Photo Credit: Courtesy of Eve
Traveler Story: 'You Kind Of Feel Like You Don't Belong Anywhere Fully'
The Urban Eve is a self-described ‘traveling polyglot.’ Followers of her popular YouTube channel watch her converse fluently in German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and English. But she can also hold her own in Chinese Mandarin, Italian, and one of her parents’ native African languages.
Eve’s journey to mastering multiple languages started practically from birth. She is the daughter of Ghanaian parents but born and raised in Germany.
She remembers traveling the world at a very young age, including a return to Ghana at age seven. And while she admits to feeling a sense of freedom and at home in the West African nation, Eve also acknowledged the uncertainty that comes with being a product of a multicultural upbringing.
“I think a lot of people with an immigrant background and different cultural backgrounds who live in a different country can relate to feeling like they’re part of nowhere,” she told Travel Noire. “They belong not really to one culture. Because when I’m here obviously then I’m considered German, but there’s always the question, ‘Where are you from?’ even though I was born and raised here. My cultural background is Black, so it’s a bit obvious and that reflects itself.”
“For example, I have friends who have Polish parents, but they are never asked where they are from because they’re blonde and blue-eyed. When I’m back in Ghana, they call me the German girl. So basically, you kind of feel like you don’t belong anywhere fully.”
But this has not stopped Eve from becoming a citizen of the world. After high school, she worked as an Au Pair and pursued language and communications studies in Spain. Her global experiences have provided her with a network of friends with whom she communicates in their native languages. It’s one of the tools she uses to keep her skills sharp. Eve has now taken all her expertise and channeled it into Lingo Travels, a travel retreat project that she started a year and a half ago to create a language, learning community of like-minded people who love to travel as much as she does.
“I wanted to create this group for people to come together from all parts of the world with one goal: to learn languages. But not learn languages in a traditional way, how it’s often done with language schools and apps and whatnot, but more so with cultural immersion. So that’s very important because it’s something that I implemented in my life and how I got to learn so many languages and how to speak them. I was always very culturally interested in the languages that I learned.”
So far three retreats have been completed in Cuba, the last of which ended just before the pandemic hit. A summer 2020 trip to Paris, where Eve is currently based, was postponed as well. There are plans to expand to other countries like Brazil and Colombia as soon as it is safe for group travel. In the meantime, Eve is concentrating on other aspects of her growing business.
“I am also starting to create more courses for people and for the situation where people can’t really travel. I teach different languages and also methods of language learning. So that is what I’m currently working on and just expanding the overall brand of Lingo Travels.”