Who am I?
Hey! I'm Natasha Lèquepeys – go on, try to pronounce it!
Born and raised in Canada, I travelled a lot as a kid and – I'll be honest – it wasn't my thing. At the time, I found the museums and endless hours of walking pretty boring. What I realized, as an adult, is that those trips planted the seeds of curiosity and an openness to other cultures, pushing me to travel further and to more exotic locales each time.
When I started exploring cities based on my own interests is when I truly became addicted to travel. I love meeting new people, seeing how they live and of course trying their food.
Photography is a relatively new obsession that stemmed from a trip to India, where I realized that my iPhone photos didn’t do any justice to the beauty of the country.
Deciding to teach myself the ropes and with some help from experienced photographer friends, I embarked on a love affair with my camera. Photography now dictates where I travel and helps inspire that journey. I hope that you enjoy my pictures and find my planning helpful for your own travels.
Rapid Fire QUESTIONS
Favourite city - London
Favourite country - Japan
Most photogenic destination - India
Favourite food - Fresh mozzarella in Italy
Favourite drink - Sago't Gulaman
Most jawdropping view - Lake Sørvágsvatn, The Faroe Islands
Must-have travel accessory - Bose headphones
Favourite travel song - Planet Earth Suite by Hans Zimmer
Travel fears - Rocky boats and bugs
Sea or mountains - Mountains
Most impactful visit - Auschwitz-Birkenau
Coolest travel experience - Riding ATVs in the backcountry of Siem Reap
Best hotel - The Rayavadee in Krabi, Thailand
Favourite monument - l'Arc de Triomphe, Paris
Best museum - The 9/11 Memorial Museum in NYC and The Jewish Museum in Berlin
Favourite Camera Gear - FujiFilm XT-3 and Fujinon lenses
How I Travel
I don’t expect you to take my advice if you don’t agree with my travel style. So let me break it down:
I don’t need luxury but I still enjoy my comforts. You won’t find me in shared hostel dorms - I did it in my 20’s and have moved on. I’m also not a camper, unless the occasion calls for it.
If I’m visiting a new city I will hit up the main attractions first but won’t leave satisfied until I’ve interacted with locals, delved deeper into the culture and taken some good shots.
I enjoy eating everything (blue cheese and mayonnaise are the exceptions) and will seek out local delicacies.
I travel with a suitcase unless I’m moving around too much, then I bust out my backpack. I haven’t mastered the art of carry-on travel, my skincare alone takes up half the bag.
I believe in splurging on special, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. To compensate for those expenses I’ll cut back in accommodation, transport and only if I have to… food.
THE STORY OF HOW I MET YOKO
A few years ago I visited Japan for the first time. One day in Nara, I was admiring a temple when a woman in her 70's approached me and asked, "Would you like to know the story of this place?" I was skeptical. What was the catch?
To my surprise, the woman, Yoko, just wanted to share her love of her city with me, a complete stranger. She believed that in doing this, others would do the same when she travelled, making her feel at ease in a foreign place. Yoko’s guided tour of Nara was magical, offering me a special window into a place I would never have experienced otherwise.
Yoko's philosophy stayed with me even after I returned home, and it inspired me to create this site. And Then I Met Yoko is where I want to share my love for travel through my photography and trip planning, in hopes that it inspires you to travel and pass on your experiences to others.
Documentary Family Photography
While travel photography is my passion, I also love taking pictures of the little people in this world.
I enjoy being the fly on the wall and capturing those candid, and sometimes messy moments.
Crying, screaming, sleeping, laughing - every emotion is pure and every moment is precious.