Julia Flit, Photographer, Flit Photography

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Julia Flit was born and spent her teenage years in Kazakhstan, and came to London at her best age to study and to party hard. She accidentally became a professional photographer few years ago (Flit Photography), despite having MAs degree in Travel and Tourism Management. She recently co-founded a creative agency GemKreatives and she is constantly involved in different interesting projects.

Wanderlust is…

It is compelling desire to travel, which I totally have. I can’t stay in one place longer than a few weeks. I need to travel to receive new emotions. I have to escape my flat, even though I love to return home.

Growing up…

I was born in North-East of Kazakhstan in a very industrial city called Oskemen and lived there till my 18th birthday. And moved to London next day. Literally!

Meadows of East Kazakhstan, about 6.30am, few hours before it became boiling hot.

Meadows of East Kazakhstan, about 6.30am, few hours before it became boiling hot.

First time abroad…

First foreign country for me were UAE, first city Dubai, don’t remember the name of the first hotel, but it was a 4* on the beach. I was about 12, and it was the first time when my dad made enough money to send us abroad with my mom. I remember how hot and sticky it was outdoors and freezing indoors, I saw palm trees and swam in hot salty water for the first time in my life.

I remember embarrassing myself at breakfast in the very beginning of our stay… I had mussels… for breakfast Yes, my another first… Clearly I didn’t know how to eat them… so it flew to the ceiling and down on my knees when I tried to open it, I went red. We had never had another breakfast there, I was so ashamed to return.

All that we were doing was getting tanned, swimming and shopping. Not that my predilections changed too much over the time.

Grandma smoking cigar in havana, Cuba. I think this grandma is actually very popular among tourists and makes a lot of money. If I remember correctly she took one dollar for each photo taken!

Grandma smoking cigar in havana, Cuba. I think this grandma is actually very popular among tourists and makes a lot of money. If I remember correctly she took one dollar for each photo taken!

The most unusual place…

“Unusual” for me is something that I don’t associate myself with, something completely alien to me, either it is clothes, or place, or culture.

The most unusual and even frightening place for me was Cuba. It felt like I went in a Time Machine few decades back to the alternative reality of Soviet Union, where people drink rum, dance salsa and drive the most insane old cars. In fact it was a very sad sight. People are not poor because they choose not to work or can’t find jobs, but simply because they are not allowed to have more than they need for survival. They can’t go to the shop and buy milk, because milk is only for kids up to 5-6 years old and only 1 litter per week, even though their fields are full with cattle. They can’t use any other currency but Cuban Peso (CUP), otherwise they will be imprisoned. To buy a new car, simple VolksWagen Golf cost $50,000-$60,000, so only elite can have new cars. Shops for locals (where all prices are in CUP) are empty, for tourists (Everything is either in $ or Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC)) filled with goods. When we were wandering around in Havana, most of the people passing by had angry or desperate looks on their faces.

Late at night we decided to go to the restaurant and asked taxi driver to take us somewhere to experience authentic food. He took us to the quiet residential area, with houses behind high metal fences and almost no lights on the street, knocked on one of the gates and talked quietly to some woman… I was expected something terrible to happen… they let us in and… Voilà!… it was a beautiful hidden restaurant with 5 tables and homemade food… don’t think it was legal establishment though.

Birch grove in late September, Kazakhstan. I still can feel the smell of dry leaves and hear how they rustle under my feet. Autumn is my favourite time of the year!

Birch grove in late September, Kazakhstan. I still can feel the smell of dry leaves and hear how they rustle under my feet. Autumn is my favourite time of the year!

The most beautiful place…

I am not a big fan of cityscapes, I prefer nature and the wilder the better. Kazakhstan is definitely one of my favourites for that. From high mountains to green fields and to the dessert, we have it all! The most beautiful place I’ve been to was small settlement in the mountains called Klimovka. It was surrounded by lush meadow and deep green forest, they bred and herded horses there… well just judge for yourself.

The most fascinating person I met on my travels…

I love to meet locals. They can tell you more about the places and traditions than any guide, and send you in the right direction for the best food in town. I am trying to stay away from touristic places as much as possible.

The most memorable meal…

I won’t travel specifically for food, and I can eat anything from Mediterranean to Chinese cuisine. The best dish I had was freshly caught sea urchins accompanied by a glass of crispy white wine on my last birthday… not in the restaurant, but in a small hut on one of the tiny Greek islands!

Great wall of China, somewhere in November. it was REALLY cold up there

Great wall of China, somewhere in November. it was REALLY cold up there

Favourite person to travel with…

Either my second half or my mom.

Favourite hotels…

Banyan Tree on Phuket, Thailand – I love the idea of villa with a private pool and 24/7 butler.
My recent discovery is W on Koh Samui, Thailand.

Backpacking vs. flashpacking…

Can be backpacker for a day or two, but need hot shower and nice room after that, preferably with a SPA and good food.

Perfect getaway…

It is not about where you go, but with whom!

After a romantic sailing on the small yacht around Koh Samui, Thailand

After a romantic sailing on the small yacht around Koh Samui, Thailand

Souvenirs… 

Tons of photographs from every destination.

Favourite travel book…

Altai-Himalaya by Nicholas Roerich

Top of my bucket list…

Ethiopia (to see Erta Ale and to visit Lalibela) and Tibet

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