Meet the Girl with Vitiligo Who Sold Everything to Travel the World
Every now and then I’ll stumble across a story about people who sold everything they own to travel the world. This girl with vitiligo is one of them.
You might remember Elisabeth Van Aalderen as the former fashion photographer whose vitiligo changed her definition of beauty. But today we’re talking about her decision to travel the world.
Diagnosed with vitiligo five years ago at the age of twenty-five, Elisabeth started getting tiny spots on left hand. Today she’s 30% covered in vitiligo and has said “goodbye” to treatments and tries to embrace a life with spots.
LD: You recently sold everything you owned to travel the world. What’s that like?
EVA: I believe you’re as good as your last picture, so I try to live in the moment. This past year, my boyfriend and I booked a one-way flight to Bali. Now we are traveling the world together. He’s writing music, and I work on photography projects. It’s been a scary and exciting change of life. I would recommend it to everyone. Letting everything you know go, and jumping into something you don’t know with the one you love is the best feeling in the world. Hopefully one day I feel the same about vitiligo.
LD: That’s a big decision. What inspired the change?
EVA: My boyfriend and I strive to have a life that is worth remembering. It’s all about dare to take risks. We had the opportunity and we took it. That’s all. Sometimes everything falls into the right place and you just take the jump. Some people find that scary, but I don’t think you lose anything, you only gain.
LD: How do you decide where to travel next and how long do you stay in each place?
EVA: The purpose of our travel is to feel free, so we don’t plan anything far ahead. We recently met great people who gave us inspiration on where to go next. If you plan everything in advance, then you don’t have room for that kind of sudden change in direction and it loses the spontaneity.
LD: What’s your everyday life like?
EVA: We travel around pretty much every day. We go of course to the highlights every tourist goes to, but also we like to find out what local people are up to, and try to figure out how life is in the country were in. My boyfriend helps me by creating concepts, so I know where to go and which pictures I want to make for a certain story. We are a great team in that way.
Erika Page is a writer and blogger with universal vitiligo. Her first spots appeared on her spine when she was seven years old and today vitiligo covers her entire body. Based just south of Washington, D.C., Erika founded Living Dappled to create a community of inspiration and hope for girls and women living with vitiligo.