherish it and look forward to revisiting this magnificent desert.

May 17, 5:10PM EDT0

Looks like one of those pieces you pass by the house and it takes you back in time to where you found it, and maybe where it came from.

May 17, 6:07PM EDT0

Do you like to visit large cities or more rural areas?

May 16, 3:16AM EDT0

I like both because I believe that every location has specific charm. I am looking forward to visiting rural areas in Scotland and Ireland for example. However, I also love to visit New York and Berlin for example.

May 17, 5:12PM EDT0

Do you try to acclimate yourself to the culture beforehand or be immersed in something new?

May 16, 2:12AM EDT0

I prefer to be immersed in something new because it makes it even more appealing, fascinating and exciting. I like to be placed in a luxurious resort, but I like to make excursions to exotic places. I, myself, have an exotic look and I am often seen as someone who is a local, apart from my pale tan, but once I get a tan, I am ready to go haha even though I belong to the Western world.

May 17, 5:16PM EDT0

Are locals typically welcoming or hostile towards you?

May 16, 12:23AM EDT0

They are welcoming, especially in Egypt! I must say that I felt as if I were someone's guest and not in a hotel, they were so friendly. That is one of the reasons I want to go back there. I have to say that my arrangement was all inclusive and I recommend that!

May 17, 5:18PM EDT0

Do you seek beauty or things that are interesting?

May 15, 10:50PM EDT0

I seek both and usually things that are interesting for me are beautiful  at the same time. When it comes to men also, interesting men are beautiful for me no matter what they actually look like.

May 17, 5:19PM EDT0

Where would you recommend a new traveler to go from places you have been?

May 15, 10:17PM EDT0

Yes, I would, but I would recommend staying in a good hotel and hiring a good guide.

May 17, 5:20PM EDT0

What makes you a good artist?

May 15, 5:41PM EDT0

What makes me a good artists is the fact that I have great passion regarding the art I make.

May 17, 5:21PM EDT0

What mediums of art do you use?

May 15, 1:36PM EDT1

I am a filmmaker, more precisely, a film director. Also, I have to mention that I am still studying that. I think that it is now undersandable why I find inspiration while traveling :).

May 17, 5:22PM EDT1

Well said Natasha. Live life through travel.

May 17, 6:10PM EDT1