Always Been In Me
My parents were backpacking South America in the 80s when
they got pregnant with me, so I grew
up listening to insane backpacker stories like when they sold their passport to
get money for food, got robbed at
gunpoint, or when they hiked the Inka Trail completely unprepared (this was way before
the trail was controlled like today.)
in Norway with an Italian
dad made for long
road trips to Italy every summer, sleeping in the car or staying in cheap
motels. I guess it’s always been in
me. But studying a semester in Seville really lit a spark in me and there was
no way back! I believe traveling is
the only thing that makes you richer. I know it sounds cliche, but that’s my (and so many others’) reality.
How Often I
Travel And Activities I Enjoy
Whenever I can. I prefer
nature and outdoor
activities be it hiking, scuba
diving, or anything
in between. Other than that, it gives me a lot just chatting to the locals
and to other travelers. It’s the best way to learn about the culture
and discover off-the-beaten-path places.
How I Pick My Travel Destinations
I want to go everywhere. So unless I’ve been saving up
for a bucket list trip, like when I went to Peru
to hike the Inka Trail, which had been my dream since I was a kid, I often just
look up for the cheapest flights I
can find and end up in unexpected destinations - and without any expectations, it always turns out great!
When I worked full time, I usually went on 3-5 week-long trips once a year and then shorter trips around Europe on weekends and public holidays.
When I travel full time, I usually
stay until I feel like moving on. That could be days or weeks or months.
Before I go to a new destination I read blogs and guidebooks, especially
if it’s a culture I’m not used to so
that I know customs, dress code, etc. But often, I go without any idea of an
itinerary and just chat to people when I arrive
and go with the flow 100%. Those are the best trips.
How I Pack For
I usually pack the night before I travel, and keep in mind the dress code for the destination. I try to pack light but usually end up with some
things that never get used. I never leave without my lip balm and my camera.
A sarong is also usually
in my hand luggage as it’s super versatile.
Blanket on cold flights, towel
on the beach, cover head and shoulders when entering temples,
you name it.
Favorite Memory Of Meeting New People Or Exploring With Locals
Though I probably could have pulled up 20 great meetings
with amazing people in Iran, there’s one
that’s pretty unique.
I met Mr. Emami on the plane to Iran and we chatted along
about traveling and beyond. He gave
me his number so I would have a contact in Iran and asked me to call once I’d fixed my Iranian sim
card. I forgot about him for a while before I sent him a message (though I didn’t expect an answer - my western mind was
talking!) He called me straight back up and wanted to know if I was well where I was, and where I was going. I told him my
next stop and he was excited to let me know he had a friend there that could
show me around. I met up with his
friend and we hit it off really well and spent several days hanging out, Mr. Emami called regularly to check up
that I was treated like a Queen. He also happened to know the owner of the desert oasis I was going to next and made
sure I was treated well there too. I never met Mr. Emami on my travels through
Iran, but he always looked
after me, and even now, a whole pandemic later, he calls me
once in a while to chat. I’m convinced our paths will meet again.
Another unforgettable travel memory is all the way back
to when I backpacked Australia in 2006-2008
when my friend and I met this dodgy-looking guy from Tasmania, Doc, traveling around in his van. He was heading up to Mossman
Gorge to hang out with his Aborigine friends and asked us
to tag along. We were a little skeptical at first but as we had our own van, we concluded
with leaving if we didn’t
We ended up having the adventure of our lives! This
dodgy-looking dude stopped seeming so dodgy
and became a really close friend. Doc took us to visit amazing people he knew
along the coast and we ended up living
with the native
Rainforest People for over a month and learned so much
about their history, their ancestors, natural medicine, and tracking. We were
smoked in a traditional ritual to
make the ancestors protect us in the rainforest, and had a complete cultural immersion with new friends. This was way
before this place became a tourist trap and one of the most authentic
experiences with local natives I’ve had during
Read more: The Best Budget Travel Tips For Backpacking Australia
Impact Of Solo
Traveling On My Life
It was freedom! The feeling of making friends wherever I went and though
I traveled solo I didn’t feel alone. Of exploring new
places, going beyond my comfort zone, and learning that what you see on TV and what it’s really like doesn’t
align at all.
Back in the day, I never thought I would be able to travel solo in my entire life. I went to Australia the first time with a friend and on the second trip we separated
and I went solo for the first time to Thailand for a visa renewal.
That’s when I realized I wouldn’t be alone even though I
traveled by myself. I met so many amazing
people, some of them I still keep in touch with.
When I went back to Australia it felt like going
home because I had so many friends everywhere that I had met before but I still
traveled by myself down the coast catching
up with people here and there.
In Thailand, I ran completely out of money but my
grandmother decided to give her grandchildren
a good amount of cash for Christmas and that saved me (she had no idea I was broke and stranded in Asia.) I invested the money in a Working Holiday visa in New Zealand
as I wasn’t ready to go back to Norway.
After a year and a half, I went through some personal
challenges and decided I needed to get back to having my own living
room and TV. That was what I missed the most. I’d been living
out of my backpack for years and was tired.
I tried the A4 life in Norway,
which, because of the fabulous wages, gave
me the opportunity to travel quite
a lot even though I worked full time. But I didn’t feel at home there anymore.
It was as if I’d outgrown the life
in Norway, so I tried Spain again, which is much more relaxed - and then there’s the temperature! Even living
in Spain I’ve traveled all around the world and throughout Spain! I think traveling has just become a part of
me, like an arm or a leg, and now I’m
off to a nomadic lifestyle again and never felt better about it. I really
missed the freedom of being where I want when I want the last
few years in Spain. And where the journey continues, no one knows.
How I Managed
Funds To Work And Travel Abroad
In my first years of full-time travel, I worked in
hospitality where I traveled, simply walked into bars and restaurants asking for work and it mostly worked
out fine. That way I funded my travels easily. Now, on the other hand, I want to
work from my laptop so that I can be completely location-independent.
Luckily, my blog is
making some money and I also started a destination hiking blog
that’s bringing in some money. On top of that, I work as a VA and will
work as an independent contractor.
There’s no denying it’s been tough as I started treating my travel blog as a
business just as the pandemic hit. And as with all travel blogs or
travel-related businesses pageviews
and income tanked overnight. I tried and failed a few different projects last
year, mostly because I wasn’t
passionate about them. But I’ve grown a lot and learned so much through that and through courses that I’ve
taken. While my direction might be another in a year or two, I’m always gonna be true to my passion for slow travel,
the outdoors, and helping people to travel
in a responsible way.
How I Evaluate GAFFL’s Role In Finding Suitable Travel
I think GAFFL plays a huge role to solo travelers,
especially those who are new to it and might
find it scary at first. But I also believe that seasoned solo travelers
find value in sharing costs and meeting
other travelers when they want to. As a solo traveler, I sometimes feel like being by myself
while other times I really
just want to hang out and share
the experiences with like-minded people. And in the
times you want to hang out, it’s awesome to
have a platform that can connect you with other solo travelers.
Me To Start My Own Blog
After traveling and living abroad for so many years, I’ve
seen both the positives and the negatives
of tourism. Unfortunately, the negatives play a bigger and bigger role and
affect local people at the
destinations, animals, and nature itself. I really wanted to make a difference
and help people to make better choices
when traveling. I believe that if I can help people explore
this planet in a responsible
way, they will spread it on to their circle of people too, and together we can make a difference.
Traveling On A
Budget And Managing Costs
Usually, I’m on a tight budget when I travel.
I’m a pretty messy traveler, so I don’t do well with budgeting, etc, but I stay in hostel dorms
when I can, spend little money on food (cook in the hostel when possible,) and often travel by public transport.
me it’s not important where I sleep,
I’m more about experiences and connecting with the locals and with other
travelers. That’s when I learn about
the destination and get ideas about where to go next. It’s also a source
of hilarious travel
stories and lots of laughter! And guess what?
It’s for free!
My Bucket List
And Number Of Countries I Have Traveled
I haven’t counted, but I believe it’s well past 50 by
now. I definitely have a bucket list, and it’s
growing quicker than what I manage to tick off places. But that happens
when you like to slow travel and when
you return to the same places again and again. I think the top of my bucket
list right now, is Galapagos and the
Easter Island (both childhood dreams) and all the Stan countries have made a huge jump the last few years because
of the insane hiking opportunities!
What It Takes For
A Full-Time Traveler To Sustain Travels
Flexibility and an open mind to go with the flow.
Depending on what they do for a living, have
multiple sources of income so that if one fails, the others
will keep you afloat. We all saw when the
pandemic came how fragile your income can be if the industry of your niche
It’s also important to manage work-time and fun-time. A
lot of people I meet think that digital nomads don’t work and that’s so wrong. Most of us work a lot more than 9-5. It’s just that we do it in exciting
places where we can explore
in our time off. To be able to do that without
getting burnt out, I think it’s important to make a clear schedule
for yourself so that you work what you need to and at the same time enjoy your time off properly.
As a travel blogger (and hiking blogger,) I find it
challenging to “turn off”. If I’m out on a hike, I need to record
the trek, take good photos
of the trail, views, waypoints, and anything else that’s important to include in a thorough hiking
guide. If I’m traveling, it’s the same, I always have to make sure I get the pictures I need, go to the places where
I want to write about,
and so on.
Sometimes it’s good to return to a place I know well and
“turn off” or stay a few days extra. I think this is easier with slow travel. If you travel too fast, it can get exhausting and it’s ok to have days
where you do nothing. Just as you would have if you lived in a house in your
Advice To The
Go with the flow! Instead of making a tight itinerary,
try to make space for things to happen. Make space for meeting new people, going
places you didn’t
know about, and connecting with the locals. You never know what experiences you’re missing while you’re rushing to
your next destination on your list.
And always leave no trace and consider the consequences of your actions
to make sure they don’t hurt in any way.
Learned Through Traveling
I wish I was more conscious of the consequences of my actions.
Especially when it comes to animal
tourism. I participated in so many unethical activities including animals and I
didn’t always realize. Sometimes I did and felt bad about it but often I was sure it was a good thing.
I’ve definitely learned that what goes around comes around. After traveling, I’ve
been much more open to giving
to strangers without
expecting anything in return. When you need it one day, a stranger will save your day! So pay it forward to someone else that needs it.