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Itchy Boots: Beyond Adventure, A Journey of Humanity and Discovery

Made by Kuda (MADE IN ZWE), a gift to Plot Mhako and the earGROUND vision.

Itchy Boots: Beyond Adventure, A Journey of Humanity and Discovery

In the intricate weave of life’s narrative, painted with strokes of diverse passions and unexpected journeys, some stories emerge as vibrant reflections of inspiration and adventure. Among them is the tale of Noraly Schoenmaker, a modern-day explorer who dared to trade the confines of her geologist’s office for the open road, embarking on a remarkable odyssey across continents astride her trusty motorbike. From the dusty pages of geological studies to the boundless landscapes of global exploration, Noraly’s transformation into the intrepid Vlogger known as “Itchy Boots” epitomizes the profound allure of following one’s heart into the unknown.

By Tawanda Mupatsi

Better known for her trendy moniker ‘Itchy Boots’, she has covered over 160 000 kilometers, capturing and sharing all her adventures on social media. Currently her YouTube account boasts of over 2 million subscribers while her Facebook platform has over 700 000 followers. These numbers are not an easy feat to register, she must be doing something right with her content production.”

THE AUDIENCE AS PART OF THE ADVENTURE

“Good morning internet,” is the recurring statement that comes right before the start of Noraly ‘s daily adventures. She goes on to unpack in detail the tasks set aside for the day, this ensures that the audience is not confused on what needs to be achieved for the exploration. Noraly also does the filming of her Itchy Boots escapades all by herself. Cameras are mounted on both her helmet and motorbike, therefore most of the shots are from her point of view. Watching Itchy Boots therefore becomes more of an invitation into her personal world, not as passive viewers but equal participants.

Picture credit – Itchy Boots

The commentary she shares on her rides also keeps viewers engaged. The episodes do not have fanciful editing made up of layers of motion graphics. It remains for the greater part raw and void of other additives, which suits her style of storytelling where her journey, scenery and subjects met along the way are to remain centers of focus.”

A HERALD OF TOURISM

From the majestic Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe to a ride around India, capturing the ways of life of different inhabitants, to visiting the Central African Republic’s Elephant Enclave called Dzanga Bai or being at the Himalayan lake that is split between India and China. Itchy Boots tends to give interesting insights into tourist attractions around the world, heralding both the famous and least known spaces. Whenever Noraly is not on the road headed for the next destination, she devotes time in her episodes, visiting breathtaking places found in host countries to have an appreciation of local sites and their historical heritage. To date Itchy Boots has travelled in over 40 countries.

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CELEBRATION OF HUMANITY

Noraly’s adventures on the road are often met with challenges, either in the form of breakdowns or just the unpredictable weather patterns. In such circumstances its always soothing to see the unconditional manifestation of humanity’s positive side, extending a helping hand. While in Central African Republic one notable heart-melting scene unfolded. The road was wet and slippery and darkness was fast approaching in the jungle before Noraly could reach her destination. In desperation she asked the village chief if she could put up for the night and without hesitation the chief replied “You are safe with us.” Not only was Noraly given a place to sleep but she had a warm home cooked meal prepared for her. Some fans who saw this episode later took on to social media, applauding the gesture, with one Oliver Schultz saying, “The kindness, friendliness, politeness, ingenuity and strength of spirit shown repeatedly by the local people Noraly encounters completely dispels the terrible old stereotype of the ‘Dark Heart of Africa.”

POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA

On 6 December 2023, Noraly posted a video on her Itchy Boots YouTube channel where she was stopped at a roadblock in Nigeria by two police officers who later demanded a bribe. Though the Dutch adventurer did not give in to their demands and freely rode off, the video made rounds until it prompted the Nigerian Police Force to summon and dismiss the two involved Constables. While Noraly’s documentation of world adventures is a sweet and friendly visual piece, it managed to unravel the grim nature of corruption, at least in this particular incident, attesting to the power of social media.

Itchy Boots, goes beyond the journeys of a lone traveler riding her bike across countries, it’s an embodiment of everyday societies as they exude unconditional love and tolerance even for strangers. It’s a stroll around the world’s natural marvels, wetting one’s appetite to draw closer. It’s an invitation into one’s parade of passion and purpose, inspiring multitudes to find their own.  



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Made by Kuda (MADE IN ZWE)
A gift to Plot Mhako and the earGROUND vision.
Truly, for the culture.

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