Catherine Xi
March 10, 2021

Travis Community Feature - Solene Cathalan

Introducing our Community Feature series! Our diverse community of travel lovers inspire us daily to live curiously, and be open to new experiences that we've never known or experienced before. Here's where we get to know them a little more..

Meet Solene Cathalan.

Solene was born and raised in France. A lover of music and video games, and also partner of our very own Chief Technology Officer, Sylvain! Since moving to Australia a few years ago, has already covered more ground across Australian than probably many locals have. From roadtripping down the East Coast of Australia, to unexpected adventures across the Australian Desert. Follow her travel guides on Travis, and read on to learn more about her!

1. Tell us about yourself in 3 fun facts. (Where you grew up, what you do for work, something unexpected, etc.)

I’m Solene, a French person living in Melbourne for 7 years now. I grew up in Le Creusot, a historic mining town located in Burgundy-France, a region famous worldwide for its wine. What else… I have played guitar since I was 8 and I sew my own cosplays (and some of my clothes!)

2. How has travelling shaped you as a person? Has there been a particularly memorable trip destination for you?

My most memorable trip was the first trip I took outside of Europe to go to India. I was 22, traveling with my parents to meet my brother’s wife and family. This was such an amazing experience as my sister-in-law’s family lives in Arunachal Pradesh, a region situated northeast of India. Foreigner entry is kept under rigid control, so everything there was quite different, from language and food to social interactions and day-to-day routine. It felt like I stepped into another world and I loved it! Despite not speaking the same language (few of us were speaking English), we all spent some great moments together: cooking together, picnicking in the wilderness, dancing and singing for the family, discovering the surroundings…

This experience really opened my mind to what travel, people and places around the world can bring to yourself. What is “day-to-day life” can be so different from one place to another. And that’s what I love about traveling: discovering people, cultures, ways of life, which have an impact on your own conception of life and make you constantly redefine what it should be.

3. When I’m not working, you’ll find me…

Playing video games, especially RPGs, or sewing my next clothes, or playing guitar, or gardening, or reading… I keep myself busy!

4. Where’s your favorite place to go in Australia? Could be a hidden gem, a local fave, a holiday go-to...

Airlie Beach! I love this little port city, with its shops, cafes and most of all, the marvelous Whitsunday Islands just next door! Snorkeling around the island, hiking or just soaking sun are my favourite activities there.

Travis Travel Coober Pedy South Australia Solene
Coober Pedy, South Australia by Solene

5. Spill the beans.. What do you find most frustrating in your travel planning process?

Finding and planning what to do. I remember juggling between numerous websites, while zooming-dezooming-pinning stuff on Google Maps when planning my 3 week road trip along the Australian Desert. And then I had to print everything/save everything! So tedious!

6. How is Travis helping you make this easier? What are you most excited about in a brand new travel platform for millennial and Gen Z travelers?

I really love being able to discover new places! Being able to save it onto the moodboard and knowing I can search into this pool of ideas for my next travel plan is awesome. I feel like Travis can become an inspirational place for discovering your own area/country or other places. With current tools, it’s quite complicated to organise a little weekend away or a day out activity without losing time and remaining calm while doing it! With Travis, I can just jump on the platform, check the places I’ve saved or see what’s new, and, in a few minutes, I’ll know what to do (and how to do it) for my next trip.

7. Top 3 destinations you’re itching to visit post-COVID?

Japan!! It’s been on my go-to list for sooo long! And I’d like to go back to Europe to visit my family. And in third position would be to go back to New Zealand visit the Fjord (I didn’t have the time when I went there the first time!)

Thanks to Solene Cathalan for the interview. Click here to check out her guides on Travis, or sign up to Travis below to start discovering, planning and collaborating on your next getaway!

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