Hattie Elliot on Why Travel to Distant and Unfamiliar Places

In Chapter 3 of 19 in her 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, female entrepreneur Hattie Grace Elliot answers "What Have You Found Most Rewarding About Traveling to New Places?"  Elliot notes how she find motivation to travel by her curiosity and interest in learning about family dynamics and social dynamics of different cultures.  Additionally it teaches her to value her liberty, freedom, and security she has as a United States citizen.  Hattie Grace Elliot is the founder and CEO of The Grace List, a social networking company that creates destination events and experiences to forge lasting personal and professional connections across its young professional members. Elliot graduated from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, where she studied economics, philosophy, and politics.


Erik Michielsen: What have you found most rewarding about traveling to new places?

Hattie Elliot: Wowsers… I’m just a curious person. I love to experience the different cultures, and everything that comes along with that, the tastes and smells. And, you know, the different relationships people have with their careers, with their family, like family structure, and the way they treat their elders and their children, and the way elders treat their children, and the way that, you know, they—that they—their expectations on different, everything from homosexuality to marriage to political affiliation. I find all that stuff really fascinating because I think—especially in a place like the States, it’s very easy to become content and think that, you know, it’s our way or the highway. You drink the Jesus juice. 

And, you know, when you step outside of that box, I think in many instances, you—it gives you a new perspective and you’re able to realize that there’s other ways to think about things and other cultures that have really wonderful qualities that are really valuable, and that we can really deduce a lot of value from and really benefit from here, and personally, you know, things that we can take lessons from. And it also—on the other end, really makes you realize in many circumstances how lucky we are for certain freedoms we have, especially for me, I lived in South Africa for so many years and I love that country, but, you know, I really appreciate now more than ever how much freedom I have to travel, to speak my mind, that I’m safe, that I don’t have to lock my car door and worry about that every single time I step into my car, or walk into my apartment. 

So I think it just—it’s good for everybody, it’s—it gives you a better perspective on the world that it’s something that challenges you to—to just, like, any of these things to really, you know, reevaluate the way that you think about life in the world, and your home, and your friends and your family, and your everyday life, your career, all aspects.