It’s International Women's Day.
As a young startup with two female founders, we couldn’t pretend this day is like any other. IT’S NOT!
So to make this day as special as it deserves to be, we decided to run a small profile on some of the amazing women in our Live2Leave community, who have been posting breathtaking recommendations on the app from all around the globe. They are all intrepid travellers - not because they are constantly on holiday and like to post about it on Instagram, but because of their jobs. Their high-powered jobs. They are journalists, Human Rights lawyers, Phds & NGO directors, Harvard students and managers of hotel groups... They are based in Paris, Beirut, Geneva, Boston and London, and have previously lived in Mexicoy City, Montevideo, Bogota, Washington DC, New York City, Hanoi or Singapore. They have more degrees than you can count, more passion than you can handle and enough dreams to fill your nights for the next 50 years.
And no, they are not man-eaters and ball-breakers (or only when it’s deserved): they also like fashion and yoga, going for a pedicure, planning their wedding and taking selfies with cat-ears-that-make-you look-hot filters. And yes, they also love a well-deserved holiday, and even more posting about it on Live2Leave ;-)
They can be at once oh-so-girly and ouch-so-ambitious, just like all the women on this planet if given the right and the opportunity.
Please meet Marisa, Dalal, Daphnée, Anna, Colombe and Lydia, young women who make our world a better place, and who I am also proud to call my friends.
Marisa Rama, MPA-ID Candidate Harvard Kennedy School
Lives in Cambridge (MA), @marisa on Live2Leave, created 265 recommendations in 27 countries
Marisa, AKA the ultimate traveller and Live2Leave super user. Marisa is the person who embodies what Live2Leave is all about: with her home on her back, she feels home everywhere she goes. Because she has truly lived everywhere. Born in France and raised between Washington DC, Paris and Hanoi, she speaks French in the morning and Spanish in the afternoon with her family, while speaking Portuguese with her boyfriend, and English with the rest of us mortals. True story. After graduating from Columbia University, she worked in South America for nearly 4 years, first in Montevideo (where we met and survived together) and then for Bain & Company in a Chilean mine where she had to wear a miner outfit every day. Again, true story. She is now an MPA student at Harvard’s Kennedy School, but somehow still manages to make my Live2Leave feed buzz with the most insane posts on a weekly basis from the world’s most remote corners. I think that in a previous life she was a turtle, and in this one she will be president. She just has to choose which country she wants to be president of.
Dalal Mawad, Middle East Video Producer at the UNHRC
Lives in Beirut, @Dal on Live2Leave, created 95 recommendations in 24 countries
Dalal and I went to Columbia Journalism School together, back in the Middle Ages (2011-12). I have never met someone more efficient than her, and that’s why I always tried to partner with her on projects, because they would get done before I would even know what they were about. Since then, she has been traveling the Middle East telling restlessly the story of refugees and displaced persons in Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Syria. Before joining the UNHRC, she was also “my friend who’s on TV”: she was a television reporter for LBCI in Lebanon mainly covering human rights and social justice issues. Because she also has to be normal sometimes, she looooooves designer bags, and when she’s not reporting on refugees her instagram stories are documenting her baby girl Yasma’s every move. I’m telling you, these women can do it all!
Daphnée Denis, Editor in chief of Loopsider
Lives in Paris, @nadephe on Live2Leave, created 274 recommendations in 11 countries
So Daphnée looks like my sister from a Colombian mother. And that’s exactly what she is. Half-French half-Colombian, we look scarily alike, without any known common genes, and also have done pretty similar things in life, both in our studies and in our jobs. There’s also a girlband called Daphne & Celeste named before us, but truly after us. We have so many similarities that I decided it was too weird and I had to do something completely different: that’s how Live2Leave was born, from my desire to be my own person. But Daphnee stuck with it, and is now rocking at that thing called journalism: after working for Monocle, she moved to Montevideo with AFP, before moving again to Mexico City with El Pais! Now she is Editor in chief of the new coolest French online media, Loopsider, achieving the seemingly impossible feat of making viral Facebook videos also educational. She speaks three languages better than you speak your mother tongue, and she is the founder of a widely adopted dance move called “plant twerk” (you twerk next to a plant). Her Live2Leave is full of hipster places in Paris and Mexico City, that are as cool and elegant as their recommender.
Anna Schrimpf, Postdoctoral Associate / Principal Investigator at J-PAL (Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab)
Lives in Cambridge (MA), @Anna on Live2Leave, created 82 recommendations in 10 countries
Anna and I met back in the Stone Age (2004). She holds a BA in philosophy, politics, and economics from the University of Oxford. Because that wasn’t enough, she also holds a PhD in politics from Princeton University. And because that wasn’t enough either, she decided to go eradicate world poverty by joining J-PAL, and has been leading multiple projects around the globe for the organisation, including the "Incentives for Immunisation" project in Haryana, India. (Yeah, I know, she did all that while we were busy wasting our life on people-we-don’t-know's Instagram feeds). Her boss is a woman, and not any woman: Esther Duflo, one of the world’s leading economists, MIT professor and co-founder and director of J-PAL. They travel around the world, literally, on a monthly basis to meet with government officials and NGO workers, to try to find the most efficient ways to implement J-PAL’s incredibly ambitious projects (that’s how normal people like me try to explain to people like you why Anna is travelling so much, and what she does at J-PAL. For more proper info, please ask her directly).
In other notable achievements, Anna is an incredible cook - her 10 countries on her Live2Leave profile (from Japan to South Africa) are populated with insane restaurants - and has oh so many pairs of shoes, that are unfortunately too small for me to steal, but would be too high for me to walk in anyway.
Colombe Cahen-Salvador - Duke Law Fellow at the United Nations Human Rights; European Policy Lead & Values Lead at Volt Europea
Lives in Geneva, @Colombe on Live2Leave, created 59 recommendations in 9 countries
Full-disclosure, I’ve known her before she was born. Not only because I’m a visionary, but also because she’s my sister. Or actually, I’m HER sister. When Colombe was 5 years-old, she wanted to be “Master of the World.” And that’s exactly what she is currently working on. This 23-year-old young woman with a bird name has the drive of all the US presidential election’s candidates put together, and definitely more principles. After finishing her Masters of Laws at Duke University and working for a year at the Robert Kennedy Human Rights Foundation, she became Duke's first Law Fellow in International Law and Human Rights. As part of the Fellowship, she is working for six months at the UNHR in Geneva, and will then move to the Norwegian Refugee Council.
And because she really didn’t want to have any free time, she also co-founded Volt Europa: a pan-European movement that wants to “revolutionise the way politics is done across Europe” and is already present in 22 countries… yep, no less.. So her Live2Leave is full of co-working places across Europe, with a few beautiful road-trips here and there when she remembers that she is only 23.
And because she wants to understand what the world is made of in all its aspects, she religiously watches “Les Princes et Princesses de l’Amour”, probably the worse TV reality show ever made. She rocks my world, and she soon will be rocking yours too, whether you want it or not.
Lydia Forte - Food & Beverage Manager at Rocco Forte Hotels
Lives in London, @Lydia on Live2Leave, created 474 recommendations in 24 countries.
To me, Lydia is my wisest friend with the most Instagram followers and the smallest number of flat shoes (not sure what are those things she is wearing in the picture above). To her Instagram Followers, she is the Food & Beverage Manager at Rocco Forte Hotels who has amazing high shoes and manages to stay thin while eating ricotta ravioli every day.
Lydia is what you call a natural leader, and not only because of her Oxford and INSEAD degrees: her poise gives authority to everything she says, even when she wrongly advises you to have "one last drink.” To me, she’s always been that friend “who could be a CEO one day”, and an amazingly fair and fun one. She’s a girls' girl who travels the world like you go to the supermarket. That's because her job takes her to every corner of the globe on a weekly basis to visit the hotels that are part of the Rocco Forte group. Before I started Live2Leave, she was that person whose recommendations I would always try to get, and now she has been in our top 3 super users since the very launch of the app. As a result of her recommendations being finally available to me, my travels have gotten a lot more glamorous and my ravioli a lot more delicious!