“Chai was my daily staple,” Says Eva, In Her Exclusive Interview
Video of a female traveler has got overwhelming praise albeit instantly. Just after four days of upload, the video has successfully garnered more than half a million views. Ewa Bianka Zu Beck (Eva), of Polish descent, is a traveler from United Kingdom who has recently visited Pakistan. She has taken all the spectators watching her Instagram stories on her trip to Northern areas of Pakistan. Here’s ther well-celebrated travelogue.
1-What is your birthplace and your nationality?
I was born in Poland, and hold a Polish passport, but spent most of my life in the UK.
2-How many countries have you been to? Names.
I’ve been to 44 countries so far! I won’t bore you with them all, but some of my absolute favourite places have been Pakistan, Mongolia, Montenegro and Romania. I also lived in Berlin, Brussels, Florence and Singapore!
???? The bluest water I’ve ever touched. The most badass mountains I’ve ever seen. The most spectacular roads I’ve ever driven down. ???? Man, I cannot get over this place. Pakistan is something else… . . . #hunza #hunzavalley #letsgotopakistan #gilgitbaltistan #creative_pakistan #igpk #travelpeacefulpakistan #travelbeautifulpakistan #exploringbeautifulpakistan #ig_pakistan #storiesofpakistan #picturepakistan #pakistan_amazing #st_ofpakistan #seepakistan #iropakistan #girlsthatwander #girldiscoverers #roamtravels #girlslovetravel #inspiremyinstagram #darlingescapes #travelgram #dametraveler #sheisnotlost #mtnchicks #mountainsphoto #mountaingirls
3-Why did you plan to come to Pakistan? What was the project you have been working for?
I initially planned to come to Pakistan because one of my high school friends has been based here for a few years and she suggested I come. I hadn’t considered it, but the thought immediately appealed to me! I was planning a big worldwide tour, as I’d decided to travel full-time, so Pakistan became one of my first destinations of the trip.
4-What was your opinion about Pakistan before you came here?
Before coming here, everyone around me told me I should be careful – that it’s dangerous, especially for women, and that I should go somewhere else. But I had a good feeling about it. The photos I’d seen looked incredible, and I thought it would be a one of a kind experience. Truthfully, though, I was a little nervous coming as a solo female traveler and had no idea what to expect!
???? Of all the spectacular places in Hunza, this is my favourite hangout spot. ???? The gardens of Altit Fort are perched on a steep rock jutting out of the river valley, but the location doesn’t seem precarious at all when you’re there. All you notice is the lush greenery, the elegant birch trees, birdsong and views over the turquoise waters of the river below… it’s all straight out of Eden. My simple joy is to grab a terrace seat in the garden cafe, sip my apricot juice and curse the terrible WiFi as it messes up my Insta Stories yet again. Ah… mountain life ???? . . . #hunza #hunzavalley #letsgotopakistan #gilgitbaltistan #creative_pakistan #igpk #travelpeacefulpakistan #travelbeautifulpakistan #exploringbeautifulpakistan #ig_pakistan #storiesofpakistan #picturepakistan #pakistan_amazing #st_ofpakistan #seepakistan #iropakistan #girlsthatwander #girldiscoverers #roamtravels #girlslovetravel #inspiremyinstagram #darlingescapes #travelgram #dametraveler #sheisnotlost #mtnchicks #mountainsphoto #mountaingirls
5-What Pakistani locations have you been to?
In Pakistan, I arrived in Islamabad and started by spending a few days there. Then I flew up to Gilgit and spent about a week in the incredible Hunza Valley, visiting places like Karimabad and its forts, Misgar Village, Attabad Lake and Pasu Suspension Bridge. I was obsessively documenting everything with video and photography – but sometimes there was so much beauty around me that I didn’t know where to look!
6-Did your opinion change when you come here?
My opinion about Pakistan changed COMPLETELY after my visit. The decision to come here turned out to be one of the best I ever made as a traveler. Pretty much everything I was told by the media and people who’d never been here was wrong. This place, as I experienced it, is filled with natural beauty, astonishing history and kind people. I am so happy that I have been able to showcase it and, that way, help change the perception of the country on platforms like Instagram and YouTube.
?? Pakistan’s Hunza Valley has been one of the most welcoming places I’ve ever visited. ?? Before coming here, I’d heard a little about local hospitality and the pride that people take in being welcoming to guests. I had still underestimated it all. During my time here, I’ve been invited for tea more times than I can count; guided by strangers when I didn’t know the way; I’ve shaken hands with so many incredible women; been offered gas heaters just for myself when it got very cold; eaten incredible food courtesy of locals; been smiled at by so many children. I’ve been showered with respect, interest and hospitality. I still marvel at all of this, because it isn’t a well-known fact in the West. Before my trip, friends and relatives questioned why I’d want to come here – isn’t it risky? Aren’t people here untrustworthy? Are you putting yourself in danger? It makes me happy that I can answer all those questions with a resounding “no”. Hunza is a moving, welcoming place, with so many kind people and so much natural beauty. And hospitality seems to be a high value here. I just hope it doesn’t vanish as the tourism here gradually increases. Hunza: stay as you are. Don’t change ???? . . . #hunza #hunzavalley #karakoram #pasu #letsgotopakistan #gilgitbaltistan #creative_pakistan #igpk #travelpeacefulpakistan #travelbeautifulpakistan #exploringbeautifulpakistan #ig_pakistan #storiesofpakistan #picturepakistan #pakistan_amazing #st_ofpakistan #seepakistan #iropakistan #girlsthatwander #girldiscoverers #roamtravels #girlslovetravel #inspiremyinstagram #travelgram #sheisnotlost #mtnchicks #mountainsphoto #mountaingirls
7-Did you find Pakistan safe?
I found Pakistan to be mostly safe. People were by and large very open and welcoming, and I didn’t experience any shifty situations. The only thing that made me a bit uncomfortable was that I got quite a lot of looks / stares in Lahore – but that could simply be because there aren’t that many tourists around and people are curious when one pops up!
8-Did you get proper hospitality here?
Yes, Pakistani people are some of the most welcoming I’ve ever met! Shukria!
One of the most precious moments during my entire trip to Pakistan: hanging out with a bunch of cool ladies at their their carpet weaving workshop in Hunza ???? I left this photo until the end – because this is my last shot of the northern areas for now. I think I’ve said all I’ve wanted to say about my incredible Hunza adventure, and how much I loved it. Mountains, I will miss you. Glacier breeze, I will miss you. Big blue skies… ???? . Photo by the one of a kind Naveed of @hunzaonfoot . . . #hunza #hunzavalley #letsgotopakistan #gilgitbaltistan #creative_pakistan #igpk #travelpeacefulpakistan #travelbeautifulpakistan #exploringbeautifulpakistan #ig_pakistan #storiesofpakistan #picturepakistan #pakistan_amazing #st_ofpakistan #seepakistan #iropakistan #girlsthatwander #girldiscoverers #roamtravels #girlslovetravel #inspiremyinstagram #darlingescapes #travelgram #dametraveler #sheisnotlost #mtnchicks #mountainsphoto #mountaingirls
9-How are the people of Pakistan?
The people of Pakistan I’ve come across have been kind hosts and beautiful souls. From guesthouse managers worrying about my health to rickshaw drivers getting me a fresh soft drink, to drum makers on the streets of Lahore who played a mini concert just for me… I have been blessed to meet so many wonderful people here. They have made my stay here pure bliss.
10-How is the food? What did you try eating?
I love spicy food, so the visit here has been a real culinary pleasure for me. I tried all sorts of local rotis, curries and meats, including buff meat, which is actually really quite good! The change of spice palette wasn’t always rosy, however, and I suffered a little bit – but give me another few weeks in the country and I’d be eating like a Pakistani every single day! Chai was my daily staple – one of my favorite moments of the trip was sharing a big cauldron of Chai with some ladies working in a carpet-weaving workshop in Hunza. We sipped it slowly, chatted by the fire, I showed them photos from my travels… it was a wonderful, peaceful moment.
One thing I would absolutely love to do in the future is a street food tour of Lahore! Someone should start organizing these 🙂
Yup. I think I just became a celebrity in Pakistan. ???? I’m no longer Eva. I am now – officially – Eva Who Loves Pakistan. That is the nickname given to me by social media, I didn’t even have to invent it ???? . See, my caption today was meant to be about something totally different, but I really need to tell you about this crazy thing that happened last night. A local page on Facebook published a mashup of my Insta videos, and so far it has accumulated 140k views – plus growing by the minute ???????? I haven’t been able to stop laughing for the entire day because this must be the funniest thing that’s EVER happened to me in my entire life – going viral in Pakistan! ???? You can see a bit more of it all in my Story from today ???? . But, aside from the fun of it, I’m super happy to see that my content is helping people see Pakistan differently – this is so humbling and wonderful. To me, it proves that even with free tools like Instagram, we can help change perceptions and shatter stereotypes. The power is in our hands. And the incredible messages of support I’ve been receiving from all of you guys, and the people watching on Facebook, just reconfirm my view that Pakistan’s people are the most welcoming nation I’ve come across. I’m not just saying this for effect – it is simply extraordinary that some random white girl tourist is getting such amazing support and amplification JUST BECAUSE she happens to be one of the few tourists that talk about Pakistan’s positives openly. Thank you all. Now, where’s my honorary Pakistani citizenship? ???? . About this photo: it was taken in the stunning Wazir Khan mosque in Lahore’s secretive Walled City. Can’t wait to share more of my Lahore pics with you in the coming days! (Or “clicks”, as everyone seems to call them here!). Pakistan Zindabad guys ???? . . . #letsgotopakistan #creative_pakistan #dawndotcom #seepakistan #lahore #igpk #travelpeacefulpakistan #travelbeautifulpakistan #exploringbeautifulpakistan #ig_pakistan #storiesofpakistan #picturepakistan #pakistan_amazing #st_ofpakistan #seepakistan #girlsthatwander #girldiscoverers #roamtravels #girlslovetravel #inspiremyinstagram #darlingescapes #travelgram #dametraveler #sheisnotlost
11-Tell us the things you found only in Pakistan.
In Pakistan, I found the kind of diversity you rarely find in other countries. In Hunza, the overwhelming peace of the landscape, combined with the momentous mountains, got me all dreamy… In Lahore, the hustle and bustle and history of the city just took my breath away at every turn. In Islamabad, modern life and socializing made me feel right at home. All three things, completely different, completely unique.
12-Do you intend to visit the country again?
100%, without a shadow of a doubt, I’ll be back as soon as I can! I am planning a pretty huge journey across Asia later this year, and the itinerary includes Pakistan. Next time, I want to see much more of the entire country, including the South.
13-Would you like to say something to all the Pakistanis reading this?
People of Pakistan Zindabad, guys! Thank you for changing my perception of Pakistan forever. I can’t wait to visit again.
Having all this being said, we are totally looking forward to her next trip to Pakistan with absolute excitement and enthusiasm. She has posted photos divulging her ultimate photography skills along with fascinating captions on her Instagram. She has also posted a video of her first Pakistani vlog on Youtube, have a look.
More power to you Eva! We are hands down waiting for your next trip to Pakistan.
What are your views on this story? Tell us in the comments below.
Masters in Journalism.
An avid reader, food enthusiast, and a mad writer.
Currently working at ARY Digital as a Lifestyle Editor