Zee Did See is Conquering the World with Talent and Honesty

Join Zlatina Zlateva on her incredible journey

Zlatina means “golden” and the name really suits the girl. She and I connected through our emotional outbursts on Instagram and I just fell in love with her outlook on life and I guess her amazing Instagram feed. She keeps it real and authentic while her kind soul and incredible talent bring to us pieces of the world in a warm and relatable manner. Let’s dive deeper into her curly hair, soft spirit and see what goes through her mind:


How did you end up travelling around the world?

My father used to work as a flight attendant when I was little and I have a vague memory of him taking me on a trip with when I was really young, sitting on a plane and taking care of a dog that needed a transport.  I like to think that this is how a small spark in me was lit. Later on, I discovered my passion for mixing budget travelling with purpose and my strong love for people.

First dipped my toes in the water with Work and Travel, AEGEE and IYAC (youth organisations that you can travel with on cultural exchanges) when I was in college. Later on, a few other trips using CouchSurfing really solidified the idea of spending time with locals and not being a tourist. I realize I am very lucky to have a job that allows me to work from anywhere, as long as I have wifi and an outlet.


Why did you start a blog?

There are a few things that I find as a must for my travels – meeting locals, travelling with a purpose a.k.a volunteering or any other kind of contribution, and budget. My blog was supposed to be a mix of the 3. I have always had a thing for people’s stories. I am more of a listener than a talker. I am addicted to interviews, biography books, the whole idea of learning what shaped the people to be who they are and understanding where they are coming from. I really wanted to make the blog about the people I have met and the stories they have shared with me. Unfortunately, I am being really lazy with updating the content so things have been happening very slowly.

What changed you the most during your travels and in what way?

People love to romanticize the idea of travelling the world. The truth is, though, that doing it alone is not for everybody. You will be faced with a lot of situations that will show you what kind of person you truly are, what you can handle and how you deal with being out of your comfort zone.

Especially with social media, we tend to see mostly the highlights and not the behind-the-scenes. I have had a lot of comments about my “vacation”.

People don’t see the constant planning and figuring out your next step, working till late in hostels or when it happens that other people are not social and you have to deal with being by yourself and alone. I faced a lot of my insecurities and learned to accept myself a little bit more. I learned that it is ok to let go. When you travel, a lot of things happen with very strong intensity and you need to learn to not dwell on them. Some things will stay for the long run, but most will disappear – places, friendships, relationships, and opportunities.

View this post on Instagram

Looking through Intsgaram and my own posts, sometimes I feel like traveling has become very self-centered. "Look where I was"; "Look what I saw", but very often, when I think about the places I have been and certain moments, most of the time I think about people. So many of my stories are connected to the incredible local people or travelers I have met, that have inspired me and touched me. I have always loved hearing peoples’ stories, I don't really like to talk about myself. When I ride the public transport I find myself thinking "I wish I could jump in these peoples’ heads and feel what they feel, see their story, their experience, what they think". At some point of my life, I was addicted to reading Humans of New York and still one of my fav things is reading biographies and interviews. What I am asking is, when you travel, try to look beyond the sight-seeing, the coffee shops and "me in another country", but try to connect with someone local, start a conversation, dive deeper into the place you are in. In my experience, this have brought more value to my life than anything else while on the road. Not to mention how often during a conversation our views of the world have changed and you discover you were completely wrong about something <3 . . . . . #portraitphotography #travelholic #wanderlust #welivetoexplore #indonesian #instatravel #instapassport #travelpassport #lifeofadventure #humans #welivetoexplore #backpacker #portraits #adventurer #vscobulgaria #travelsmartbg

A post shared by Zlatina Zareva (@zeedidsee) on




How to keep it authentic on Social Media and why?

Creative people have the same common problem.  We always doubt what we get out into the world – It’s never perfect enough, never polished enough, what people (and mostly other creatives) will say about what we do, so maybe just postpone it for a while.

When I started the trip I said to myself that I will not self-censor as much. I just started writing captions as a self-exploration, just putting my thoughts out there. It was very scary at first, but I have had so many people write me messages about how it helps them to not feel alone in their own insecurities. If I know that I have helped even one person with being completely open and honest about my struggles, that makes me really happy. Now I joke that Instagram has turned into my own therapy session.

View this post on Instagram

I went a little dark with this photo, but it is a reflection on conversations I have had with other women while traveling. For me, there is nothing more exposing and challenging than meeting new people, when it comes to facing my insecurities and being super aware of how I talk, how I look, what I do, how they react to me. I have had so many conversations where I am talking with this amazing girl, all I could think about is how much respect I have for her and how much more I have to be to get to her level and after a while she tells me, she felt the same way and how intimidated she was by me and how insecure she felt. And it’s hard for me to believe it. If only she could see what I see. So many times I have felt like I wanted to get out of my skin, just be able to see myself through someone else’s eyes. And all of this beautiful people I meet and admire feel the same? Crazy, isn’t it? I am trying really hard to be kinder to myself, to not censor my emotions cause They might be too overwhelming, to not be too quiet so that someone doesn’t think I am too much. Not to mention how much we project our own insecurities on other people. I would love to just say “just love yourself “ and be done with it, but that’s just toxic positivity. What I will say is to work consciously towards your own acceptance. Catch yourself in these self deprecating moments. Don’t edit yourself to fit someone else’s narrative. I know it’s hard. Do not be scared to communicate when you have been acting out of insecurity, it has brought me so much closer to people when they admit it. When I admit it. Why is it so condemning to be vulnerable and broken? What I have learned so far is that we all try to mend, fix, express so much. We just need to be accepting and non judgemental. No one has their shit together….trust me

A post shared by Zlatina Zareva (@zeedidsee) on


What qualities do you find important in people?

Flexibility, Openness and Passion. On the road, so many plans dissolve and change or unexpected things happen. I appreciate when people can assess the situation and don’t get upset over unpredictable outcomes. The universe likes to laugh at us, so just laugh back or get angry, but figure it out. 

I am also a sucker for people that have no problem with being open and honest with themselves and others.

Please cry, laugh, jump, get angry, be excited and don’t be afraid to show it to others.

I don’t trust people that don’t have a dark side. We are all broken in some way and there is nothing wrong with letting others know. I truly believe that everyone should be passionate about something in life. It could be your family, a job, your health, a hobby, your weird collection, as long as it makes you excited and not hurting anyone – have a passion. It will always be something that moves you forward, even if other things are not falling into place.

What impact do you want to have on the planet Earth?

 I went through a phase where I condemned my job because I thought it doesn’t have a strong enough impact. I was not working in Animal Conservation, Earth Science, Social Studies, etc.  and it really put me down for a while. It took some time to realize that there are other ways to have an impact.

My grandfather loved treating people like his own grandkids. When we would go out, he was genuinely nice and interested in them and I could see how this changed their day. Another amazing person I met always compliments people on something when he meets them. Whether he is ordering coffee, showing his ID, or talking to a friend, he would always engage and leave the person feeling better. I aspire to be like that. Small things matter if more of us do them – whether it’s connected to people, environment, health or something else.



Tell us more about your work.

I graduated a Graphic Design school and was working as a Designer in advertising for a while. What is truly close to my heart is my fantasy and sci-fi work that I get to apply for book covers, ads or exhibits. I love made-up worlds and love creating them. To be honest, I am all over the place. I love all kinds of styles and media and I want to try and do everything. My work can be very meaningful, or it could be just for the sake of creating something beautiful to look at.





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  1. The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles.
    Zlatina is absolutely one of those miracles.

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